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6 Lifestyle changes that could help your asthma symptoms

6 Lifestyle changes that could help your asthma symptoms

Uncontrolled asthma can be scary and frustrating, but there are things you can do if you're struggling. Try these simple lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms

1. Ease up on the housework

It’s well known that dust can bring on an attack, but so can the chemicals in cleaning products like bleach and detergents.

The key to easy breathing is to keep dust down and windows open, while avoiding sprays and aerosols and opting for unscented products that are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

2. Pick painkillers carefully

Pot of ibuprofen that could set off asthma symptomsSome asthmatics are sensitive to NSAIDS like aspirin and ibuprofen

Up to 20 per cent of asthmatics are sensitive to aspirin and ibuprofen, which are NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

If you’ve got a headache or a bad back, it’s better to reach for paracetamol. But, be warned, frequent use of paracetamol has also been linked to asthma.

Beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure and other heart problems can set off asthma symptoms in some people too.

3. Calm down

Stress and anxiety make many conditions worse, and asthma’s no exception. First off, make sure your asthma is well managed and you’re taking your meds as prescribed. Then try to avoid stress.

Easier said than done, we all know, but eating well, staying connected with friends and family, and exercising regularly will help.

Excitement or even laughing can sometimes provoke an asthma attack, but breathing exercises can ease your wheezing.

4. Stay grounded

Asthma attack on planeThere is less oxygen at high altitudes, which could set off your asthma symptoms

If there’s a choice between taking the train or the car and catching a flight, it’s better to opt for rail or road travel if you suffer from hard-to-control asthma. There’s less oxygen at high altitudes, which puts pressure on the lungs.

Other triggers—such as dust or perfumes­—in the air that’s circulated in the cabin could also set you off.

5. Practise asthma-safe sex

Bad news—there are several ways making love can bring on an attack! The most obvious one is the physical activity involved; your heart rate increases and you breathe faster.

Heightened emotions play a part too and if scented products, such as perfume or scented candles, are in the mix, these might also trigger symptoms.

Some people have a latex allergy which can bring on asthma if you use condoms.

Making sure your condition is well controlled and avoiding your triggers will help ensure sex makes you feel good, not ill.

6. Back off from the booze

Do you get a tight chest and struggle to breathe after a few bevvies? Unfortunately, you might be allergic to the sulphites in cider, beer and wine. These are preservatives that occur naturally or are added to alcoholic drinks.

You might get symptoms as soon as you start drinking or even the following day.

Alcohol also contains histamines. These, too, can provoke an attack if you’re sensitive to them.

Try to narrow down which drinks affect you and stay away. It’s possible to buy wine that’s low in sulphites. If you’re unfortunate enough to be sensitive to all alcohol, it might be best to avoid it altogether. Sorry!

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