The Doctors: Three common asthma triggers you can conquer
September 11, 2012
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.
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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 http://www.thedoctorstv.com for local listings.