Asthma: Minimising Exposure To Allergens Will Reduce Triggers – Study

By Chioma Umeha

With increasing pollution levels in the country and dust particles in the environment, it is no secret that the number of people suffering from asthma is rapidly increasing, especially in urban areas.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) there are millions of asthmatics present worldwide. Not just asthma, the increasing air pollution is also adding to the people complaining of breathlessness, unexplained coughing, tightening in the chest and wheezing.
Asthma is a chronic breathing condition where your airways, or bronchial tubes become inflamed and narrow and thus, make it difficult for you to breathe. The difficulty for the air to move in and out of lungs triggers symptoms like coughing, shortness of breathe, tightening of chest and wheezing. The symptoms are also triggered in response to some kind of allergens like dust, cigarette smoke, pollution, infection, pollens or hypersensitivity.
Due to plenty of allergens in the atmosphere, a sensitive person can get an attack due to any of these allergens. It’s not possible to eliminate all the allergens from the atmosphere, so one must be very careful of his surroundings and try to minimize the exposure to such triggers.
People suffering from asthma must keep a record of allergens that trigger their condition, but if they don’t know, it is always better to avoid some of the most common type of allergens. Some allergens and condition including, physical activity for an extended period of time which might lead to shortness of breath. Others are; dust, mites, spores, pollen dust, cockroach feces, common cold and infections; cold and humid air; smoke and fog.
The rest are: Stress and anxiety; medication that may trigger the condition and pollution from vehicles.
Though asthma needs medical attention, there are certain lifestyle changes that can cut down your risk of aggravating the condition, i.e. asthma attack. Following are certain changes, which can help manage Asthma in a better way. These can be adopted to minimize or even eliminate the symptoms of the disease.
Stay away from pets: Animal fur, waste and urine are common allergens which can cause respiratory problems and lead to coughing and sneezing which can be a trouble for asthmatic patients. Keep your pets away from your bedroom and keeping them well-groomed and washed can help in minimizing the problem.
Use air purifier/AC with air filters: Using air purifier and air conditioners with filter will help to clean the indoor air and control allergens from entering your house. Air conditioner also minimizes humidity in the house. If your house is very humid, you can use a dehumidifier to make it better.
Use mask while travelling and cleaning: When you travel, there are a lot of allergens around you. So, to keep them at bay, use a pollution mask.
Clean your room and decor frequently: You should clean and sanitize your room and its decor frequently to avoid any dust build-up on them. Try to frequently replace your pillow covers, mattress, carpet and curtains as these items are the ones which contain most of the dust. Ensure no molds and fungal deposit are there inside the house. Stuffed toys and bedding should be washed in hot water every alternate day.
Don’t use heavy fragrances and perfumes: Using very hard perfumes and fragrances is not a good idea for asthmatics. So, use mild and liter ones.
Make a list of eatables that trigger your asthmatic condition: Avoid food products which are known to trigger Asthma. Eatables like shelfish, cow milk, soy, peanuts, eggs and wheat may be allergens for some people. You need to identify yours and keep a track of which food triggers your condition.
Stay healthy: Do regular exercise, yoga and have a healthy diet. This will strengthen your heart and lungs and make your body more resistant to asthmatic attacks. A healthy and wholesome diet containing Vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium, and selenium reduces the risk of asthma and boosts immunity.