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Asthma / Allergies

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What is asthma?

Asthma is an illness that affects how you breathe. It causes the airways that carry air into and out of the lungs to become swollen and inflamed. When this happens you may have symptoms like coughing and wheezing. Asthma does not have a cure, but it can be controlled.


What are asthma triggers?

Asthma triggers may make asthma symptoms feel worse. They may also cause an asthma attack. Stay away from triggers to help control asthma.

Common asthma triggers may include:

  • Dust and dust mites
  • Furry and feathered animals like cats, dogs, and birds
  • Colds or flu
  • Breathing infections
  • Mold and mildew
  • Pests like cockroaches and mice
  • Strong smells like perfumes, sprays, and cleaning products
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollen from trees, grass, plants, and flowers
  • Change in weather
  • Air pollution
  • Food allergies
  • Exercise

> Environmental Triggers


Can asthma be controlled?

Yes, asthma can be controlled. Controlling asthma can be as easy as 1, 2, and 3.

  1. Plan for control
  • See your doctor often and keep all appointments.
  • Do this even if you don’t feel sick.
  • Have your doctor write down an asthma action plan for you to take home.
  1. Avoid triggers
  • Know your asthma triggers.
  • Take action to avoid or reduce them.
  1. Discuss your needs
  • Find out what equipment, services, and medications are covered for asthma.

Asthma Resources:


Allergies

How Do Allergies Affect Asthma?

Asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or tightness in the chest are often triggered by an allergic reaction. Asthma symptoms can be triggered by inhaled allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold, resulting in a full-blown asthma attack. Good allergic asthma treatment is based on the results of your allergy tests, your medical history, and the severity of your symptoms.


Avoiding Your Allergens

The best way to prevent attacks and reduce your need for medicine is to avoid your allergens as much as possible and to eliminate the source of allergens from your home and other environments. 

For more information, talk to your doctor or visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.


Medication

Some people don’t take allergy medicines because they don’t take their allergies seriously. If you have asthma, talk to your doctor about taking allergy medications. There are many safe prescription and non-prescription medicines available to relieve allergy symptoms.

Last update 2013-10-03 22:07
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