For some people, research has shown that a number of factors, sometimes known as "triggers," can lead to asthma attacks (exacerbations). These triggers can include:
- environmental allergens (e.g., dust mites, pets with fur, cockroaches, molds, pollen)
- infections caused by viruses
- pollutants (e.g., cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, outdoor air pollution)
- food and medication additives (e.g., sulfites)
- medications (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid - Aspirin®, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and beta-blockers)
A person who effectively avoids a trigger may have better control of their asthma, and they will have less need for rescue medication. As a result, they may also be able to successfully prevent an asthma attack.
Here are some tips on how to reduce your exposure to triggers:
- make changes in your indoor environment to minimize your exposure to allergens and pollutants known to cause symptoms
- consider getting a flu shot every year
- stop smoking
- limit your exposure to secondhand smoke
- reduce or eliminate your exposure to occupational irritants known to cause symptoms
- avoid additives, medications, and foods known to cause symptoms
Avoiding triggers is not the only answer, though. Since people with asthma may react to many triggers in their daily lives, it is not practical to completely avoid all factors. This is why the treatment plan is so important. People who have good asthma control are often less sensitive to triggers.
Ideally, people with asthma should be motivated to learn more about their condition, and should work with their health care team to write down a specific asthma action plan that is targeted towards their individual needs. Another part of the puzzle involves being adherent to asthma medications, in order to get the most benefit possible. Being adherent means using the medication exactly as your doctor prescribed it. Ask your health educator, doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about ways to simplify your treatment plan in order to make it easier for you to take your medications exactly as prescribed or intended.
Hopefully, all of these things will ultimately result in improved asthma control and fewer asthma attacks.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Dealing-with-Worsening-Asthma