With the changing weather, there’s bound to be dust and pollen in the air that could trigger asthma and allergic reactions.

Bradley Chipps, MD, President of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) adds: “People think they’re doing everything they can to battle spring allergies. But many still find themselves under siege from pollen and other allergens that appear once the weather starts to warm up. What they don’t realise is that by following a few simple rules they can make life a lot more pleasant, and their allergies more bearable.”

Here are his tips to avoid adverse effects:

1. Often mistaken for seasonal allergies, asthma is an impending concern when the weather changes. According to research, about two-thirds of people with asthma tend to suffer from allergies, which make the symptoms worse. If you suffer from persistent cough or feel winded quickly, consult your allergist. Your allergist can help identify the source of your asthma and help treat your allergies to manage your symptoms.

2. Dive in for a summer cleanout session. Get rid of unwanted goods and clear dust and cobwebs to ease sneezing. For better results, roll up your sleeves and give your home a deep scrub. A thorough cleaning can eliminate allergens such as dust mites and mould, and clear the air.

3. Start your relief early on. Don’t wait for your eyes to begin watering or breathing to become more ragged before taking your asthma medicine. Start your medications at least two weeks before dusty season begins, so they are already in your system when you really need it.

4. Clean your air effectively. When looking for support to clean the air in your home, don’t choose an ionic air filter. These filters require more airflow to operate properly than most homes are able to provide. Instead choose a HEPA room air cleaner rated with a Clean Air Delivery Rate. If you have central air, change your filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12 to keep your air as clean as possible.

5. Resist the urge to breathe in fresh air. After months cooped up indoors, you want a fresh breeze, but before you open your windows, beware. Opening windows allows pollen and other debris into your home where they can settle in your carpet or upholstery. As hard as it can be, you’re better off keeping your windows closed during peak allergy season. Use your air conditioning to regulate your home’s temperature instead.

For people with asthma, the season’s arrival feels like a mixed blessing. By using the tips above, you can ensure that you have everything you need to enjoy it. And you’ll do so with less of the coughing and sneezing that can go with it. – BPT

Know the early symptoms of asthma

Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.

In general, these signs are not severe enough to stop you from going about your daily activities. But by recognising these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs of asthma include:

– Frequent cough, especially at night

– Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath

– Feeling very tired or weak when exercising

– Wheezing or coughing after exercise

– Feeling tired, easily upset, grouchy, or moody

– Decreases or changes in lung function as measured on a peak flow meter

– Signs of a cold or allergies (sneezing, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headache)

– Trouble sleeping

 Source: Khaleej times

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