Asthma is a chronic condition in which a flare up, or attack, causes a person’s airways to swell, constrict, and fill with mucus. This causes difficulty breathing, often accompanied by wheezing, coughing, and pain in the chest and/or throat. People have a variety of triggers for asthma attacks. Medical scientists are not certain at this point in time what causes an individual to develop asthma. It appears that there is no surefire way to prevent the condition itself. However, there are steps an asthma patient may take to prevent an asthma attack.
Working with your doctor to form an asthma action plan is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent asthma attacks. This involves planning medication usage, identifying your triggers, and determining how to respond in the event of an attack. Additional steps to preventing asthma attacks may include:
Remaining up-to-date on vaccinations – Respiratory illness, such as the flu, pneumonia, and pertussis may trigger asthma attacks. Vaccinations go a long way towards preventing these illnesses and therefore prevent a multitude of potential complications.
Identify and avoid triggers – Something that triggers asthma attacks in one patient may have no impact in another patient. Keeping a log of your food, environment, and activities on days in which you’ve had an asthma attack may help you determine triggers so you can avoid them in the future.
Learn to identify asthma attacks early – Recognizing the symptoms of an oncoming asthma attack allows for early treatment. The earlier treatment is initiated, the less likely it is that you’ll have a severe attack, the less medication you’ll need to control symptoms, and the more quickly you will recover.
Avoid smoke – Tobacco use is unhealthy and has been proven to cause numerous serious problems, and naturally inhaling a carcinogenic irritant has potential to aggravate asthma. However, all forms of smoke carry this potential. Incense, candles, campfires, and fireworks all have the potential to aggravate asthma.