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Overview

The best way to avoid an asthma attack is to avoid the triggers that can spark one in the first place.

For some people, that can mean limiting time outdoors when pollen counts are high. For others, it can mean avoiding close contact with cats or cigarette smoke or the fumes from certain household cleaners.

Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your asthma so that you don’t have to live in fear of an attack. They can work with you to identify your triggers and recommend ways to avoid them. They can also provide treatment options, including medications that control or eliminate your asthma symptoms.

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Identify Your Triggers

A trigger is something that causes a reaction in your body. In the case of asthma, these triggers can cause your air passages to narrow, making it difficult to breathe.

Here are some common asthma triggers:

  • Outdoor allergens, such as pollen from grass, trees and weeds
  • Indoor allergens, such as pet danderdust mites and mold
  • Irritants in the air, such as smoke, chemical fumes and strong odors
  • Colds, the flu or other illnesses
  • Exercise (although people with asthma can benefit from some exercise)
  • Weather conditions, such as cold air or extremely dry, wet or windy weather
  • Certain drugs
  • Stress

If you think you’ve been exposed to a trigger and that you may be in danger of an asthma attack, it’s important to stay calm. Quick-relief medications, such as your rescue inhaler, can stop asthma symptoms.

Make a Plan

You don’t have to face your asthma alone. An allergist can be a valuable partner in managing your condition and preventing asthma attacks.

Together, you can make a plan and identify which treatments work best for you. There are a variety of long-term and quick-relief asthma medications available, and in many cases, they work best in combination. Your allergist can help customize a plan that will work for you and then monitor the results to ensure your medications are working effectively.

Once you have a treatment plan in place, it’s important to stick with it, even if you’re not experiencing symptoms. Make your medication part of your daily routine, and be sure to refill prescriptions on time.

Sticking to this plan is one of the best ways to avoid an asthma attack.

Recognize Warning Signs

Do you find yourself relying more and more on your rescue inhaler? Do you have a cough that seems to be getting worse? Are you waking up at night with shortness of breath?

These all can be potential warning signs of an asthma attack. Another potential warning sign is an upper respiratory infection. Viral infections can often progress to the chest, bringing on asthma symptoms.

If you are concerned that an attack could be coming on, consult the plan that you and your allergist created. Use your rescue inhaler as necessary and make sure to keep it with you. If your symptoms persist, consult your allergist.