It can be hard for anyone without asthma to appreciate how devastating and traumatic an asthma attack can be. For many asthma patients, life is characterized by anxiety, breathing problems, mental and physical struggles, and loss of control. Lifestyle choices and habits are among numerous asthma triggers. Approximately 10 Americans die from asthma every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are some of the asthma risk factors you can avoid to prevent this condition.
Identify Asthma Triggers
If you have asthma, you may want to start by identifying triggers that set off asthma symptoms. Asthma triggers include cold air, fragrances, cockroaches, air pollution, a cold or flu virus, allergies, smoke, and sinusitis. How about you keep a track of the specific symptoms you experience and detail and the things that affect your asthma. You might want to visit an asthma specialist to help you identify the allergens you respond to. Once you’ve identified the triggers take steps to avoid them.
Quit Smoking to Eliminate a Prime Asthma Cause
According to the American Lung Association, mothers who smoke during pregnancy expose their children to a greater risk of asthma than mothers who don’t. Tobacco smoke has been shown to make asthma worse. If you have asthma, smoking cigarettes will make your medications less effective. You’re also less likely to manage and gain control of your asthma symptoms if you live in a home with smoke. Firsthand cigarette smoke will make you experience more severe and frequent asthma symptoms.
Stay Away from Allergens
Allergens such as mold, pollens, and pet dander can trigger asthma attacks. It’s important that you stay away from the things you’re allergic to as it can help prevent asthma reactions. Exposing yourself to these allergens can increase inflammation in the airways and make an asthma attack more likely.
Exercise to Control Asthma
You must stay physically active that works for you. Discuss with your doctor how you can start a fitness program safely. As an asthma patient, you want to make sure you are in a better physical condition. The better physical condition you are in, the more enhanced your aerobic capacity. Exercising improves your aerobic capacity which makes your lungs fit. You should avoid exercising when asthma causes and triggers are high.
Get your Vaccinations
You don’t want to be hospitalized because of complications arising from a flu you could have avoided by getting that flu shot every year. Remember the flu virus can worsen your asthma for weeks. The fact that you have asthma means you also more likely to develop pneumonia and other health complications from the flue. Be sure to get your vaccinations to keep you safe.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been shown to increase inflammation in the body, including in the airways, thereby increasing the risk for asthma. Studies show that being obese and overweight increases the quantity or number of specific inflammatory factors that can raise the number of white blood cells. Maintaining a healthy weight will help prevent inflammation and irritation in the airways.
It’s important that you also consider getting immunotherapy allergy shots to help prevent your asthma from getting worse. Other ways to prevent asthma attacks include taking asthma medications as prescribed, following your asthma action plan, allergy-proofing your home, and encouraging a diet high in vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and whole grains.