Living

Spring tips for asthma sufferers

If you have asthma, allergens and pollens may be something you try to avoid altogether.

Things that can cause an asthma flare-up are called triggers. Once you have recognized what your triggers are, you can avoid them. Here are some tips:

Smoking

▪  Exposure to passive cigarette smoke in childhood increases the risk of having asthma.

▪  Do not be around smoke or people who smoke.

▪  Do not allow smoking in your home or your car.

▪  Do not use wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, and avoid campfires.

Pollens

▪  Take a shower or bath after being outdoors.

▪  During allergy season, use air conditioning instead of opening the windows.

▪  Change the air conditioner filter monthly.

Dust and dust mites

▪  Vacuum carpets and rugs weekly with a HEPA filter. Get rid of carpeting, especially in the bedroom.

▪  Encase your mattresses and pillows in allergen-proof covers.

▪  Wash your bedding weekly in water over 130 degrees.

▪  Wash stuffed animals often and remove any dust collectors from the bedroom.

▪  Dust furniture and wash curtains often.

▪  Replace air conditioning and heater filters monthly.

Pets

▪  Keep pets outside.

▪  If your pets must come inside, keep them out of the bedroom and off the furniture.

▪  Bathe them weekly.

Weather

Changes in weather can cause flare-ups.

▪  Keep an eye on children when they play outdoors.

▪  Stay indoors when air quality is poor.

Illness

Asthma flare-ups can be caused by minor respiratory illnesses.

▪  Wash your hands often.

▪  Eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of sleep.

▪  Make sure you get a yearly flu shot.

▪  Stay away from people who have a cold or flu.

Exercise

Exercising is important to your health.

▪  Take your reliever medication as prescribed before you exercise.

▪  Slowly warm up before exercising.

▪  Limit or avoid exercise when you are ill or the weather is cold and dry.

Other triggers

▪  Strong smells, such as cleaning products, fragrances or sprays

▪  Some medications, including beta blockers or aspirin

▪  Certain foods, such as shellfish, wine, dried fruit and nuts

▪  Having allergies and managing them can help reduce asthma symptoms

Martinez is a registered respiratory therapist at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation

  Comments