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Health Information For Teens
You want to feel good in your own home, right? If you have asthma, you can take steps to remove or minimize triggers at home. That way, they’re not as likely to cause breathing problems and asthma flare-ups.
Triggers are the things — like pollen, mold, dust mites, and cigarette smoke — that can make your asthma symptoms worse. They can cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
People with asthma always have some swelling or irritation in their airways. Coming in contact with triggers can make this problem worse.
Because triggers are different for each person, you’ll work with your doctor to figure out yours. If you think an allergy is triggering your asthma, talk to your doctor about getting allergy testing to find out what you’re allergic to.
Once you know what’s making your asthma worse, you can work to get rid of that stuff at home. What you need to do depends on your triggers. It may take some time to figure out all your triggers and what to do about them.
The air in your house could contain irritants like tobacco or wood smoke, perfumes, aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and fumes from paint or cooking gas. All of these can trigger asthma flare-ups. Even scented candles are triggers for some people with asthma.
Air pollution, outdoor mold, and pollen are common triggers that can travel inside, especially if you leave your windows and doors open in warmer weather.
To improve your air quality at home:
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live in dust. There are lots of them in upholstered furniture, on some kinds of bedding, and in rugs. The highest number of dust mites in the home is usually found in bedrooms.
You can’t completely get rid of dust mites. But these tips can reduce your contact with them:
Molds are microscopic living things that are kind of like plants. They can grow on many surfaces and do especially well in damp places like bathrooms and basements. Molds reproduce by sending spores into the air. When people with asthma breathe these in, it can trigger breathing problems.
The key to controlling mold in your home is keeping things as dry as possible:
Animal allergies are caused by a specific protein found in the animal’s dander, saliva, urine, or feathers. Animal hair itself does not cause allergies, but it can collect dust mites, pollen, and mold. The droppings of animals that live in cages (like birds or gerbils) can attract mold and dust.
If you have a pet and you’re allergic to it, your best bet might be to find it a good home somewhere else. Of course, that’s not always possible. In that case, try these tips:
Fish aren’t as cuddly as puppies and kittens, but they’re OK pets for people with asthma.
Pets aren’t the only allergy-causing creatures at home: Cockroaches are a major asthma trigger that can be hard to avoid in apartments. If cockroaches are a trigger:
Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma.
Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Learn all about asthma here.
Find out what can make your asthma worse, and what to do about it.
Two different types of medicines are used to treat asthma: long-term control medicines and quick-relief medicines. Read about how they work, and why people might need to take them.
Asthma flare-ups, or attacks, can be handled, but it’s even better if you can prevent them from happening. Find out how to deal with flare-ups.
Asthma is more common these days than it used to be. The good news is it’s also a lot easier to manage and control.
If you have asthma, you’re more likely to be allergic to a pet than someone who doesn’t have asthma. Find out what you can do.
Find out if allergies can make a person’s asthma symptoms worse.
Find out why smoking is a bad idea – especially for people with asthma.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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