It is important to know what things make your asthma worse. These are called asthma "triggers." Avoiding them is your first step toward feeling better.
Our homes can be filled with asthma triggers, found within
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:
You can take several steps to limit exposure to dust mites.
Keeping indoor humidity at less than 50% will keep mold spores down. To do so:
Keep pets with fur or feathers outside, if possible. If pets stay inside, keep them out of bedrooms and off upholstered furniture and carpets.
Wash pets once a week if possible.
If you have a central air conditioning system, use a HEPA filter to remove pet allergens from indoor air. Use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters.
Wash your hands and change your clothes after playing with your pet.
Keep kitchen counters clean and free of food crumbs. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink. Keep food in closed containers.
Do not let trash pile up inside. This includes bags, newspapers, and cardboard boxes.
Use roach traps. Wear a dust mask and gloves if you touch or are near rodents.
Do not use wood-burning fireplaces. If you need to burn wood, use an airtight wood-burning stove.
Do not use perfumes or scented cleaning sprays. Use trigger sprays instead of aerosols.
Discuss any other possible triggers with your doctor and how to avoid them.
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Rockville, MD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2007. NIH publications 08-4051.
Vernon MK. What do we know about asthma triggers? A review of the literature. J Asthma. 2012;49:991-998.
Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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