Feathered And Furry Friends Can Trigger Asthma
Pets and animals, while adorable, can trigger an asthma episode in people who are allergic to them. Dander is one trigger, and all animals have it .
Additionally, proteins found in an animals saliva, feces, urine, hair, and skin can trigger asthma. The best way to avoid a flare-up from these triggers is to avoid the animal altogether.
If youre not ready to part ways with a beloved family pet, try keeping the animal out of your bedroom, off furniture, and outside most of the time if possible. Indoor pets should be bathed frequently.
Ensure Your Child Is At A Healthy Weight
A significant number of new pediatric asthma cases can be directly attributed to childhood obesity. Being overweight can also worsen the symptoms of an asthma attack and result in lower treatment response. What constitutes a healthy weight varies from child to child. However, the Center for Disease Control recommends a childs body mass index to be between the 5th and 85th percentile for their age range and gender.
Ways To Prevent Asthma Attacks At Home
What causes his asthma attacks — and how you can stop them.
Since most asthma attacks in children are caused by an allergic reaction, there’s a lot that parents can do to prevent or reduce asthma symptoms by limiting their child’s exposure to allergens. Here are four major steps:
1. Limit dust exposure. Babies and toddlers spend eight to ten hours a day in their rooms, so removing dust from their immediate area is a great place to start. Here’s how to cut down on the dust in your child’s room.
- Remove carpets and heavy drapes
- Wash all bedding and stuffed animals frequently in hot water
- Purchase allergen-barrier coverings for the pillows and mattresses
2. Protect your child from tobacco smoke. This is a significant asthma trigger. Some people think that smoking in a different room or outside is safe enough, but tobacco smoke gets into your hair and clothes, and your child then inhales it when you pick him up and snuggle with him. Having everyone in your household quit is the best option. If that’s not possible, have smokers wear different shirts and cover their hair when they smoke.
3. Reduce or eliminate the pet factor. Many kids are allergic to pet dander. It’s best not to keep a pet at home if it triggers your child’s reactions. If that’s not possible, at least keep the cat or dog out of the baby’s room.
About Cockroaches Other Pests And Asthma
Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma. Certain proteins are found in cockroach feces and saliva and can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals.
Cockroaches are commonly found in crowded cities and the southern regions of the United States. Cockroach allergens likely play a significant role in asthma in many urban areas.
Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Exercise
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can help to control asthma symptoms. Many top athletes, including Olympic medallists, have asthma.
Tips to reduce the risk of asthma symptoms during exercise include:
- Manage and control your asthma with preventer medication so you are less likely to have symptoms.
- Always carrying your reliever medication with you.
- Warm up as usual before exercising your doctor may recommend taking reliever medication 15 minutes before exercising.
- Cool down after exercising asthma symptoms can appear up to 30 minutes after exercising.
- If symptoms appear, start asthma first aid and return to exercise only if you can breathe freely. If symptoms appear a second time, start asthma first aid and do not return to exercise. Visit your doctor for a review of your asthma symptoms.
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Our Top 3 Tips For Reducing Asthma Triggers In The Home
This is a big one and the good news is, its a relatively easy step that can make a huge difference! Scented cleaning products, as well as personal care products, contain chemicals that we breath in and are linked to all kinds of health problems including respiratory problems like asthma. And the sad truth about fragrances are that theyre not as innocuous as they may seem. A product with the word fragrance on a label can contain a cocktail of up to 100 toxic chemicals, none of which have to be disclosed by the manufacturer as they are considered trade secrets. Fragrance ingredients also arent required to be safety tested before they are sold. Even natural fragrances, or those from essential oils, can be asthma triggers.
Most people dont know that food allergies can trigger asthma attacks. Some common food allergies are eggs, dairy, nuts and shellfish, but even additives can cause reactions, like the ones used in dried fruit. Reach out to your doctor to help identify a resource to test for food allergies in your family, or get started with a home kit like the food testing kit from EverlyWell.
We also recommend checking out resources like the Environmental Working Group cleaning product recommendations as well as the Center for Disease Controls list of agencies currently working on asthma.
Keep Your Home Well Aired
Keeping your home well aired can help to reduce exposure to some common indoor triggers. It means any fumes from fires, cookers, cleaning products, paints, aerosols and sprays are cleared away more quickly. And it helps prevent problems like damp and mould.
It also helps keep humidity down which is good news if youre worried about dust mites which like humid conditions.
Opening windows, using fans
Opening windows and doors is important for helping indoor fumes and dust escape. Some windows have small vents built into them known as trickle vents, which you can keep open. But it can also let in outdoor triggers like pollen and air pollution.
Weather and season can affect indoor and outdoor pollution. So take care on high pollution or pollen days if these are triggers for your asthma. And remember to open windows in winter, when there are typically higher levels of pollutants in your home because of using gas appliances and fires more.
Watch out for dusty fans or extractors or youll end up blowing dust all round the room.
Some people tell us having an air filter or air purifier helps them with their asthma symptoms. However more research is needed to show whether this works.
Air filters cant remove all allergens and even a few left behind can trigger asthma symptoms, says Dr Andy. And for something like second hand cigarette smoke, the best advice is always not to smoke in the first place, particularly around children.
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Beware Of Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds are found in a lot of consumer products. In addition to cigarettes, they are also found in paints, glues, cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners and adhesives. Youll notice that a few of the products mentioned are often used to clean and disinfect your home. In reality, such products the ones that actually smell pretty nice are causing more harm than good.
Chemical fumes from products like paints, cleaners, scented cosmetics, and laundry supplies can all trigger an asthma attack or worsening of symptoms, informs Asthma.ca, Look for products with the asthma & allergy friendly certification program logo to find products that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.
Asthma Trigger #: Dust
Dust lingers in the bedroom, kitchen, and the living room and it is one of the main causes for asthma attacks that happen in the home. The more dust that you have in your home, the more frequent attacks will happen. The home environment is very important for anyone with asthma so you should always be aware of the dust level in your home.
Dust is troublesome for asthmatics because of the allergens that it carries.
Dust has bacteria that forms a byproduct called endotoxins and this is dangerous for asthmatics. It is this byproduct that causes wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
A Clean Home Is Your Best Protection
Dust is in every home because it floats everywhere. Dust and dust particles flow through the tinniest places. Everyday appliances such as TVs, stereos, computers, carpets, and upholstered furniture will collect dust and have to be cleaned often.
Dust hides everywhere. The sooner that you can keep your home free from dust, the better it is for your health. These are some easy ways to keep the level down:
- Use an air filter to lower the dust level.
To be perfectly honest it is impossible to completely remove dust.
The best that you can do is to use vent filtration covers, air cleaners, and allergy control products that bind to the dust. This will prevent the dust from becoming airborne and causing harm.
- Do some research and buy the best products.
- Use products that trap dust and not spread around
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Asthma Triggers: Gain Control
This video features medical professionals, families and children living with asthma.
Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, and indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode or attack or make asthma worse. If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers. Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers.
On this page:
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Some asthma triggers are things that you are allergic to and some just irritate your airways. Triggers can cause asthma symptoms, and can bring on an asthma attack.
- Prevent asthma symptoms and asthma flares by staying away from things that make your asthma worse.
- Asthma triggers are everywhere outside, in businesses, at your work place, schools, everywhere. Triggers can also be found in your home. You can determine what triggers might exist in your home, by assessing your entire home for triggers. Use an Asthma Home Environment Checklist to identify triggers and how to approach removal or reducing exposure to that specific asthma trigger.
- Work with your health care provider to identify what triggers make your asthma worse and how to avoid and/or get rid of them.
- Asthma triggers are not the same for each and every person â they are unique to each individual and every persons lungs react differently to each specific trigger.
Read Also: What’s An Asthma Attack Feel Like
What Triggers Asthma In The Home
Not everyone with asthma responds to the same allergens. Some kids are super allergic to pollen, for instance, while others can run through a field of ragweed without a care in the world.
Several common allergens often trigger flare-ups and many are hard to avoid if youre stuck inside. Some of the most common indoor asthma triggers include:
- Pests such as cockroaches or rodents.
- Secondhand smoke.
Follow An Asthma Action Plan
An Asthma Action Plan can help you work out how well you are and what to do if your asthma gets worse or better.
Research shows that people who follow Asthma Action Plans have better control over their asthma.
Useful Asthma Resources
This brochure is an asthma action plan for doctors to complete and give to child patients and their parents/caregivers.
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Asthma Trigger #: Pollen
For many asthmatics, pollen happens to be a major problem. When the levels of pollen change, many people can have severe reactions when concentrations become too high. There are certain types that have been known to aggravate asthmatic conditions.
How Pollen Affects Asthmatics
One of the worst offenders for allergy and asthma sufferers is pollen. It is the natural byproduct of plants and trees and comes from natural elements such as grass, trees and weeds. Most of the allergies that occur in the spring come from the pollen. If you get allergies in the summer, it is pollen from the grass. But you develop allergies from pollen in the late summer, it comes from ragweed.
Your immune system may react during particular seasons when pollen and mold spread. These are the two biggest problems that people with asthma and allergies have to deal with in the great outdoors.
You can go on the Internet and go to the weather site to find out where and when the high pollution season is when planning a vacation. You should have your inhaler close at hand and use long term preventative medication if the symptoms are severe. If it is necessary, you can have a calendar to see what is headed to your area during the high pollution seasons.
Easy Ways To Control Pollen
Use A Home Peak Flow Meter
The meter shows how well air is moving through your lungs. During an attack, your airways narrow. The meter can let you know this is happening hours or days before you have any symptoms. This gives you time to take the medications listed in your treatment plan and possibly stop the attack before it starts.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Asthma Overview: Prevention,” âPeak Flow Meters.â
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Expert Panel Report: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, 2002.
National Institutes of Health publication number 02-5074, June, 2003.
Brostoff, J. and Gamlin, L., Asthma: The Complete Guide to Integrative Therapies, Healing Arts Press,1999.
Plaut T. and Jones, T., Dr. Tom Plaut’s Asthma Guide for People of All Ages, Pedipress Inc., 1999.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: âAsthma Treatment,â âWhat Is An Asthma Action Plan?â
CDC: âLung Disease including Asthma and Adult Vaccination.â
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What Are Animal Allergens
Animals can be a big asthma trigger. The animal parts that can trigger asthma symptoms are dander , saliva , urine , and feathers.
If your pet is an asthma trigger for you, these tips might help:
- Keep pets outside. At the very least, keep them out of your bedroom.
- Have someone else wash and brush your pet every week.
- Play with your pet, but try not to hug or kiss it.
- Ask other people in your household to wash their hands after touching your pet.
- If you have an animal that lives in a cage, keep it in a room that you don’t spend time in. Someone other than you should clean the cage daily.
- Consider getting cold-blooded pets, such as fish, which are OK for kids with asthma.
If you try all these things but still have lots of asthma flare-ups, you may need to find another home for your pet.
What Are Airborne Triggers
- aerosol sprays
- the smell given off by paint or some gases
Air pollution and pollen are triggers that can come into your home from outside if you leave your windows and doors open in warmer weather.
How can your family make sure the indoor air is clean?
- Don’t allow anyone to smoke in the house.
- Avoid wood fires in the fireplace or wood stove.
- Run the air conditioning because it filters the air.
- Keep the windows shut when there’s a lot of pollen or air pollution outside
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The Trigger: Tobacco Smoke
Smoke from any burning substance is an irritant that can cause inflammation in the airways, Chupp says. This can lead to coughs and bronchospasm, which is when the airways that connect to your lungs contract and spasm, often causing wheezing and making it hard to breathe.
Secondhand tobacco smoke is one of the most ubiquitous examples of smoke irritants. It also contains over 7,000 chemicals which can further irritate your airways.
Scuba Diving And Asthma
Scuba diving if you have uncontrolled asthma can be life-threatening. In fact, it is one of the few sports that is not recommended for some people with asthma.
The risk is that you may breathe in air at a certain pressure at a certain depth, then have that higher pressure air become trapped in your lungs due to asthma closing the air passages in your lungs. As you rise to the surface , that trapped air will expand and may cause injury to your lung. This is called barotrauma , and can be very dangerous.
Only people with mild and well-controlled asthma should consider scuba diving and only with careful medical clearance. Diving regulations vary from country to country so if you have asthma and are keen to dive, its best to check on the local requirements and have a thoughtful discussion with your doctor.
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Hazardous Asthma Triggers At Home
An asthma trigger can be a deadly, silent enemy when it comes to your health. It can be any food, smell, or drink that sets off an attack. If you are sensitive to a substance and dont know it, then you will become an unsuspecting victim.
There are many environmental factors that can trigger or set off an asthma attack. A number of studies have found that exposure to one of these factors has a high correlation to developing symptoms.