WEATHER: Limit outdoor activity when the weather is very hot/cold. To protect your lungs, wear a scarf over your mouth & nose in cold weather. When exercising, learn to breathe only through your nose, not your mouth. Your nares contain tiny hairs called cilia which trap allergense. Your nares also warm the air before it enters the airways whereas your mouth does not.
ILLNESS: Illness can make your lungs extra sensitive. Do what you can to stay healthy. Get yearly flu shots; wash your hands often, especially during flu season; stay away from people w/colds.
FOOD ADDITIVES: Check food labels for "sulfites," "metabisulfites," and "sulfur dioxide." Avoid foods such as wine, beer, or dried fruit that contain these additives if they trigger your asthma.
MEDICATIONS: If meds trigger your asthma, ask your MD for a list of meds to avoid. Check labels on over-the-counter meds and be aware that meds for colds & sinus problems often contain aspirin, a common trigger to a flare-up.
EMOTIONS & STRESS: Feeling upset, excited, or stressed may trigger asthma symptoms. The key is to relax & slow your breathing. One way to do this is w/pursed-lip breathing.
1. Relax your neck & shoulders.
2. Breathe in slowly through your nose for 2 counts.
3. Pucker your lips as if you were going to blow out a candle.
4. Breathe out slowly thorugh your lips for 4 counts.