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What Things Make Asthma Worse

How Can I Avoid My Triggers

Avoid Things That Make Asthma Worse
  • 1. Avoiding triggers may be as effective as asthma drugs.
  • 2. Each type of trigger has a specific avoidance technique.

Reducing exposure to allergic triggers has been shown to be as effective at reducing symptoms as achieved with asthma medications. Once you have identified your asthma triggers follow these steps accordingly:

Stay away from smoking

If you smoke, ask your doctor or nurse to help you quit. No one should smoke in your house. This includes you and your visitors.

Smokers should smoke outside and wear a coat. The coat will keep smoke particles from sticking to their clothes. They should leave the coat outside, or away from your child.

Ask people who work at your child’s day care, preschool, school, and anyone else who takes care of your child, if they smoke. If they do, make sure they don’t smoke near your child.

Stay away from restaurants and bars that allow smoking. Or ask for a table as far away from smokers as possible.


When pollen levels are high:

  • Stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed. Use an air conditioner if you have one.
  • Save outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain.
  • Wear a facemask while you are doing outdoor activities.
  • Do not dry clothes outdoors. Pollen will stick to them. Have someone who does not have asthma cut the grass, or wear a facemask if you must do it.

Dust mites

You can take several steps to limit exposure to dust mites.

Mold spores

Pets can make asthma worse

Wash pets once a week if possible.

Eat Slow Wait 20 Minutes

Your brain takes some time to process the fact that youve had enough to eat. Eating quickly means you dont realize youre full until well after youve hit that point, typically resulting in overeating.

Try slowing down. Eat a reasonable serving of food. Then, wait at least 20 minutes and drink a glass of water. Often, youll find yourself feeling full once that break is up.

Avoiding Nighttime Asthma And Improving Sleep

Asthma can make it challenging to get quality sleep, so its helpful to cultivate habits that support sleep health. Focusing on improving sleep hygiene is a significant first step. By developing a regular sleep schedule and healthy daytime routines, people with asthma can reduce unnecessary daytime fatigue and focus on controlling their asthma symptoms.

Asthma triggers in the bedroom may increase the risk of nocturnal asthma and lost sleep. In addition to working with a doctor to find solutions for reducing or eliminating asthma triggers, below are a few tips specific to designing the ideal bedroom environment and avoiding nighttime asthma:

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What If Cockroaches Are A Trigger

And pets aren’t the only living triggers at home cockroaches can be a major asthma trigger that can be difficult to avoid in apartments. If cockroaches are a problem:

  • Don’t save boxes, paper bags, or newspapers.
  • Don’t leave open food or dirty dishes lying around your kitchen. Keep counters free of crumbs or spills.
  • Keep garbage containers closed and wash recyclables before putting them in the bin.

You want to be comfortable at home where you spend most of your time so try to remove as many asthma triggers as you can. When your house doesn’t cause asthma flare-ups, it really is home, sweet home!

What Makes Asthma Worse Or Better A Pulmonologist Explains

6 Things You Didn

In this article:

Asthma is a chronic respiratory ailment that can be quite debilitating and even life-threatening if not managed properly.

When you breathe in an irritant, an inflammatory response is triggered in the respiratory tract, which causes your airways to swell up and produce extra mucus. Consequently, the flow of oxygen is constricted, leading to the classic symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and wheezing.

It is important to identify the triggers in order to avoid them and improve the symptoms.

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Reducing Asthma Triggers At Home

An asthma attack can occur when someone with asthma is exposed to things in the environment that trigger their asthma. One persons triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. Do what you can to decrease these triggers in the environment. more Triggers may include:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Breathing in cold, dry air

Food And Food Additives Trigger Asthma

Food allergies can cause mild to severe life-threatening reactions. They rarely cause asthma without other symptoms. If you have food allergies, asthma can be part of a severe, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:

Food preservatives can trigger isolated asthma, especially sulfite additives, like sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite, which are commonly used in food processing or preparation.

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Know When To Get Help

Warning signs of a potential asthma attack include:

  • Needing more rescue inhaler medication .
  • A cough that gets worse.
  • Feeling like you canât breathe or like someoneâs sitting on your chest.
  • Waking up at night feeling like you canât breathe.
  • Not being able to be active or exercise without getting winded or wheezing.

Use your asthma rescue inhaler medication as soon as you start to feel an attack come on. If it doesnât seem to work and you feel like you still canât breathe, call 911 so you can get to an emergency room right away.

If you have a steroid medicine at home , you can take it on your way to the ER.

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Inflammation And Your Lungs

Recognizing an Asthma Attack in Your Child

A garden-variety cold is caused by any one of over 200 viral strains, the most common of which are rhinoviruses, followed by coronaviruses, influenza viruses, adenoviruses, and respiratory syncytial virus .

When a respiratory infection occurs, the immune system responds by releasing cytokines that draw defensive white blood cells to the site of the infection.

Many of these cytokinesmost especially interleukin types 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 13are responsible for triggering airway hyper-responsiveness and bronchoconstriction in people with asthma. In essence, the inflammation caused by a cold can spill over to the lower respiratory tract and instigate an attack.

Research also suggests that antigens on certain respiratory viruses can trigger an allergic response in people with asthma. Antigens are the proteins of the surface of cells that the immune system reacts to. In some cases, the antigen will spur allergic inflammation that only adds to the burden of viral inflammation.

Although viral-induced asthma has long been considered separate from allergic asthma, evidence suggests that viral-induced asthma can affect people with allergic and non-allergic forms of the disease, including exercise-induced asthma and eosinophilic asthma.

This dual source of inflammation may explain why certain people are more prone to viral-induced asthma than others.

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Other Things That Can Make Asthma Worse

Here are some tips for avoiding some other common asthma triggers:

  • Flu: Get a flu shot.
  • Sulfites in foods: Do not drink beer or wine or eat shrimp, dried fruit, or processed potatoes if they cause asthma symptoms.
  • Cold air: Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf on cold or windy days.
  • Other medicines: Tell your doctor about all the medicines you may take. Include cold medicines, aspirin, and even eye drops.

To find out more about this topic, visit the helpful links on the next page.

S To Ease An Asthma Attack

Treating an asthma attack without an inhaler is very difficult. However, in the absence of an inhaler, you can follow these steps on the way to seek medical attention:

  • During an asthma attack, the patient should try to remove the trigger , stop any form of exercise, and try to breathe slowly to prevent any further irritation.
  • Big, long, and slow breaths help to prevent hyperventilation and allow for better air movement.
  • Preventing panic is also important in order to not hyperventilate. Sitting upright helps with improving air movement.
  • Caffeine from tea or coffee has also been shown to reduce airway inflammation and help asthma symptoms potentially. Therefore, a warm caffeinated beverage may also help reduce airway hyperresponsiveness and symptoms.

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What Is The Role Of Inhaled Steroids In Asthma

Inhaled steroids, also called inhaled corticosteroids, are considered to be the most effective medications for controlling asthma when taken regularly. They work continuously to reduce swelling of the airways. It can take weeks for an inhaled corticosteroid to reduce the inflammation in your airways, so be patient.

What Are Animal Allergens

What Conditions Make Asthma Worse

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 dont 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.

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About Wood Smoke And Asthma

Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contains a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease and may increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses. If youre using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isnt working as it should.

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Allergies Can Cause Asthma

Allergies with asthma is a common problem. Eighty percent of people with asthma have allergies to things in the air, like tree, grass, and weed pollens mold animal dander dust mites and cockroach droppings. In one study, children with high levels of cockroach droppings in their homes were four times more likely to have childhood asthma than children with low levels. An allergy to dust mites is another common asthma trigger.

If you have asthma thatâs hard to control, see an allergist to find out if you have allergies. Treating your allergies with medication and avoiding your triggers can help lower the odds of a severe asthma attack.

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How Do Allergies Affect Asthma

If you have asthma, it’s a good idea to find out if allergies may be causing problems for you. See your health care provider, who may suggest a visit to an allergist so you can find out if you’re allergic to anything.

If you have allergies, it doesn’t mean that they’re causing your asthma symptoms. But knowing what they are lets you and your doctor start looking into the connection.

Limiting your exposure to possible allergens may be a big help in controlling your asthma. If you can’t completely limit your exposure to something you’re allergic to, your doctor may recommend medicine or allergy shots.

What Are Asthma Triggers

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Asthma triggers are things in your environment that cause worsening of asthma symptomsor asthma attacks. Triggers can be anywhere, and avoiding triggers that are under your control will help you be better prepared to deal with triggers that are more difficult to avoid like pollen, smog and viruses.

Triggers often bring on asthma attacks. It is important to avoid your triggers in order to keep airway inflammation to a minimum and reduce your asthma symptoms. Your personal triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. Knowing what your triggers are is an important part of managing your asthma.

Taking steps to ensure your asthma is properly managed is the key to living a symptom-free life. Speak with your healthcare provider about taking a controller medication, creating an Asthma Action Planand proper inhaler technique. Since some asthma triggers are impossible to avoid, its important to always carry your reliever medication with you just in case of a trigger causing an asthma attack.

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How To Stop Asthma Cough

This article was co-authored by Shaun Berger, MD. Dr. Shaun Berger is a board certified Pediatrician based in the San Diego, California metro area. Dr. Berger provides comprehensive primary care for newborns, children, and adolescents, focusing on preventive medicine. Dr. Berger earned a BA in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and an MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Berger then completed a residency at the UCSF/Fresno Community Medical Centers/Valley Childrens Hospital where he was elected Chief Resident. He has been awarded the UCSF Foundation Award and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 76,283 times.

Many people are familiar with common asthma symptoms like tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. Coughing is another troublesome symptom of asthma, the inflammatory lung disease which narrows the breathing airways. To stop an asthma-related cough, identify and avoid your triggers, take medication to treat your asthma, and make yourself comfortable.

How To Handle Cold

The combination of these triggers can spell trouble for someone with asthma, says , an immunologist who studies asthma and works in the immunology department at the UW School of Medicine.

Pepper also has two daughters, Lucy and Izzy, who have suffered from asthma. Shes seen how their symptoms sometimes worsen in the cold.

Recently, Izzy had a cold it was probably some minor virus, but I could see it was starting to tighten up her lungs, Pepper says.

If you or your childs asthma symptoms flare up in cold weather, handle it as you would during any other season: Set up a detailed asthma plan with your primary care provider. For Peppers daughter, this means having both control and rescue inhalers handy. Make sure your child knows to alert you if their symptoms worsen. Symptoms include things like shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing if symptoms are more severe, people may have trouble talking or sleeping and should immediately seek medical help.

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How Do Allergies Make Asthma Worse

Lots of people with asthma find it gets worse when they’re around allergens . Common allergens include dust mites, mold, pollen, and animal dander.

If you have allergies, your immune system reacts to an allergen like it’s an unwanted invader. To fight it off, the immune system produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E .

When the IgE combines with the allergen, it starts a process to release substances designed to protect the body. One of these is histamine. Histamine causes allergic reactions that can affect the eyes, nose, throat, skin, and lungs.

When the airways in the lungs are affected, it can bring on symptoms of asthma .

The body remembers this reaction. Each time the allergen comes into contact with the body, the same thing can happen. Because of that, allergies can make it difficult for some people to keep their asthma under control.

What Are Airborne Triggers

6 things you didnât know were making your asthma worse
  • 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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How Does Asthma Affect The Lungs

The lungs are made up of many tiny tubes. These tubes are called bronchioles. The bronchioles carry air in and out of the lungs. In a normal airway, air moves freely through the bronchioles and breathing is easy.When asthma is not under good control, three things change in the airways that make it hard to breathe:

  • The airways become swollen. The walls thicken and make the airways smaller.
  • The airways make more mucous. Mucous is a thick liquid that your body makes. Mucous normally protects the nose, throat, and airways. When you have asthma, your body makes too much mucous. This mucous can plug the airways.
  • Muscles around the airways squeeze tight. Your airways have muscles around them that are usually loose. When you have asthma, these muscles can tighten.

These three things all make the airways smaller. When the airways get smaller it is hard to get air in and out. This can cause wheezing, coughing and trouble breathing.

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How Can I Avoid Thunderstorm Asthma Triggers

Its a good idea to check pollen counts and weather forecasts with these sources:

If a thunderstorm is approaching on a high pollen count day, it is a good idea to:

  • make sure you have your reliever medication with you
  • stay inside a building or a car, especially during the wind gusts before the rain
  • close your doors and windows
  • if an air conditioner is on, set it to recirculate air

Face masks dont protect against the tiny particles that cause thunderstorm asthma.

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