Asthma and allergy are common health problems that affect millions of people, whether they have respiratory problems or not. If you have either of these conditions, you know how serious they can be. For example, one of the most common asthma triggers is pet dander (the dead skin cells from pets). Even if you’re not allergic to your cat or dog, just walking into the house after they’ve been inside all day can start an asthma attack.
This guide will go over some other common asthma and allergy triggers that you may need to watch out for in order to ensure the best quality of life possible.
Dander is a type of dust that is formed when skin cells, hair, or animal fur become airborne. For people with asthma or allergies, it can be very hard to tolerate this type of allergen. Pets will contribute dander to the environment as they shed hair, claws, toenails, or saliva-containing dander particles. They might also track in the dirt on their paws or emit dandruff from their skin – all triggers for asthma attacks. Here are the top four pet-related asthma triggers:
Dust, mold, cockroaches, and house dust mites – all are known to cause allergies. Some asthma triggers include an excessively high level of ozone, secondhand smoke, cold air, or pollen. Identifying the specific environmental trigger is crucial in treating both asthma and allergies. If you suffer from an allergy or asthma attack often take your child with you on any scheduled doctor visits so they can identify triggers as well.
Allergies are hypersensitive reactions to a foreign substance. Dust mites are one of the most common triggers for people with allergies or asthma. They excrete proteins that can cause people to suffer from severe reactions. To avoid exposure, you should seal off areas where dust mites live such as bedding, couches, and stuffed animals. You may also want to consider keeping your pets outside because they carry a high level of dander which will aggravate an allergy.
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Pollen allergies, more commonly referred to as hay fever, is caused by airborne allergens that are carried by flower pollen and the air. Examples of pollen allergies include birch pollen, cat pollen, grass pollen, and oak pollen. The United States is covered by a range of regional allergens like this so it’s not uncommon for anyone living in the US to have an allergy or two.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes recurring episodes of wheezing and breathlessness due to spasms in the airways. Asthma can be fatal if untreated so people with asthma have to take medicine like albuterol on a regular basis or use an inhaler for emergency situations where breathing has become restricted.
Mold allergies are on the rise. They’re triggered by molds that grow in damp, dark places. One of the reasons they’ve become so common is that we have more mold spores floating around these days. This is because of increased travel to humid climates, greater use of building insulation made from fiberglass or cellulose-containing mold spores, recent floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters which can bring extensive mold contamination into our homes.
These environmental changes have also changed where we build our homes — for example, people who used to live in regions with less risk for flooding now live closer to a river or coastal area. People who used to live at higher altitudes now live at lower elevations where there’s more mold growth due to rainier weather patterns.
Several types of pollutants in the air we breathe can cause asthma or allergies, including smoke from fires. Smoke irritates your lungs and can create breathing problems in children or adults who have asthma. Exposure to things like pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold, cockroaches, fleas, household cleaners, weed killers, chemical cleaners and more can also trigger asthma attacks or allergies.
As a result of these triggers, our bodies overreact to certain substances by producing histamine which causes inflammation in our airways. Pollution is often a leading cause of asthma as well as other respiratory issues.
Common asthma and allergy triggers include things like smoking, air pollution, cockroaches, molds, and certain types of food or plants that produce too much pollen, perfumes/dyes, and dust mites. Symptoms of allergies can vary from one person to the next so it’s important to take note of your own personal triggers.
If you’re not sure what they are start with keeping a journal of when you experience symptoms like irritation in your nose or eyes (as well as other parts of your body), watery eyes, coughing up mucus, or any trouble breathing. Once you pinpoint some triggers avoid them for a week or two to see if your symptoms improve. Be mindful that this is easier said than done since there are so many allergens out there in the world we live in.
Cold Weather & Cold Air
Asthma can be triggered by all kinds of things, including pollen, cold air, and even exercise. But there are also lots of other triggers that may surprise you! For example, a latex allergy may produce asthma symptoms. Atopic dermatitis – eczema – can also be an asthma trigger. Cold weather and cold air don’t typically cause an asthmatic reaction in themselves.
In fact, most people with asthma will tell you they’re actually less sensitive to cold weather than most people who don’t have it at all. One problem that many people with asthma find during the winter months is shortness of breath while walking outside when the weather changes from hot to cold because their chest muscles start working too hard.
One of the best ways to prevent your asthma or allergy symptoms from returning is by exercising. Exercise helps strengthen your lungs and airways, as well as provides a sense of calmness. You can help to reduce or eliminate your asthma or allergy triggers with these exercises:
Deep breathing: Deep breathing has many benefits for people with asthma, including reducing anxiety, improving relaxation techniques, and regulating breathing patterns. It also allows for better control over those who have suffered from panic attacks and high blood pressure episodes. Deep breathing can help to bring about the release of endorphins (painkilling hormones) which will improve mood.
Eating Alcoholic Drinks & Smoking Cigarettes
- Drinking alcohol can aggravate your asthma if it is caused by your sensitivity to a particular substance such as acetaldehyde, which is released when you drink. Acetaldehyde is also found in cigarettes so having an allergy to one can predispose you to develop an allergy to the other.
- Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, trouble breathing deeply or easily, the inability to catch one’s breath, or a lack of energy (exertional fatigue).
- If you experience any of these symptoms while drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes it may be indicative that either has aggravated your asthma condition.
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