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Asthma Care in Utah County

Controlling Asthma

You have asthma - but that doesn't mean you can't do all the things you enjoy doing. Working with Dr. J. Thaddaeus Abbott, you can control your asthma. The key for you is to:

  • Know your symptoms
  • Avoid your triggers
  • Take your medication daily
  • Follow your Asthma Action Plan
  • Check your asthma control regularly

Our expert provider, Dr. Thad Abbott, will work with you to control your asthma and identify your triggers.

Common Asthma Triggers

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Allergens

Allergens are things that cause you to have an allergic reaction. In some people, allergens also trigger asthma flare-ups. Common allergens include animal dander, pollen, molds, dust mites, cockroach droppings, and certain foods all of which can trigger asthma symptoms.

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Emotional Stress

Emotions don't cause asthma, but strong reactions like laughing, crying, and sighing, may trigger symptoms. Family and job related stresses can also bring on symptoms.

What you can do to avoid or eliminate this trigger

  • Try to stay calm and relaxed
  • Take deep breaths
  • Consciously slow your breathing by counting while you breathe in and out
  • Do any activity that distracts and relaxes you
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Exercise

Exercise - a common trigger - can bring on coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. Still, when your symptoms are well controlled, exercise is good for your lungs. It's one trigger you should NOT avoid.

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Irritants in the Air

Tobacco smoke is among the worst airborne irritants. Wood-burning fireplaces, kerosene heaters, and gas stoves - along with industrial and exhaust fumes, aerosol sprays, perfumes, fumes from paint, glues, and household cleaning products - can also cause problems.

  • Don't allow smoking in your home or car. If you smoke, quit.
  • Watch the news for pollution alerts (high-ozone days) and be ready to step up your treatment if necessary.
  • Get rid of your swamp cooler. Use central air conditioning instead.
  • Don't use wood burning stoves, fireplaces, or kerosene heaters at home.
  • Avoid perfumes and perfumed products such as candles and hairspray.
  • Consider a HEPA filter to clean the air in your home
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Medications

Some medications - for example beta blockers or those that contain aspirin may cause symptoms.

What you can do to avoid or eliminate this trigger

  • Consult with your provider or pharmacist before you take medications
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    Respiratory Infections

    Colds, Influenza (the flu), sinus infections and other illnesses can trigger an asthma flare-up. These illnesses also tend to last longer if you have asthma.

    To avoid or eliminate this trigger:

    • Get plenty of rest, eat healthily, and exercise regularly
    • Avoid being around people who are sick and wash your hands often
    • Get a flu shot once a year in the fall
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    Sleep

    Asthma symptoms that occur at night are called nocturnal asthma. It can be brought on by allergens in the bedroom, a drop in body temperature, and heartburn (GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease).

    What you can do to avoid or eliminate this trigger

    Try to find out why your asthma is worse at night, then eliminate those causes.

    • Keep your bedroom clear of allergen and follow your Asthma Action Plan
    • Treat GERD
    • If you often have asthma symptoms at night, your asthma is not controlled. Contact your doctor for an adjustment in your treatment plan.
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    Weather

    A sudden blast of cold air, excess heat and humidity, and dry climates can all trigger asthma.

    What you can do to avoid or eliminate this trigger:

    • In the cold: Dress appropriately. Wear a scarf (or a special asthma mask) over your nose and mouth to keep your breath warm and moist. Breathe in though your nose to warm the air.
    • In heat and humidity: Use air conditioning in your home and car. Drink plenty of fluids>
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