Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Managing Asthma

Essential for asthma patients to keep a record on their asthma by managing and controlling the symptoms. Taking medication as instructed by the physician and keeping away from things that affect the airways are the easiest ways of keeping control over asthma. It is very important to learn what natural remedies are available at hand, how diet can affect the asthma symptoms and most importantly how to take care of yourself when you are suffering from asthma

The key is to identify the factors affecting your airways and then devising methods of avoiding them.

Any number of factors may trigger asthma. One should stop smoking and not permit others to smoke in one's home. One should stay indoors if high pollen content is found in air. In order to check the dust mites’ one should get special dust-proof coverings of the mattresses and make sure the blankets, pillows, sheets, stuffed toys and curtains are washed at least once a week preferably in hot water.

People with asthma should take care to wear scarf covering their mouth and nose in winter if they are affected by cold. In order to prevent flu and cold they should get flu shots and wash their hands as and when possible. Pets are bad news for those who have problem with animal dander.

Its advisable to keep pets out of the house or at the least away from the bedroom. Washing the pets as often as possible is very good. Humidifiers should not be used but the humidity levels should be kept according to your suitability.

Seasonal period (some countries) when the pollen count is high in the atmosphere it is very advisable for people who are allergic to pollens to stay indoors. Keeping the air conditioner on is a very effective way of keeping pollens and dust out of the house.

Natural remedies should be used to keep the body immune system fit and fighting which will keep flu and cold at bay. In case exercise or heavy physical activities cause asthma attack consult your physician and device ways to be active without aggravating asthma symptoms. It should be kept in mind that physical activity is important for asthma sufferers.

A humidity level between 30 to 50 percent should be maintained at home. Biological agents thrive better in high humidity conditions thus higher humidity will provide them conducive environment to proliferate and initiate an asthma attack.

It is highly recommended that kitchen and bathroom should have open windows and its even better to have exhaust fans to facilitate better air regulation because places where cooking, dish-washing and showers are performed usually have high humidity. Use of humidifiers should be avoided in any case. Care should be taken to vent the cloth dryers to the outdoors.

A dehumidifier may be used if necessary. But it should be kept away at some place like the basement.


It is necessary for people suffering from asthma to have minimum exposure to gases and other combustion particles which may cause breathing difficulties. Regular checkup and maintenance should be performed on stoves, combustion furnaces and heaters to ensure their proper functioning. 

Change the filters of the furnace regularly according the instruction guide provided by the manufacturer or in case of its absence change it every couple of months when in use.

Keep the house as clean as possible to reduce the allergens like dust, pollens, pet hairs, microbes etc. Allergen proof comforters should be used as far as possible. Box springs and mattresses should be covered in vinyl covers. Use of perfumes, air fresheners, deodorants and other sprays should be avoided. Also keep away from paint odor.

Get rid of cockroaches and other insects. Take off the carpets, drapes and other upholstered furniture from the bedrooms of asthma sufferers and keep the pets away from the bedroom as well. A high quality vacuum cleaner should be used to clean the house with facility to vent outside. Bedding should be washed in hot water over 130°F.

Sit with your doctor and device an action plan to avoid the triggers once you identify them and know how to control them. The doctor will help you identify if any of the medications you are currently on affects your asthma and what medications are best for your asthma.

The medications should be taken as prescribed and you should try your best to adhere to the plan of action. When in doubt about your medication it is best to consult your doctor. Doctor will also show you the right method of treatment in case of an attack and using inhalers

Once your asthma symptoms are not controlled properly it can lead to very serious conditions so it is very important to keep your asthma in check. Its advisable to contact a doctor and get the medication changed in case the symptoms are recurring very frequently and are getting worse or you have to use an inhaler almost everyday. 

Otherwise you can even get a different method to address the issue.