If you have allergies and asthma, it is important to take precautionary measures at home. Asthma attacks (worsening of symptoms) can be caused by allergies, which temporarily intensify the inflammatory processes of the airways. If you avoid or at least minimize contact with the allergen, you can prevent asthma attacks.
Smoking and asthma is an undesirable combination. It is better to reduce contact with any kind of smoke, including tobacco, from candles, fires, fireworks and incense. Do not allow smoking at home and in the car, try to avoid public places where smoking is permitted. If you smoke cigarettes, ask for help to quit effectively and quickly. Smoking always only worsens the state of the disease.
Among other things, try to avoid contact with people with viral or catarrhal diseases, as asthma symptoms can get worse if you catch an infection. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching a person infected with respiratory infections.
Whether you are at work, at home or on a business trip, there are certain ways to protect yourself from the influence of allergens and thereby reduce the likelihood of exacerbation of asthma symptoms. For example, not in restaurants where smoking is allowed and very smoky – this is the first causative agent of asthma. If traveling, book a non-smoking room in advance at the hotel. Carry bed linen and pillows if the hotel uses fluff for bedding (and fluff is a good home for dust mites, which are also causative agents of asthma).
Get a flu shot
Every year, try to get a flu shot, which greatly aggravates the symptoms of asthma. People with asthma may experience complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, and hospitalization may even be necessary. Also, vaccinate against pneumonia every ten years. People with asthma are twice as likely to have pneumococcal pneumonia, a common type of viral pneumonia.
If the doctor has a tendency to allergies, then immunotherapy can help prevent the further development of allergies and asthma symptoms. Immunotherapy is the introduction of small doses of an allergen (substances that cause an allergic reaction in your body) under the skin at regular intervals. After some time, the body becomes accustomed to the allergen and is not beginning to react so badly to it, and, accordingly, the frequency of exacerbations of asthma symptoms decreases.
Determination of Asthma Pathogens
Certain pathogens cause exacerbation of a number of symptoms. It can be dust mites, environmental pollution, cold air, a cold virus virus, sinusitis and asthma at the same time, cigarette smoke, strong odors. It is very important to identify the causative agents of asthma.
For several weeks, monitor your asthma symptoms, noting and recording all environmental factors and the emotional state that could trigger an asthma attack.
When an asthma attack begins, look in the diary and find out which factor or combination of factors preceded the attack. Some asthma pathogens are not always obvious, for example, waste products of ticks or cockroaches. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of being tested for an allergic reaction or radio allergic test to determine the allergens to which the body may be particularly sensitive. Then you can minimize contact with similar pathogens.
If you have asthma stress or plan to exercise heavily, or workout in cold air, in a very humid room or, on the contrary, in a very dry one, then follow the advice of your doctor and prescribed treatment (an inhaler with albuterol is usually used).
Dust Mite Prevention
For the prevention of asthma and allergies, if you are allergic to dust mites, try the following:
- Pack pillows, mattresses, and spring mesh beds in hypo-allergenic covers with zippers.
- Wash bedding in hot water once a week.
- Do not allow smoking in your home.
- When you clean, vacuum or paint, wear gloves and a face mask – so dust and chemical odors will have less effect on the mucous membranes.
- Vacuum twice a week.
- It is better to get rid of rugs to reduce the amount of dust and moisture. If this cannot be done, they should be washable.
- If possible, the floor should be made of hardwood, but not with carpet. If it is impossible to get rid of the carpet, then you need to choose the material with the smallest pile.
- Try to avoid dust collectors – Venetian dark curtains and long draperies. Replace the old curtains with blinds or simple curtains.
- Best of all – the lack of carpets. If you can’t get rid of carpet, try vacuuming more often using multi-layer hypo-allergenic dust bags. When vacuuming, put a mask on your face. If your child has asthma, try not to vacuum in his presence. The stores sell tools that destroy dust mites.
- Better to avoid curtains and draperies. Multiple drapes and shuttlecocks should be replaced with simple curtains. Wash them in hot water every 2-4 weeks.
- As often as possible, wipe all surfaces in the house with a damp cloth, including lamps and window sills.
- Keep the house tidy. Toys and books should be stored in lockers, drawers or closets.
- Replace traditional soft toys with washable ones.
- All clothing should be stored in cabinets. Cabinets must always be closed.
- Ventilated openings should be covered with filters or gauze. As they become contaminated, they need to be changed.
- Pillows and mattresses should not contain fluff.
- Try to control the level of humidity (25% -50%) in the house. Use air dryers.
- Regularly change filters in heaters and air conditioners.
Mold and Fungi
If you have asthma and mold allergies, then try the following:
- Ventilate wet rooms often. Use an air dryer to maintain a humidity of no more than 25% -50%.
- When possible, use air conditioners.
- Clean the bathroom regularly using cleaning products that prevent mold and mildew. Use exhaust hood to remove steam. Never carpet the bathroom.
- Do not keep flowers in the bathroom.
- Avoid sources of external mold such as wet leaves or garden debris.
- Remove visible mold with a solution containing 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent.
- Washable curtains and tiles in the bathroom should be cleaned with a solution of a means that kills mold and fungus.
- Avoid areas where mold can accumulate, including basements, garages, cellars, sheds and compost heaps. Let someone else do their cleaning.
- Before putting clothes and shoes (in the house) in the closet, dry them thoroughly (if it is wet).
- Remove wet laundry from the washing machine in time. Do not leave wet laundry in the car, as this contributes to the rapid growth of mold.
- Do not plant large amounts of household plants, as the soil is a source of mold and fungus.
- It is better not to store firewood in the house.
- Try to avoid work associated with raking leaves, hay or mulch (if you are allergic to mold).
Very often in houses and apartments there are cockroaches and other insects.
Some people with asthma may be allergic to the protein contained in the waste products of insects. To control the presence of an allergen at home:
- Use traps for cockroaches.
- You can use insect sprays. But splashing is only when no one is home. Make sure that after spraying the room or apartment is ventilated for several hours before your arrival or the arrival of your child.
- Since cockroaches live in high humidity, so try to remove the remaining water in the apartment, especially in the kitchen and in the bathroom.
- Store food in containers with a lid, wipe the plates before meals and sweep the floor after meals (so that there are no crumbs left).
What allergies provoke asthma?
Inhaled allergens. The most dangerous allergens for people with allergic asthma are inhaled along with the air. Hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs when the allergen comes into contact with a substance to which the person’s body is acutely reacting. Common inhaled allergens:
- Animal hair (skin, saliva)
- Waste products of cockroaches
- Mold, fungus
Doctors recommend that all people with allergies and asthma, first identify allergens that cause exacerbation of asthma symptoms.
Food allergies rarely cause asthma, but can be potentially life-threatening.
The most common food allergens:
- Cow’s milk
- A fish
- Shrimp and other seafood
- Salad and fresh fruit
Canned foods can also cause an asthma attack.
Additives such as sodium hydrosulfate, potassium bisulfate, sodium metabisulfite, sodium hydrosulfate monohydrate, are often used in the processing or preparation of products and are found in such products:
- Dried fruits or dried vegetables
- Potatoes (packaged cake mix)
- Wine and beer
- Lime or lemon juice in bottles
- Shrimp (fresh, frozen or ready)
- Marinated products
Most people with food allergies can experience symptoms such as rashes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have an allergy that affects asthma exacerbation, then you will most likely encounter these asthma symptoms, which, in addition, will be accompanied by coughing and wheezing. If nothing is done in time, anaphylaxis can occur – laryngeal swelling, which limits the free circulation of oxygen through the respiratory tract.