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Allergies and Asthma Prevention

If you have allergies and asthma, it’s important to minimize your exposure to allergens (substances to which you are allergic). Allergen exposure can temporarily increase the inflammation of the airways in a person with asthma, making them more susceptible to an asthma attack. Avoiding or minimizing contact with the allergen can help prevent an asthma attack.

Avoid Smoke to Prevent Asthma

Smoke and asthma are a bad mix. Minimize exposure to all sources of smoke, including tobacco, incense, candles, fires, and fireworks. Do not allow smoking in your home or car, and avoid public places that permit smoking. If you smoke cigarettes, get help to quit successfully. Smoking always makes asthma worse.

Avoid Colds to Prevent Asthma

Do what you can to stay well. Avoid close contact with people who have a cold or the flu, because your asthma symptoms may worsen if you catch the infection from them. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching items that may have been handled by others with a respiratory infection.

For more detail, see WebMD’s article Asthma Prevention When You Have Allergies.

Allergy-Proof Your Environment for Asthma Prevention

Whether you’re at home, work, or traveling, there are specific measures you can take to allergy-proof your environment and reduce the risk of having asthma. For example, avoid eating in restaurants that are smoky or allow cigarette smoking. Call ahead when traveling and ask for a smoke-free hotel room. And bring your own bedding and pillows in case the hotel only supplies feather pillows and down comforters, which may harbor dust mites and cause asthma symptoms.

 

Get a Flu Vaccine for Asthma Prevention

Get a flu shot every year to protect against the flu virus, which almost always makes asthma much worse for days to weeks. People with asthma are more likely to have complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, and are more likely to be hospitalized because of the flu. Also, those over age 19 should get a pneumonia shot (called Pneumovax) once every five to 10 years. People with asthma are about twice as likely as others to get pneumococcal pneumonia, a common type of bacterial pneumonia.

 

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