Asthma season can be prevented

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The heat is beginning in Mississippi and the pollen is not retreating, which for someone with asthma, like me, is a terrible combination.

All of my life I carried an inhaler just in case I had an asthma attack.

From playing outdoor sports to enjoying a beautiful day at the zoo, I have encountered moments of panic due to my asthma. However, from those experiences, I learned how to prevent severe asthma attacks from starting.

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Asthma triggers might vary from person to person, but some of the most common are pollen, animal dander, mold, dust and extreme temperatures.

Most of all, it is best to keep calm when trying to prevent an asthma attack. Internal serenity is a great way to avoid an attack from happening if the cause is stress-related, but getting yourself to relax is one of the most difficult strategies to master, and it takes practice. One way to start is to control your breathing and make sure you are not near any of your triggers.

For me, triggers include extreme temperatures and pollen. Some people get stuffy when they walk into a wall of pollen, but I get short of breath. When that happens, I try to stay indoors as much as possible to soothe my breathing.

Also hot temperatures make my chest feel tight. In this case, I make sure I have my inhaler to treat my asthma before it gets worse. If not, soft breaths in a calm atmosphere will suffice.

Mold is another common asthma trigger that can be prevented easily. To reduce mold in the home, keep the bathroom clean, fix leaking faucets immediately and keep the bathroom dry by using a fan during showers and baths.

If animal dander is one of your triggers, make sure they stay off the furniture or other places you spend a great deal of time. Also, clean the carpets regularly to reduce the amount of animal dander in the home.

Finally, make sure the people around you know you have asthma. It is nothing to be ashamed of; even professional athletes suffer from asthma. But in case of an emergency, it’s important to notify family members, friends, teachers and co-workers of your specific symptoms and triggers.