Certain conditions and environments may also trigger symptoms of asthma. The list of possible causes and triggers is extensive. Triggers include:
-Illness. Respiratory illnesses such as viruses, pneumonia, and the flu can trigger asthma attacks.
-Exercise. Increased movement may make breathing more difficult.
-Irritants in the air. People with asthma may be sensitive to irritants, such as chemical fumes, strong odors, and smoke.
-Allergens. Animal dander, dust mites, and pollen are just a few examples of allergens that can trigger symptoms.
-Extreme weather conditions. Conditions such as very high humidity or low temperatures may trigger asthma.
-Emotions. Shouting, laughing, and crying may trigger an attack.
Because researchers have yet to identify the exact cause of asthma, it’s challenging to know how to prevent the inflammatory condition.
However, more information is known about preventing asthma attacks. These strategies include:
-Avoiding triggers. Steer clear of chemicals, smells, or products that have caused breathing problems in the past.
-Reducing exposure to allergens. If you’ve identified allergens, such as dust or mold, that trigger an asthma attack, avoid them as best you can.
-Getting allergy shots. Allergen immunotherapy is a type of treatment that may help alter your immune system. With routine shots, your body may become less sensitive to any triggers you encounter.
-Taking preventive medication. Your doctor may prescribe medication for you to take on a daily basis. This medication may be used in addition to the one you use in case of an emergency.
Your doctor can help you put an asthma action plan in place so that you know which treatments to use and when.
In addition to using maintenance medications, you can take steps each day to help make yourself healthier and reduce your risk for asthma attacks. These include:
-Eating a healthier diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help improve your overall health.
-Maintaining a healthy weight. Asthma tends to be worse in people with overweight and obesity. Losing weight is healthy for your heart, your joints, and your lungs.
-Quitting smoking. Irritants such as cigarette smoke can trigger asthma and increase your risk for COPD.
-Exercising regularly. Activity can trigger an asthma attack, but regular exercise may actually help reduce the risk of breathing problems.
-Managing stress. Stress can be a trigger for asthma symptoms. Stress can also make stopping an asthma attack more difficult.
-Nutrient-rich foods are vital to helping reduce symptoms, but food allergies can trigger asthma symptoms.
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