More than 25 million women, men, and children in the United States suffer from the respiratory disease asthma. Most of them have a type of asthma called allergic asthma. If you have allergic asthma, then your asthma attacks can be triggered by allergens. One of the top allergens is pollen, and springtime is full of it.
Leo Kao, MD, at Lakewood Ranch Health in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, wants you to breathe easily this spring. If you have asthma, adopt the following steps to reduce your risk for an asthma attack.
Take your allergy medication now
If you tend to have asthma attacks in the spring and summer, when the pollen count is high, start taking your allergy medications immediately. Your allergy medicines help you resist the allergenic effect of pollen that’s circulating in the air.
If you don’t have allergy medication, or if you’re not sure if you’re allergic to pollen, we can help. We administer allergy tests to determine your allergens, and then prescribe medications to help you manage them.
Filter your air
when you’re indoors, use filters to prevent you from breathing in pollen. Run your air conditioner 24/7 and change its filter regularly.
You may also consider investing in an air purifier. Many air purifiers are designed to filter out pollen and other allergens. Again, be sure to change the filter regularly.
Vacuum like crazy
Especially if you have pets — but even if you don’t — vacuum your house at least twice a week. Vacuums pick up dander from pets, pet hair, dust, dust mites, and pollen that’s spread into your house from the soles of your shoes.
Remove outerwear indoors
Speaking of shoes, consider taking them off and leaving them outside your door to eliminate the chance of bringing pollen into your house. If that’s not practical, create a storage area for shoes and boots just inside your door.
Once you’re home, remove outerwear that may have become dusted with pollen when you were outdoors. Consider wearing a light shirt and a hat, no matter how hot it is, so you can ditch them (and the pollen they trap) when you come home.
Wash your hair every night
Especially if you have long hair or don’t wear a hat, your hair can be a pollen magnet. Be sure to take a shower each night and wash your hair, too, to remove any residual pollen.
Mind the pollen count
Whenever possible, avoid going outdoors or staying outdoors when the pollen count is high. You can check the pollen count every morning here, even when you travel for vacation or work.
Don’t overdo it
You may want to tamper your activities when the pollen count is high. Avoid marathon running and other activities that put high demands on your body for long periods of time.
You might also consider using your bronchodilator before working out, to help keep your airways clear. Talk to Dr. Kao about a customized exercise regimen that keeps your entire body healthy while avoiding asthma triggers. Be sure to breathe through your nose, which traps allergens, rather than through your mouth.
Keep your medication handy
Never leave the house without your asthma medication. If you’ve run out, or aren’t sure you need it, contact Dr. Kao. He prescribes the best type of asthma control for you, and instructs you on how to use it properly, too.
Get ahead of spring and its influx of pollen by contacting Dr. Kao for an asthma evaluation, allergy testing, and medication today. Call our office today or request an appointment online.