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Asthma doesn’t just happen. For the most part, many people live with asthma, unbeknown to the world until something triggers a reaction. Often times they reach for a rescue inhaler, sometimes an attack comes on so fierce they’re forced into the triage unit of the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Knowing and avoiding your own triggers can be an important step in the journey of living with and dealing with asthma.
A trigger is something that inflames airways, leading to asthma symptoms. But triggers vary from person to person. Many different things lead to inflammation including mold, pollen, air pollutants (smog) even viruses. Mold is often found where it’s damp, in sitting water, or near garbage containers. Pollen is produced by trees, grass, and weeds especially during the warmer weather months. Smog and atmospheric viruses are produced inside the body and is something you should verify and monitor with your doctor depending on where you live.
Other things, less often associated maybe in your own sphere with being inflammatory include dust mites, cockroaches, and animals such as dogs or cats with shedding fur. Dust mites are common problem for people with asthma. Dust mites are tiny, spider-like creatures whose body parts and excretions elicit powerful reaction from asthmatics. Dust mites congregate in soft-surfaced places and feed off shed human skin often found in bedding, pillows, sofas, and carpeting. Cockroaches, not only one of the most reviled pests of all time, also give asthmatics trouble. Their feces and presence incites symptoms.
Something less provocative but no less dangerous for people living with asthma are symptom triggers. These are things that don’t usually cause the inflammation that lead to full blown attacks, but can incite clogged airways, not helping the already inflamed passageways. These include things such as smoke, intense cold, other various air pollutants, or chemical fumes. Also instigating are things like exercise, perfumes or other strong smelling substances, or even intense emotions.
How to live when so much of what causes your suffering is all around in the world that you live?
Carefully: Don’t ever stray too far from medical attention or from a person who could get you there and knows what symptoms to look for. Always remember to carry ventelin or albuterol or whatever steroid it is you use, and always keep a spare on hand in the event you run out.
Judiciously: Judge all tasks not based on how much you want to do them, but how difficult it will be to complete. Overnight solo mountain climbing, for instance, might be negated in lieu of morning group nature hikes. Decathlon is something you’ll probably never compete in; why not participate in a charity walk?
Conservatively: It’s important to think of yourself first and never let your ambitions get out of step with your abilities.
Unfortunately for people with asthma they’re born with something most of us can’t even begin to understand as something like breathing is so often taken for granted. But as long as you communicate with those close to you and take steps to live your life as far away from inhibitors as possible, you should be on track for an otherwise long, healthy life.