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control your asthma

Updated: Friday, May 21,2010, 11:36:25 AM
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The other way to control your asthma is to avoid the things that will set off an attack. The following is a list of some of the common things that set off asthma attacks and suggestions from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on how to handle them.

    * Tobacco smoke is a common trigger. If you smoke, stop now. Get help from your doctor if need be. Ask family members to stop smoking or at least not smoke while you're around. Avoid places where there is smoke and certainly don't allow it in your home. If your child has asthma, make sure they aren't exposed to smoke at school or at daycare.

    * Dust mites are tiny, tiny bugs that live in cloth and carpets. To help avoid them, encase your mattress in a special dust-proof cover. Do the same with your pillow or wash it in water hotter than 130 degrees each week. The water must be that hot to kill the mites. Wash your bedding each week also, in water just as hot. If you can, remove carpets from your bedroom. Try not to sleep or lay you head on cloth covered furniture.

    * Animal dander is something many people without asthma are also allergic to. It's best to keep furred or feathered pets out of your house. If you can't avoid having a pet in the house, keep it out of the bedroom. Remove cloth furniture and carpets from your home or least keep the pets out of the rooms the material is in.
    * Cockroaches also have been identified as a trigger, the droppings and remains especially. Follow all the usual rules to avoid and get rid of roaches. Keep all food out of the bedrooms and don't leave any food out or uncovered. Use appropriate commercial products to trap and kill roaches, but carefully following all the directions and safety precautions, especially around children.

    * Vacuuming can set off an attack, according to NIH. If it does, get someone else to do it for you once or twice a week. Stay out the rooms while it is being done. If you do vacuum, your can wear a dust mask and get special bags for your vacuum.

    * Indoor mold should be cleaned from surfaces using a product with bleach. Leaky pipes or facets should be fixed to eliminate the moisture most mold needs.

    * Pollens during the regular allergy season can be a big problem. It's best to stay indoors with the windows closed if you can.

    * Sulfites in some foods trigger asthma attacks. Sulfites can be found in beer, wine, shrimp, dried fruit and processed potatoes as well as other products. Check the labels carefully.

In addition, that gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD affects up to 89 percent of patients with asthma. GERD is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up the esophagus and treatment for GERD can be beneficial for asthma symptoms as well.

An asthma attack can also be triggered by physical activity. when this happens, the exercise-induced asthma is most likely to occur in predisposed individuals, after inhaling large quantities of air, especially cold dry air that contains environmental pollutants or allergens. people with asthma can benefit from exercise, provided they discuss this with their doctor and take all necessary precautions.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also suggests that people with asthma consider an annual flu shot, as protection against developing potentially serious upper-respiratory problems. You should discuss this with your doctor.  People with asthma may be at higher risk of pneumothorax, a condition that can lead to collapsed lung. Keeping your asthma under control can help reduce this risk.

It can be difficult to avoid all the things that may start an attack, so it's essential that anyone with asthma also knows what to do once an attack starts. Work closely with your doctor to control your asthma. And remember just because you haven't had a recent attack doesn't mean you are cured. Asthma never goes away.

Tags: Asthma

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