Lifestyle Changes to Help Minimize Asthma Attacks

Sep 29, 2023
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Asthma treatment is a partnership between you and your doctor. While medical management is vital for everyone with asthma, you also need to take steps to minimize asthma attacks in your daily life. Fortunately, those steps aren’t complicated.

Asthma can be frustrating, inconvenient, and even distressing. But by learning more about your condition and recognizing your triggers, you can take steps to control, or at least minimize, asthma attacks. 

At Advanced Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Center, PA, our experienced asthma specialist, board-certified physician Dr. Patricia Gomez Dinger, partners with you to make sure you have the most comprehensive asthma care possible. Here, we cover some of the lifestyle changes you can make to minimize your asthma attacks. 

Avoid your triggers

Everyone has different asthma triggers — substances or conditions that bring on breathing problems. Our office does a complete lifestyle and medical history review to identify your triggers. 

Some of the most common asthma triggers are:

  • Allergies to pollen, mold, dust mites, or insects
  • Air irritants like cigarette smoke, wood fires, smog, and dust
  • Exercise, particularly in cold air
  • Some medications, including aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and beta blockers
  • Stress

We may recommend allergy testing to pinpoint your triggers. In adults with asthma, research has found that 75% of patients age 20-40 and 65% of those 55 and older also have one or more allergies.

Knowing your triggers arms you with information that goes a long way in preventing asthma attacks. Often, just avoiding certain substances as much as possible can minimize inflamed airways and reduce asthma symptoms such as coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

Clear the air 

Some of the things that cause asthma attacks are more challenging to see and avoid. For example, you might be breathing in tiny particles of dust, mold, and other allergens every day if you don’t have a clean air filter in your air conditioner. 

Get into the habit of changing your air filters frequently — from once a month to every three months, as soon as you notice they’re dirty. It’s a simple lifestyle change that can help minimize asthma attacks.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends the following types of air filters: 

HEPA filter for single rooms

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is ideal for single-room conditioners. Double-check the clean air delivery rate (CADR) to ensure it’s right for your room size.

Disposable filter for whole house

A disposable filter with a high minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating is ideal for a whole-house heating and cooling system. This type of filter traps both large and small particles that can trigger asthma and allergies. Disposable filters are usually best because it’s very difficult to properly clean a reusable filter.

Improve your sleep routine

Lack of sleep can have a direct impact on your asthma. Getting fewer than six hours of sleep nightly may increase the number of asthma attacks you experience — 1.5 times more episodes than those who sleep 7-9 hours a night, according to a recent study. 

You can improve your sleep hygiene with a few simple changes. For example:

  • Do relaxation and de-stressing exercises before bed
  • Go to sleep at a set time each night, and avoid naps during the day
  • Don’t drink coffee or alcohol before bed
  • Don’t scroll on your phone in bed before going to sleep
  • Remove triggers from your bedroom, such as scented candles or rugs and curtains that collect dust
  • Wash your bedding weekly
  • Purchase dust-proof pillow and mattress covers

When you talk with our team, we may recommend other specific lifestyle changes that can help you take charge of your asthma and minimize your risk of attacks. 

Of course, these changes are just one aspect of your asthma management, as medical management is crucial. Dr. Gomez Dinger prescribes an ideal asthma management plan for you, which may include preventive medications, rescue inhalers, immunotherapy, or other treatments.

By partnering with us, you can control your asthma in the most effective way, which greatly improves your quality of life day to day. We’re here to help, so call our team or use online booking to set up your appointment today. We’re conveniently located in the Stone Oak area of San Antonio and in Schertz, Texas.