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Asthma Prevention When You Have Allergies

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Preventing Insects

Many homes and apartments have cockroaches and other insects. Some people with asthma are allergic to a protein in their droppings. To prevent an allergic asthma reaction, try the following steps to control insects in your home:

  • Use roach baits or traps.
  • Insect sprays can be used but should only be sprayed when no one is at home. Before you or your child returns home after spraying, make sure that your home has been aired out for a couple of hours.
  • Because cockroaches survive in high-humid environments, fix water leaks in and around your home.
  • Cover food in lid containers and clean dishes after eating and sweep floors after you have eaten.

Pollen Prevention

Pollen is a tiny egg-shaped cell from flowering plants. Pollen is difficult to avoid because they cannot be eliminated from the atmosphere. Plants have different periods of pollination, which varies little from year to year. Yet, the type of weather affects the amount of pollen in the air, with hot, dry, and windy weather causing more pollen in the air. In general, pollen season lasts from February to October.

For asthma prevention with allergies, try to reduce your or your child's exposure to pollen:

  • Limit outdoor activities during times of high pollen, such as early morning.
  • Stay indoors during humid or windy days when pollen counts are high.
  • Keep windows closed during pollen seasons.
  • Use air conditioning if possible.  
  • Minimize walks in wooded areas or gardens.
  • Check the forecast. Stay indoors as much as possible on hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are generally the highest.
  • If possible, stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when outdoor pollen counts are usually highest.
  • Wear a mask (such as an inexpensive painter's mask) when mowing the lawn if you are allergic to grass pollen or mold. Avoid mowing and being around freshly cut grass if possible.
  • Wear a mask when gardening, as flowers and some weeds release pollen and can cause allergy symptoms.
  • Take a shower after being outdoors. Also, wash your hair, and change your clothes to remove pollen that may have collected in your clothes and hair.
  • Avoid hanging clothes or linens out to dry, as pollen and molds may collect in them and can make your allergies worse.

Other Outdoor Tips

  • Try to avoid extreme temperature changes -- they are causes of asthma for some people with asthma.
  • To protect yourself from insect stings, wear shoes, long pants and sleeves, and do not wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products.

Pet Dander Prevention

To prevent asthma symptoms when you have pet allergies, try the following suggestions:

  • It is best not to own any pets if you or your child is highly allergic.
  • Long visits to friends and family who own pets should be avoided. If you do visit, make sure you or your child takes asthma or allergy medicines before the visit. Exposure to the pets should be kept to a minimum when visiting.
  • 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.
  • Wash your pet weekly.
  • Remove as much carpeting as possible. Animal dander deposits in the carpet and stays there, even after the pet is gone from the home.

For more detail, see WebMD's article on Allergies and Asthma.

WebMD Medical Reference

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