The Doctors
Special to the Bonanza

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September 12, 2012
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3 common asthma triggers you can conquer

Asthma can first appear any time — even later in life. Experts don’t know why some adults develop asthma, but they suspect heredity and environmental factors. Obesity may raise the risk of adult-onset asthma as well.

Here are other triggers, with tips to help protect yourself:

Trigger: Respiratory infections

Scientists found an increased risk of asthma in people ages 21 to 63 who had been diagnosed with lower respiratory tract infections.

Tip: Wash your hands often. This is one of the simplest ways to kill the germs that get you sick. Also, talk to your doctor about getting an annual flu shot.

Trigger: Allergies

Pollen, dust and dander can set off symptoms. At least 30 percent of adult cases are caused by allergies. When your immune system mistakes a harmless allergen for a dangerous invader, it releases chemicals to attack it. For some people, this reaction also affects the lungs and airways.

Tip: Consider immunotherapy. Allergy shots gradually reduce your immune system reaction to specific allergens, which in turn decreases asthma symptoms.

Trigger: Your job

If you wheeze at work, you may have occupational asthma, caused by inhaling potentially harmful job-related substances. Experts believe up to 15 percent of all asthma cases in the USA may be linked to working conditions.

Tip: Avoid irritants. A doctor can help determine what on your job site may be causing your symptoms: If it’s a specific irritant, talk to your employer about minimizing exposure.

— The Doctors is an Emmy-winning daytime TV show with pediatrician Jim Sears, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson, ER physician Travis Stork, and plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon. Check for local listings.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Sep 12, 2012 02:35PM Published Sep 12, 2012 02:35PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.