Even though much progress has been made in medical research of a common chronic disease known as asthma, it still remains unknown what causes it and why incidence of this widespread illness is constantly rising. In its core, asthma is a lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, which is followed by recurring periods of whizzing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness, which, consequently, interrupts and disturbs nighttime sleep. While people of all ages can suffer from asthma, it usually develops in early childhood and many asthma sufferers are children. Also, according to medical research, half of the cases are caused by environmental factors and half result from genetic susceptibility as people with family history of various allergies are more prone to this pulmonary disease.
Despite the fact that asthma is an incurable disease, it is of crucial importance to have a good understanding of your illness as it will enable you to manage it properly, ease the fear and the anxiety and prevent asthma attacks. There are many triggers for your asthma and they include air pollution, cold air, various fragrances, pollen, feathered and furry animals, dust, mold and other. By paying more attention to your surrounding and by following a few easy steps, you can take control of your asthma and prevent the worsening of its symptoms.
Find your triggers
The first and the most important thing before you start dealing with this chronic disease is to identify your asthma triggers. There are various factors that can develop asthma ranging from indoor air pollutants to the exposure to cold weather and some of them are not so obvious and can be perfidious. If you want to find out what causes this medical condition, it is always advisable to keep a track of symptoms in your asthma diary. It will help you detect the cause and minimize your exposure to those irritants.
It is a common knowledge that people who suffer from asthma are non-smokers and they usually avoid places where smoking is allowed. However, cigarette smoke is not the only smoke that can cause an asthma attack. Wood stoves, fireplaces, smoke from cooking and hot dry air in general, can also trigger asthma and therefore are potential threats to your health. In order to prevent this from happening, avoid stuffy rooms with stale or heavy air, or check online air purifier ratings and get an air cleaner that is most suitable for your home.
Control your home climate
While humidity in the air enables proper functioning of respiratory system and contributes to the pleasant atmosphere of the living space, it can also develop asthma symptoms if it is higher than 50 percent. Mold and dust, which are common triggers of asthma, thrive in such a surrounding. If you notice that your home is humid, use an air filtration system or dehumidifier to clean it.
Keep away from your pet’s litter
Pets are also considered to be potential allergens that trigger asthma, most frequently cats. If you are a cat lover, you might find it difficult to search a new home for your furry friend. Another option is to keep the litter box in some remote area and have somebody empty it as the cat’s urine is a common allergen which usually provokes asthma attacks and therefore should be carefully avoided.
Finally, in order to prevent asthma from worsening and developing into more serious and severe illness such as pneumonia, you need to consult your doctor and you will be given an appropriate therapy, which usually includes receiving regular allergy shots. When your body becomes accustomed to it, you might consider changing your therapy and, most importantly, never ignore the symptoms.