Asthma triggers: know to prevent

When dealing with asthma, you need to tackle a few ways, one is using asthma remedies to better help you with your condition and two is to find out what causes your asthma triggers.

Asthma triggers vs causes

When we say ‘trigger’ it implies some aspect which acts as a starting point for asthma. The most common adult asthma triggers would be pollen in the air, animal dander, dust mites, and mold spores. When these particles float freely in the air and an asthmatic person comes in contact with them, the person is bound to suffer from an attack of asthma. This is what a trigger usually does, it kick-starts the ailment.

The causes of asthma disease are the reason why adult asthma is there in the body as a disease. Unlike the trigger, it need not start up the disease – but it is rather the reason why one is suffering from this type of disease. For example, some people who are suffering from adult asthma would have developed this disease since it is hereditary in their family. Here, heredity is the cause of asthma. The trigger would be something that would wake it up and provoke an attack.

There is a very thin line between the definitions of causes and triggers. To be sure of the consequences, the people who suffer from asthma need to be careful to avoid both triggers and causes for asthma in order to stay healthy.

That brings us to the management of asthma. As an adult, you will learn very fast what the triggers are that aggravate your problems and how to avoid them. It is recommended to install an effective room air purifier in case you live in an area where there are too many asthma triggers in the air.

The best thing to do is to have a ready list of what would irritate your asthma. You also need to have emergency techniques and medicines to control the flaring up of an asthma attack as soon as it starts. You will definitely need the back up of family or close friends who should be or could be called on in case they’re needed. Once you have the emergency criteria in place, adult asthma becomes and remains only a manageable latent threat.

The allergen asthma trigger

The first type of trigger is the allergen, which affects at least 80% of children with asthma and about 50% of adults. Allergens can be anything that causes allergic reactions from a person such as pollen, dust, mites and those strong-smelling substances.

For some people, having pets in the house such as dogs and cats could cause an asthma attack. If you have asthma but really want to have a pet in the house, you should first consult your doctor before you get a fluffy pet. It will not do you any good if you keep a dog or a cat in the house and keep having asthma episodes. If you are allergic to cats and dogs, get a pet that does not have lots of furs. For instance, you can get a goldfish or a bird.

Dust, household dirt, and infectious diseases can cause asthma to worsen. However, scientists have discovered the shocking truth about allergic asthma – cleanliness can kill you! Clinical studies confirm that if in childhood a child grew up in too sterile conditions and practically did not encounter infectious diseases, then in adulthood there is a risk of acquiring allergic asthma since the immune system is formed incorrectly and reacts too sharply to external factors.

Acid reflux and asthma: more attacks of both

In a study conducted by medical professionals and researchers injected acid into the gullets of asthmatics, and noted that it resulted in more severe attacks than those usually experienced by the patients. In fact, sometimes the patient ended up suffering from attacks of both asthma and acid reflux simultaneously, which increased their breathing difficulties in the absence of any pulmonary aids.

Some scientists believe that this phenomenon can be explained by the fact that when a patient suffers from an asthma attack, the pressure patterns in their lungs undergo changes, rippling over to a change in their breathing patterns. This laborious breathing results in forcing the liquid from your stomach to move in the direction of the esophagus, causing the acid that may travel along with the liquid to produce a burning sensation in the area of your throat.

As the asthmatic patient continues to breathe laboriously, more liquid will be forced into the food pipe causing greater discomfort. This may also be reflected in the form of pressure points in the chest or heartburns.

Preventing acid reflux and asthma

Acid reflux and asthma are both chronic diseases, triggered by some things such as smoke, general lifestyle, and food. In order to prevent frequent attacks, the patient must pay attention to what she/he eats and drinks. Acid reflux usually seems to be triggered by caffeine content or oily and strong-flavored food. Asthma may be triggered by non-allergens and allergens not just in the food but also in the environment. If you suffer from both ailments, figuring out what triggers their attacks for you will be of great help in finding a cure.

Are there really so many restrictions?

If you have asthma that is triggered by environment irritants, you can treat your asthma by simply avoiding those irritants. This isn’t an asthma cure, but it is a practical method of relief. Being allergic to pollen doesn’t mean avoiding all plant life; it means staying inside during high pollen days or taking an OTC allergy medicine. If you’re allergic to pets, just don’t hang around animals. If you’re allergic to smoke, avoid coming in contact with a smoker, places that allow smoking, and BBQs.

If your asthma is triggered by strenuous activity, you don’t have to cut back on your fun; simply cut back on having too much fun. For example, instead of running a mile in 6 minutes, take your time and jog it in 15. If you have problems climbing the stairs, take the elevator. If you have problems vacuuming the floor or doing normal chores, find someone who can help you.

Not asthma cures, asthma control

Because there is no cure for asthma, many people see asthma as a death sentence. Asthma doesn’t have to be the end of life; it just signals a need to change your lifestyle. Controlling asthma is as easy as learning what your triggers are and dealing with them.

What asthma specialists want you to know

Because so many people suffer from asthma allergies, the concern for the quality of the indoor air in apartments or homes has increased. It is important to choose a very good air filtration system for your home. Asthma specialists warn that the condition of an asthmatic person depends on the purity of the air and the absence of dust and allergens from heating and air conditioning vents. Moreover, they say that using a professional air filtration system helps asthmatics keep the allergen particles away from their home or office; thus avoiding exposure and a possibly serious attack or crisis.

Precautionary measures you can take

Here are a few more precaution measures or tips, offered by asthma specialists, which should be applied by everyone who has a problem with asthma and even other allergies. More than just the elimination of dust and mold from the house, it is important to avoid household cleaning products that can expose you to allergens. It is a good idea to only buy the products with the asthma-friendly sign; otherwise, you will be the one bring the problem into your home.

The pillows and mattresses should all be dust-proof and dust has to be kept away from beds at all costs. Don’t leave the bedding exposed during the day, so use some kind of dust-proof bedding to cover the sheets.

Seasons

Spring and summer are great, but for the people who suffer from asthma, these are the allergy seasons. Asthma specialists point out that the only way to avoid allergens is to use the air conditioner to freshen up the air in the house instead of opening the windows. Furthermore, outdoor activities should be monitored carefully, as this is the time when you come in contact with pollen.

Be prepared

Always be ready for an asthma attack at any time and do not panic if you are outdoors when it starts. Keeping calm can reduce the intensity of the attack and you will be able to return to regular activities sooner.

More safety measures

There are plenty of other safety measures an asthmatic person could take around the house. For instance, don’t let your guests smoke in the house, even when the air conditioner is turned on. Also, a fireplace is not a good choice, because the tiniest bit of smoke or ash could trigger an asthma attack.

In case you have a pet, asthma specialists recommend that you keep it far from any upholstery items or the bedrooms. Maybe fur or animal dander is not one of the allergens that bother you, but it could be at any time. Also, animal hair is a good place for dust to accumulate.


This article is written by Carl Lawyer, M.D. pulmonology and sleep medicine specialist, a general practitioner who provides a wide range of services for the treatment of lung diseases and sleep disorders. Dr. Carl Lawyer graduated from medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. He is available for inpatient and outpatient consultation on a variety of pulmonary-related issues, including acute and chronic respiratory failure, asthma, lung cancer, and COPD.

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