An Asthma Trigger is anything that irritates your sensitive airways and may cause asthma symptoms.
It is impossible to avoid all triggers, but avoiding as many as possible will help you control your asthma.
|Viral infections (cold and flu)
|Wash hands regularly, open windows to improve ventilation especially in nurseries and classrooms, get the flu shot annually.
|Allergens – such as dust-mites, mold, pollen, grasses, animal dander and cockroaches.
- Replace pillows every year.
- Do not have carpets in your home, wood or tile floors are much better.
- Encourage your child not to have too many soft toys – place in freezer every week for 6 hours to kill the dust mites.
- Wash bed linen in hot water weekly.
- Allow your bed to air before making it.
- Visible mold must be treated with diluted Bleach, any cracks in the ceilings or wall must be repaired.
- Do not bring Easter lilies into your home.
- Do not have pets in your bedroom.
- Cockroach infestation must be treated by a professional pest control company. Try to keep food in the kitchen and dining areas only and clean up after meals.
Irritants – such as household cleaning chemicals, air-fresheners – sprays and plug-ins and essential oils, perfume, paint, varnishes and smoke from cigarettes or open fires.
- Do not use household chemicals either aerosols or sprays. Try to clean using microfiber cloths, a steam-cleaner and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- Do not use air fresheners, plug ins or essential oils.
- Open windows to encourage good ventilation.
- Do not allow smoking in your home.
|The weather – high humidity, extreme cold, thunderstorms and hurricanes.
- There is little we can do about the weather!
- When humidity is very high use an air-conditioner ensuring that filters are cleaned regularly.
- In extreme cold weather when overseas wear a scarf over your nose and mouth.
- Hurricanes means blinds will be closed, electricity lost, fans and air-conditioners cannot be used, the air becomes stagnant and hot resulting in indoor mold. Outside debris will be flying, leaves falling, excessive rain will encourage mold to grow in abundance. Be prepared to adjust asthma medications to avoid flare up. Keep calm as anxiety will only make asthma symptoms worse.
|Exercise – this is often called exercise induced asthma however a better term is ‘exercise induced bronchoconstriction’, this is because the tightening and narrowing of the airways is not caused by having asthma. Many people who experience asthma symptoms only when they exercise may simply have poorly controlled asthma. Some people who experience exercise induced asthma are elite athletes doing strenuous exercise especially in very cold conditions.
- An acting short bronchodilator inhaler, such as Ventolin before exercising may be prescribed.
- If someone is exercising more than 3 times a week it may be better to take a daily preventer or combination inhaler and short acting bronchodilator only if necessary, during or after exercise.