Asthma in Teens and Adults - Prevention
Although there is no certain way to
asthma, you can reduce
airway inflammation and your risk of
The goal is to reduce the number, length, and severity of asthma attacks. Start by
your asthma triggers. Also be sure to:
- Get a flu vaccine every
year. Have your family members get one too.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. The vaccine may not prevent pneumonia, but it can prevent some of the serious complications of pneumonia.
- Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or other similar medicines if they increase your asthma symptoms. Think about using acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead. (Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome, a rare but serious problem.) Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Be alert to foods that may cause
asthma symptoms. Some people have symptoms after eating processed potatoes,
shrimp, nuts, and dried fruit, or after drinking beer or wine. These foods and
liquids contain sulfites, which may cause asthma symptoms.
- Asthma: Identifying Your Triggers
Irritants in the air
Common irritants in the air, such as tobacco smoke and air pollution, can trigger asthma attacks in some
people. They include:
- Some household cleaning products. If a cleaning product seems to trigger your asthma, stop using
it. Or use another product that doesn't cause symptoms.
- Air pollution. Consider
staying inside when air pollution levels are high. Avoid indoor irritants in the air
(such as fumes from gas, oil, or kerosene or wood-burning stoves). Or you may want to use an air filtration unit in your house to reduce the amount of dust and other pollutants.
- Tobacco smoke. If you have asthma, try
to avoid being around others who are smoking, and ask people not to smoke in
your house. This helps children, too, since exposing
young children to secondhand tobacco smoke makes them more likely to get asthma.
Exercise is an asthma trigger for some people. If you often have asthma attacks when you
exercise, use your inhaler 10 to 30 minutes before you start the activity so you can
avoid an attack.
Avoid exercising outdoors in cold weather. If you are outdoors in cold weather, wear a scarf around your
face and breathe through your nose.