My new neighbor had to miss her final examinations this year due to asthama. Later did they realise that it was pollen allergy that triggered asthma.
Asthma has become a common ailment these days because of rampant air pollution and stressful lifestyle. The quality of the air we breathe, the change in climate and dust allergy can easily bring in an asthmatic flare up in some people.
Asthma attack causes breathing difficulty. This happens as your bronchial tubes get inflamed and contract, thereby narrowing down the air passages. You feel your chest tightening up and experience shortness of breath with a wheezing sound.
What triggers asthma flare ups?
There a number of potential triggers for mild to severe asthmatic attacks. By identifying and avoiding these triggering factors you can bring down the frequency of your asthmatic flare ups notably.
Look out for the following factors that may set off asthma:
- Cold and flu:
Cold and flu infection spreads through coughing and sneezing from an infected person. A cold takes 2-4 days while flu takes 3-4 weeks to recover. These infections can potentially trigger the asthma attack by causing inflammation of the air passages.
- Weather change:
The changing weather conditions, cold air, humid climate and thunderstorms often trigger asthma flare ups. Changes in temperature also aggravates asthma problem. Cold air is one of the most common reasons for asthma attacks in kids and adults alike.
Dust mites in your carpets, rugs, pillows and bedding may trigger asthma as well. It is very difficult to kill dust mites. Make sure you use vacuum cleaner to clear away dust from your beddings, carpets, pillows etc. and put them out in the sun often.
If you have indoor plants then they may trigger asthma attack due to allergy flare ups. This happens as they tend to form molds that may trigger asthma.
Indoor plants and garden areas may be a good thriving ground for pollens. Pollens are very fine particles. Insects and gusts of air may transport these allergens to your body through breath.
Pet/animal dander and cockroaches:
Pets or animals with hair or fur like a dog, cat, bird or even mice may shed miniscule skin flecks that may cause irritation and trigger an asthmatic flare up.
If you have cockroaches at home, then get pest control done. Their droppings may also trigger asthma flare up and you would have never guessed the real reason!
- Work environment:
If your office area is closed up and not well ventilated, has wood dust or smell of wood polish, wall paint fumes, chemicals etc. then your asthma flare up can set off easily.
- Cigarette smoke:
If you smoke or you are in a smoking zone like in a restaurant or a party, then the smoke can prompt an asthma flare up. Even smoke from a bushfire may trigger it.
6. Air pollution:
If you live, work or travel in an area where air pollution is high due to traffic or lack of greenery, then an asthma flare up can occur frequently.
- Strong smells:
Strong smells from flowers, mosquito repellents, incense sticks, varnish, paint, perfumed candles, deodorants or body perfumes can also trigger asthma.
Certain medicines can also trigger asthma attack like blood pressure or steroidal medicines etc. Always ask your doctor before taking medicines.
- Stress and emotional highs:
If you have not taken a vacation in a long time, you are working late nights or have to do heavy physical or mental work, then it results in extreme stress. It may trigger an asthmatic flare up. Emotional highs like anger or excitement can also trigger a flare up of asthma.
Exercising, jogging, swimming or running can also trigger asthmatic attack due to physical exertion. This happens because when you run or work out, then breathing becomes faster. This lets a lot of cold air enter your lungs in comparison to normal breath that is made warm by your nose.
- Hormonal imbalance:
Anytime you are experiencing hormonal ups and downs, asthma flare up can get triggered. For women menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause can trigger asthma in some cases. This is not very common though.
Kapha aggravating foods can also trigger an asthmatic attack. Avoid rice, curd, high salt, sugar, lentils, strong tea, alcohol, pickles, sauces, processed foods to lower the risk of asthma flare up. Processed foods contain preservatives like sulphite foods that may trigger asthma.
Find out the reasons that cause your asthma flare up. Keep yourself active despite asthma by avoiding these triggering factors.