Asthma is a disease of the lungs. It affects the airways. Airways are the tubes that carry the air you breathe in and out of your lungs. When you have asthma, these tubes swell up and get sore. And they react to things that bother them by swelling and trapping air.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Coughing (at night and early morning)
If you have asthma, you have it all the time. It doesn’t go away. But you will have asthma attacks only when something bothers your lungs.
What causes asthma attacks?
Triggers are what cause asthma attacks. Different people have different triggers. Get to know your triggers so you can avoid them. Some of the most common triggers are:
Asthma and smoking have the same effect on the lungs. They both cause the airways to swell up, narrow and fill with sticky mucus. That leaves very little room for air to get through. If you smoke and have asthma, you’re more likely to have serious attacks more often.
Secondhand smoke is just as bad on someone with asthma.
These are tiny bugs you find in almost every home. But while they don’t affect most of us, they can trigger asthma attacks. To prevent attacks, use mattress covers and pillowcase covers to keep dust mites away from your body. Remove stuffed animals and clutter from your bedroom. Wash your bedding with very hot water.
Outdoor air pollution
Pollution can come from factories, cars and other sources. Pay attention to air quality forecasts and plan your activities air pollution levels.
Cockroach allergen comes from roaches and their droppings. Get rid of roaches in your home. Clean up any water or food spills. Roaches like to nibble on leftover food. Vacuum or sweep at least every two to three days. Use roach traps or gels to kill the roaches.
A pet with a lot of fur can cause attacks. Keep your pet out of the asthmatic person’s bedroom. Bathe pets every week and keep them outside as much as possible. Vacuum and mop often.
Mold grows in warm, wet or damp spots. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks. Air conditioners or dehumidifiers will help you keep your home cool and dry. Fix leaks to avoid growing mold behind walls and under floors.
Smoke from burning wood or grass
Smoke from burning wood or plants can have harmful gases and small particles. Breathing in too much of this smoke can cause an asthma attack. If you can, avoid burning wood in your home. Stay inside, if possible, and check air quality forecasts in the event of a wildfire.
- Infections from the flu or colds
- Sinus infections
- Acid reflux can also trigger attacks.
- Physical exercise
- Some medicines
- Bad weather, such as thunderstorms or high humidity
- Breathing in cold, dry air
- Some foods or additives
- Perfumes or colognes
- Crying or laughing hard can lead to very fast breathing and an attackClick on the
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Not everyone with asthma will take the same medication. See your doctor for the right medication for you. Medication options include:
- Quick-relief medications to control attacks
- Long-term medications to cut down on attacks
Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon pass. Ask your doctor about side effects.