8 Ways to Prevent an Asthma Attack

Asthma attacks are never fun, and sometimes they can be downright scary. Fortunately, though, asthma can be managed, although it can’t be cured. These eight tips can help you avoid having asthma attacks.

1. Know what your asthma triggers are.

Asthma triggers can vary from person to person. Think about which factors tend to cause your attacks – for instance, pet dander or cold temperatures might leave you wheezing more often than not. If you’re not sure what triggers your asthma attacks, keep a log of where and when your asthma flares up, and look for patterns. Avoid your triggers as much as possible.

2. Keep seasonal allergies under control.

For many people, spring and fall allergies can cause or exacerbate asthma attacks. If you have allergies, talk to your doctor about which allergy medicine is appropriate for you. If pollen counts are especially high, stay inside and keep your windows shut.

3. Improve the air you breathe at home.

Allergens like pollen and mold might be lurking in your house. Invest in a good air filtration system to get rid of potential irritants in the air you breathe. A humidifier can also help you breathe better at home, but be sure to clean it on a regular basis – if your humidifier starts to grow mold, it will make your asthma worse. Other ideas for improving your air quality at home include getting rid of houseplants, keeping pets out of bedrooms, and washing your bedding frequently.

4. Stay away from secondhand smoke.

Tobacco smoke is bad for your lungs, even if you aren’t actually the one smoking. Secondhand smoke can irritate your airways and cause an asthma attack, so avoid it whenever you can. Ask people not to smoke in your house, and if you notice someone smoking near you in public, move to a different location.

5. Check your lung function regularly.

Use a peak flow meter to test your lung function on a daily basis. Know what’s normal for you – it may help you to keep a log or chart of your readings. If you notice your peak flow measurements decreasing over time, call your doctor, as this could signal an impending asthma attack.

6. Avoid temperature swings when possible.

Temperature changes can cause inflammation in your airways just like pollen and other irritants can. That’s why cold, harsh temperatures and hot, humid air can trigger asthma attacks outside of allergy season. Stay in a temperature-controlled environment as much as possible, especially when you’re exercising.

7. Avoid getting too stressed out.

Your state of mind has a lot to do with your physical health, and if your stress levels climb too high, they could lead to an asthma attack. To prevent this from happening, don’t take on more work than you can handle, and make regular time for yourself. Set aside half an hour every day or an afternoon every week to read a book, watch a show, or work on a hobby. Your mental health will benefit, and so will your lungs.

8. Keep your asthma medication on hand.

Sometimes an asthma attack catches you by surprise, even if you do all the right things to prevent it. If this does happen to you, make sure you’re prepared. Keep your inhaler or other asthma medications with you all the time, so you don’t have to worry about being unable to get relief if you need it.

Your asthma doesn’t have to stop you from living a full, healthy life. Keep these eight tips in mind to manage your asthma and prevent asthma attacks from catching you off guard.