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Don't Fall for Asthma Triggers
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, knowing indoor and outdoor air quality is highly important in fall — especially when someone in your family has asthma. Though there is still some time before the weather truly turns to bitter cold, the temperature change can cause some asthma flare-ups in people. Though asthma triggers and symptoms are different for everyone, know what your fall asthma triggers are and how to gain control as the leaves change.

Cold Air
It may seem obvious, but when the temperature starts to drop, cold air can be a fall asthma trigger for some. Cold air can constrict the airways in the lungs. You may not be able to avoid going outside this fall, but prepare your lungs: dress warmly, wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth, and ask your physician about an inhaler if you exercise outside — even in the fall.


Campfires, Bonfires, and Your Fireplace
While there may be nothing cozier than snuggling up in front of the fire with hot cocoa, or sitting by a fire to view the stars, it’s best to be wary of fires because they can stir up fall asthma triggers. Whether you want to enjoy a fire outdoors or in, exposure to and inhalation of the smoke can trigger asthma symptoms. But you don’t have to avoid them completely! Stay a good distance away from the fire, and when outdoors, stand away from the direction the wind is blowing.

Raking Leaves
Who didn’t love jumping in the pile of freshly rakes leaves dad just worked on all morning when they were a kid? Unfortunately, these leaves are a fall asthma trigger — in more ways than one. Wet leaves can have mold grow on them, spores and other allergens can travel freely in the air. If you must rake or play in the leaves, wrap a scarf around your face or wear a mask to prevent a reaction to these fall asthma triggers. It’s also best to wear longs sleeves and pants.


Flu Shot
While everyone should get a flu shot, for those with asthma, it’s crucial, especially in fall and as winter draws near. The flu, a common cold, or another respiratory infection — all of these are fall asthma triggers. It isn’t just an old wives’ tale; people with asthma may have more frequent and severe asthma attacks when they have the flu. It’s best to get a flu shot (even if you don’t notice obvious fall asthma triggers or symptoms) because with asthma, illnesses and complications can be more severe. The best time to get a flu shot is now for fall and to carry through into winter.





 

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