Preventing Asthma Attacks

This topic is of particular importance to me. I have asthma, and some of my asthma attacks have been very severe. Avoiding them has become a prime directive. Here are a few things you can do to prevent future attacks. Medicati...

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This topic is of particular importance to me. I have asthma, and some of my asthma attacks have been very severe. Avoiding them has become a prime directive. Here are a few things you can do to prevent future attacks.

Medication: There are several types of medication that can help prevent or stop asthma attacks. Maintenance medications should be taken as prescribed. You should only stop using them if the doctor says so. This is one of the best ways to avoid an attack. Your rescue inhaler is equally important, and should be with you at all times.

Ask Before you Eat: If you are invited to eat something, ask what's in it before popping it into your mouth. Chocolate chip cookies may have peanuts in them. Homemade clam chowder might have sulfites. Make sure that no trigger foods are used in their preparation.


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Flowers: It's so tempting to bury your nose in a bouquet of flowers and breathe in the scent. Unfortunately, it could also make your next breath a lot more difficult. If you know flowers in general or a type of flower in particular pose problems, don't even stay in the same room with them.

Ingredient Labels: These are very important. Always read the entire ingredients label, and check to see if the product in question has been produced on machinery that uses trigger foods. I've been spared many asthma attacks with this alone.

Pets: We all love our pets, but sometimes they can mean trouble. The most frequent allergies are to cats and dogs. However, don't be surprised if you have problems with hamsters, mice or rats. They can be a problem, too.

Scents: People love to wear perfume, cologne and aftershave. People use scented laundry soap and dryer sheets. All of these can trigger an attack. If it's a family member, you may be able to tell them that you have a problem, but if it's a friend or acquaintance, it may be more difficult.

Strong Cleaners: For me, bleach and pine scented cleaners are the worst, though other chemicals can create problems. If you are planning to use a new cleaning product, try a small amount first. If there is any reaction, don't use the cleaner. Find something that doesn't cause breathing problems.