There are plenty things in life that take our breath away – a proposal, a beautiful sunset, a child’s first steps – but it’s not fun when the cause is asthma.
It’s estimated that about 25 million people in the US have asthma, a lung condition that occurs when the airways between the nose and mouth and the lungs get inflamed. This swelling makes the passage of air to the lungs more difficult, which results in breathing trouble ranging from mild to deadly serious. There are many potential asthma triggers — pollen, dust mites, tobacco smoke, pets, exercise, mold, and even stress can set off an attack.
While asthma is not a curable condition, there are multiple ways to reduce one’s exposure and reactions to triggers. A combination of medication and prevention is often most effective. These are a few everyday things you can do to reduce your contact with asthma triggers:
- Avoid tobacco smoke
- Routinely dust and vacuum your home, especially if you have carpet
- Wash your sheets regularly to avoid dust mites
- Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter
- Wear a mask when using disinfectants to clean
- Use an indoor dehumidifier to reduce chances of mold
On the pharmaceutical side, there are many different kinds of asthma medications. The inhaler is probably the most iconic asthma medication. Inhalers come in two types: a quick-acting inhaler for emergency use or a long-term control medication. Additionally, there are other medications that help reduce the body’s inflammatory responses, and if allergies play a significant part in your asthma, allergy medications or allergy shots may help control your symptoms.
If you routinely have trouble breathing, it’s important that you talk to your doctor to figure out what’s going on. If asthma is the problem, rest assured that there are plenty of ways to help you breathe easy again.