An asthma attack can be a terrifying experience: your chest tightens and your heart races as you gasp for air, hoping that you can alleviate the attack or that it will pass quickly. Don’t panic: asthma is largely a manageable condition. But by knowing what commonly triggers an attack, you can make lifestyle and environmental changes that will prevent attacks from occurring as frequently. Some of the most common asthma triggers to be aware of include air pollutants, mold, and certain types of exercise; learn more about these triggers here.
This is almost a no-brainer. Tobacco smoke irritates the airway, whether you inhale it directly or inhale secondhand smoke. Fortunately, most indoor smoking has been legislated out of America since the beginning of the 21st century, reducing the number of potentially dangerous situations. But even in open air, close proximity to tobacco smoke is enough to trigger an attack. Avoid situations where people around you are smoking.
A good cardio workout is something we should all try to fit into our busy days. But for people with asthma, there’s danger amid the benefits of moderate to strenuous exercise. As we head into colder temperatures throughout most of North America, cold, dry air can cause mucus to build up and obstruct your airflow. Finding indoor exercise options could range from difficult to impossible this winter, but you still may want to pass on January jogs outdoors.
Indoor Air Systems
One of the most maddening things about asthma is that it’s often set off by particles that are invisible to the naked eye. Microscopic as they may be, the dust, dander, and detritus that can run through your home’s ventilation system can cause big problems. Many factors play a role in your home’s air quality, and if you don’t pay attention to these, the air quality may aggravate your asthma. Since you’re probably spending so much time in your home right now, your home’s air quality should be your top priority. Fortunately, you can control your own environment.
Airborne mold spores are problems for anyone’s breathing, but they’re especially troublesome for people with asthma. Mold often develops in damp, dark places, which can include your home’s drywall and carpeting if they’ve experienced water damage. If you have asthma and a mold allergy independent of that condition, take extra care to prevent mold from developing in your home, and avoid workplaces that cannot do the same.
Knowing the most common asthma triggers to be aware of will improve your quality of life, but triggers vary highly from person to person, and each individual may have his or her own checklist of what to avoid to ensure easy breathing.