Avoiding known allergens and respiratory irritants can substantially reduce asthma symptoms. There are a number of ways to cut down exposure to the common allergens and irritants that provoke asthmatic attacks, or to avoid them altogether. The most common indoor allergens are house dust mites, feathers, cockroaches, and animal dander. Anything that can be done to reduce exposure to these allergens may reduce the number or severity of attacks. Exposure to house dust mites can bereduced by removing wall-to-wall carpets and using air conditioning to keep the relative humidity low in the summer. Also, special pillow and mattress covers can help reduce exposure to these dust mites. Cats and dogs must be removed to significantly decrease animal dander.Irritating fumes such as cigarette smoke should also be avoided. In some people with asthma, aspirin and other nonsteroidalanti-inflammatory drugs trigger attacks. Tartrazine, a yellow coloring used in some drug tablets and food, may also bring on an attack. Sulfites—commonly added to foods as a preservative—may trigger attacks after a susceptible person eats a certain food or drinks beer or red wine.For outdoor activity in cold weather, the person with asthma can wear a ski mask or scarf that covers the nose and mouth to help keep the air being breathed in warm and moist. Camping and hiking trips should not be scheduled during times of high pollen count (in the Northern states, May and June for grass pollen and mid-August to October for ragweed). Patients who are allergic to mold should avoid barns, hay, raking leaves, and mowing grass. Exposure to automobile fumes may worsen asthma. Fungi in car air conditioners can also be a problem.
Post Edited By Moderator (Red_34) : 10/4/2008 6:20:32 AM (GMT-6)