Nearly 27 million Americans have asthma, including 6 million kids and almost 21 million adults. A chronic respiratory disease, asthma causes inflammation of the airways, leading to symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Like allergies, asthma symptoms become much worse during flare-ups or “attacks.” Severe attacks can make it hard to breathe or speak and require immediate medical help.
At his top-ranked family medicine practice in Lakeland, Florida, Sergio B. Seoane, MD, offers patient-centered asthma treatment plans aimed at reducing symptoms and preventing serious flare-ups. Here’s what you can do to help prevent severe asthma attacks.
Whether it’s from cigarettes, that cozy backyard fire pit, or the smoker you use to make your amazing Thanksgiving turkey, smoke is a major trigger for asthma symptoms. If you have asthma, you should do all you can to limit or avoid smoky environments indoors and outdoors.
Dust mites are a major cause of both allergy and asthma symptoms. Millions of these tiny critters live in our homes, finding refuge in carpets, furniture, drapes, and — yes — your mattress and pillows. Frequent vacuuming can help, but to really reduce mite populations, you need to make it more difficult for them to make themselves at home.
Getting rid of throw rugs and eliminating carpeting in favor of solid flooring can help a lot. Try switching out your drapes for blinds. Finally, consider using dust mite covers for your mattress and pillows, and wash and dry bedding frequently using high temperatures.
Cleaning can help you get rid of dust and dust mites, but if you use household cleaners, the chemicals they contain can cause problems, too. Look for natural cleaners and, if you can, clean with plenty of ventilation.
When you’re stressed out, your breathing gets faster and your airways tighten up, two effects that can cause an asthma attack. It’s not always easy to reduce stress, but the rewards can be worth it for your overall health, too.
Florida is home to many beautiful flowering plants and grasses, both wild and cultivated. While flowers are beautiful to look at, they produce pollen that can be a potent trigger for asthma symptoms. Before heading outside, check the local pollen count at this website.
Very cold air is a common asthma trigger for many people, because cold temperatures can cause your airways to tighten and constrict. Humid air can be bad, too, since wetter air can make it harder to breathe, especially for people with asthma.
Regular aerobic exercise, like walking, strengthens your lungs and helps your airways stay healthy. Be aware, though, that exercising too strenuously or exercising in hot or cold environments could trigger symptoms, so alter your exercise plans accordingly.
Aside from avoiding common triggers, one of the best ways to prevent a serious asthma attack is to work closely with Dr. Seoane to develop an asthma treatment plan that works for your lifestyle. Having regular checkups helps ensure your treatment plan evolves as your needs and symptoms change, and it gives Dr. Seoane a chance to give you additional tips tailored to your unique needs.
Most people think managing asthma just means having an inhaler on hand, but a good management plan is far more comprehensive — and far more effective. To learn how we can develop a personal asthma treatment plan for you, call 863-644-2204 or book an appointment online with Dr. Seoane today.