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Controlling Asthma Triggers


How can I decrease my exposure to pollens?

Pollens are difficult to avoid, as they cannot be eliminated from the atmosphere. You can lessen your or your child's exposure to these by following these guidelines:

  1. Pollen counts are highest early in the morning, especially on warm, dry days. Limit your or your child's outdoor activities during these times.
  2. Keep windows closed during pollen seasons.
  3. Use air conditioning if possible.

How do I protect myself against asthma triggers from pets?

  1. It is best not to own any pets if you or your child is highly allergic. Definitely avoid pets that have been shown to cause allergies in your child.
  2. Long visits to friends and family who own pets should be avoided. If you do visit, make sure you or your child takes asthma medicines before the visit. Exposure to the pets should be kept to a minimum when visiting.
  3. If you must have a cat or dog in the home, restrict its living area. It should not be allowed in your or your child's bedroom at any time. If possible, keep the pet outside.
  4. Wash the animal weekly.
  5. Remove as much carpeting as possible. Animal dander deposits in the carpeting and stays there, even after the pet is gone from the home.

How do I avoid irritants in the air?

  1. Avoid using aerosol sprays, paint, and cleaning agents with heavy odors when you are in the home. Make sure your home has proper ventilation. Wear a mask or handkerchief over your mouth when cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, or working in the yard.
  2. Do not use perfumes, scented lotions, or other highly scented products that may irritate your lungs.
  3. Avoid wood smoke.
  4. If you live in an area where air pollution is a problem, limit outdoor activities when the pollution counts are high.
  5. Use an exhaust fan when cooking to remove smoke and odors.

How can I protect my child from secondhand tobacco smoke?

If your child has childhood asthma, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your child from secondhand tobacco smoke:

  1. If you smoke, quit -- if not for yourself, for your child. If your spouse or other family members smoke, help them understand the dangers of smoking and encourage them to quit.
  2. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home, car, or while having extended contact with your child.
  3. Choose smoke-free places to go with your family. Avoid restaurants and public areas that allow smoking.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on February 14, 2014
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