About 25 million Americans deal with asthma. Asthma is a respiratory condition where the airways narrow due to excess mucus. Typical asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Asthma can be triggered by a number of things, including smoke, allergens, and even various fragrances.
Asthma sufferers oftentimes have allergies. In fact, the same allergens that trigger asthma attacks impact allergies. Allergic and non-allergic asthma symptoms are similar, being that the immune system reacts to the triggers the same way.
Once your immune system identifies a trigger, it releases immunoglobulin. Overproduction of this substance causes inflammation, resulting in swollen airways. Once swelling occurs, the risk of an asthma attack increases.
When you begin experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath or wheezing, you should visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Usually, they can perform this test with a skin or blood sample. Your healthcare provider will determine the severity of your allergies and if they’re triggering your asthma attacks.
Common Asthma-Triggering Allergens
There are a number of allergens that trigger asthma. For instance, asthma attacks can be triggered by mold. Mold forms in moist areas, including bathrooms, kitchens, and even bedrooms. In addition to mold, continuous exposure to pollen triggers allergic asthma. While they’re typically seasonal allergens, pollen particles can linger in your home’s air ducts year-round.
If you have asthma and have a pet allergy, being around pet dander, hair, and even saliva can trigger attacks. Even if you don’t have a pet, you may have traces of these allergens in your home. It’s also common for allergens like dust mites and cockroaches to trigger attacks. If you live in an urban area, these are popular allergens, especially in your home.
Although you cannot see dust mites, they feed on flakes of dead skin. They live in mattresses, cloth, carpets, and furniture. The feces, urine, and body parts of these pests can linger and cause both allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
Dealing with Asthma Allergy Symptoms at Home and on the Go
Asthma attacks are dangerous and even fatal in severe cases. It’s important to understand how to avoid triggers, both in your home and when you leave. The severity of your allergy-related asthma determines the lengths you must go to avoid allergens.
Avoid going outdoors on highly pollinated days
There are days when seasonal allergens are everywhere. If your asthma attacks are triggered by inhaling pollen, avoid going outside. This greatly minimizes your exposure risk. You should also make sure you close your windows in case pollen blows inside.
In hotter climates, you still must keep your windows closed. It’s wise to invest in an air conditioner to keep cool. Be sure to use a clean air filter to avoid circulating allergens through your cooling system.
Garden with caution
If you must maintain your garden or landscaping, make sure you’re careful. Gardening can actually stir up outdoor allergens like pollen or mold, which you inhale as you work.
If possible, wear a mask. Masks lower your ability to inhale these allergens and make it difficult to impact your lungs and airways. Invest in masks with HEPA filters. These masks easily filter numerous outdoor allergens.
Keep pets out of your home and car
Once you find out your furry friend is the source of your attacks, you must remove them from your home. Even small traces of pet hair, urine, or dander can trigger a reaction months after pet removal. You should also avoid letting pets or their owners into your vehicle. These allergens can be tracked through your home when you finish driving.
If you or someone you’ve come in contact with has been around pets, clean up to the best of your ability to reduce allergen exposure risk. If you cannot get rid of pets in your home, at least keep them from your room. This way, your personal items won’t absorb pet allergens and trigger attacks.
Keep your home clean
While it may seem like a no-brainer, the cleanliness of your home also determines your exposure to allergens. Mold, cockroaches, and dust mites are common household allergens. Therefore, be sure to keep your home as dust-free as possible. The areas in your home with the most activity have larger amounts of dust and skin cells, so make sure you wipe your furniture at least once a week.
If you have wall-to-wall carpet and older cloth furniture, get rid of it if possible. If not, be sure to vacuum your carpet and furniture at least once a week. Also, change your bedding twice a week.
Make sure you clean up excess moisture and food around your bathroom and kitchen. Cockroaches can live off of minimal amounts of food particles and even oil stains. In severe cases, hire professional help.
Allergy-related asthma impacts your quality of life. Be sure to get a diagnosis as soon as you begin seeing symptoms, especially if you suffer from severe asthma attacks.
Schedule an Allergy Test or Diagnosis Today with Becker ENT
Constant allergies, ailments like asthma, and other issues can make your day-to-day life harder than it needs to be. While over-the-counter medications may help, they won’t work in long-term periods and only offer very temporary relief. An experienced allergist or ENT doctor would be able to get to the root cause and create a customized plan for your specific situation.
If you live in New Jersey or are in the Philadelphia area, look into Penn Medicine’s Becker ENT and Allergy program. These allergist experts in Central NJ specialize in finding allergen relief to help you live the comfortable life you deserve. Take control and tackle your allergy-related asthma symptoms immediately.
To learn more about Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and their wide range of services & treatments you can visit the following page: https://www.beckerentandallergy.com/allergist.