What is asthma?
Asthma is a disease that makes the airways in your lungs inflamed. This means your airways are swollen and sensitive.The swelling is there all of the time, even when you feel just fine. The swelling can be controlled with medicine and by staying away from things that irritate your airways.
Asthma can be controlled. Expect nothing less.
Is it asthma? Recurrent episodes of coughing or wheezing, apart from a cold, often are due to asthma. A cough can be the only symptom.
You may also have asthma if you have:
You can help prevent asthma attacks by staying away from things that make your asthma worse. First, you need to find out what makes your asthma worse. Some things that make asthma worse for some people are not a problem for others. You do not need to have all of the things listed below.
Tobacco smoke - If you smoke, ask your doctor for ways to help you quit. Ask family members to quit smoking, too. Do not allow smoking in your home, car or around you. Be sure no one smokes at your child’s day care center.
Dust mites - Many people with asthma are allergic to dust mites. Dust mites are like tiny "bugs" you cannot see that live in clothes or carpet. Things that help the most:
Some people are allergic to the flakes of skin or dried saliva from animals with fur or feathers.
The best thing to do:
Many people with asthma are allergic to the dried droppings and remains of cockroaches.
Things that help the most:
Try to get someone else to vacuum for you once or twice a week. Stay out of rooms while they are being vacuumed and for a short while afterward. If you vacuum, use a dust mask (from a hardware store), a double-layered or micro-filter vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
Fix leaky faucets, pipes or other sources of water. Clean moldy surface with a cleaner that has bleach in it.
Pollen and Outdoor Mold
What to do during your allergy season (when pollen or mold spore counts are high):
Smoke, strong odors and sprays
If possible, do not use a wood-burning stove, kerosene heater or fireplace.Try to stay away from strong odors and sprays, such as perfume, talcum powder, hair spray and paints.
Exercise, sports, work or play
You should be able to be active without symptoms. See your doctor if you have asthma symptoms when you are active, when you exercise, participate in sports, play or work hard. Ask your doctor about taking medicine before you exercise to prevent symptoms. Warm up for about 6 to 10 minutes before you exercise.
Try not to work or play hard outside when the air pollution or pollen levels (if you are allergic to the pollen) are high.
About the Coalition
As a nonprofit partnership since 1996, AAC has worked together with concerned stakeholders including public health, environmental quality, managed care, education, individual physicians and nurses, hospitals, foundations, families and other colleagues.
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