If you’ve noticed a sudden uptick in your asthma symptoms, don’t just assume that it’s a part of the condition. There are many things that can affect asthma frequency and severity.
Selina Gierer is an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Hospital. She says that lifestyle and environment can have a big impact on whether your symptoms are controlled or not. Her advice is to avoid bad habits that are sabotaging your attempts to control the condition. This is what she recommends.
Stop Wearing Shoes In The House
The bottom of your shoes can be a magnet for all sorts of particles that can make your asthma symptoms worse. They’re a magnet for pollen, dust, and mold. And all of these can cause an inflammatory reaction. This, in turn, can affect your ability to breathe and worsen asthma symptoms.
Gierer’s advice is to leave your shoes on the porch, outside your front door. She suggests keeping shoes in a separate place, well away from your living areas. She also recommends that suffers go for a shower after they’ve been outside. A shower will help to remove mold spores and pollen from the surface of their body.
Driving With The Windows Down
Perhaps the worst place for an asthma sufferer to be is outside in the middle of the pollen season. But this is precisely what happens when you drive your car down the road on a summer’s day with the windows open. Pollen and other irritants pour in through the windows without any barrier. You’ll be reaching for your Ventolin inhaler for asthma in no time.
The good news is that all modern cars come with filters. These filters are designed to capture incoming particles, including pollen. They won’t be able to stop all particles from getting into your car. But they can do a lot to keep the car’s air quality high.
On a final note, it’s probably not a good idea to leave the window open on a chilly day either. Drivers often do this to keep themselves awake on long journeys. But cold air coming in through the windows is a surefire way to induce bronchial spasms. These, in turn, can lead to a full-blown asthma attack.
Using Pain Relievers With An Anti-Inflammatory
Gierer notes that some people taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers can get into trouble. Medications, like aspirin and paracetamol, can, in some people, cause airways to become irritated. This irritation then leads to inflammation, which can cause them to close. Doctors right now don’t know why it happens. But if you’ve been noticing an increase in asthma recently, take note of your painkiller use. Have you been using more than usual? And have you noticed a worsening of your asthma symptoms over the same time period? Be sure to check.
You’ve Started Burning Scented Candles
Scented candles are bad news, period, when it comes to your health. They might smell nice and look pretty. But they contain chemicals that are highly damaging to your health.
When it comes to asthma, they’re also bad news. Scented candles give off smoke and chemicals that can induce wheezing. The advice from Gierer is to lay off romantic props like candles to get you in the mood. She says invest your money in lingerie instead. Nothing kills the mood like an asthma attack.
You’ve Taken Up Swimming Lessons
Exercise is often seen as a good way to manage asthma symptoms. But could it be making your condition worse? According to the Cleveland Clinic, it certainly could. They that chlorinated swimming in pools increase the chances that people will develop asthma symptoms. This isn’t surprising since chlorine gas has been used as a chemical weapon that attacks the respiratory system.
There’s also the issue that pools are a magnet for spores and other nasty parasites that can cause irritation. Often asthma sufferers will notice a reddening around the eyes or itchy skin after leaving the pool. If you’re one of these people, then the best strategy may be to take up another type of exercise.
You Are Choosing The Wrong Cleaning Products
Gierer is damning of most household cleaning products when it comes to asthma. She says that any product with a strong odor or aerosol spray can have a damaging effect on asthmatics. Sprays lead to irritation and ultimately more coughing and wheezing.
Her advice is for people with asthma to ditch the commercial varieties of household cleaners and go au naturel instead. There are plenty of excellent cleaners out there that don’t rely on chemical sprays or artificial ingredients.