Lifestyle Measures

Vacuum regularly with a HEPA vaccum

Cover mattresses and pillows with special dust-mite-proof encasings

Wash bed linens, sheets, and covers every week in hot water (at least 130o F).

Get rid of carpets, extra pillows, and upholstered furniture, especially in your

Limit stuffed animals in children’s rooms; use only those that can be washed weekly
in hot water (at least 130o F).

Dust often.

Keep humidity levels in your home below 50%

Keep humidity at less than 50%

Repair water leaks wherever they occur

If mold is visible on a surface, clean it with fungicide

Don’t have furry pets in your home.

If you do have a pet, keep it out of your bedroom and off upholstered furniture.

Consider using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters

Keep pets off carpets as much as possible.

Wash pets weekly and brush them outdoors.


Cockroaches leave droppings behind that contain potent allergens. Cockroach allergies are a particular concern for people living in big cities.

If you live in a building with cockroaches:

Keep your house clean and food in tight containers.

Repair water leaks.

Use traps and poison baits to control cockroaches.


Never allow anyone to smoke in your home, in your car, or around people with asthma

Outdoor Triggers

Strong Smells

Keep the doors and windows to your house shut

Avoid outdoor activities during high pollen or ozone hours.

If allergic to pollen, use allergy medicines to reduce reactions.

Shower to wash away pollen when you come inside after spending time outdoors.

Stay away from your home when chemicals, paints, or sprays are in use and until the smell clears away.

Don’t use scented products on your body or in your home.

Avoid outdoor activity when the weather is very hot, very cold, or very humid

Wear a scarf around your mouth and nose to warm the air you breathe and protect your
airways when you must be out in cold, dry weather.

Get a flu shot every year and ask your health-care provider about whether you should have a pneumonia vaccine.

Be sure you and everyone in your household wash hands frequently.

See your health-care provider for immediate treatment if you suspect an infection.

Don’t ignore a drippy nose.

Don’t share toothbrushes or toothpaste when you have a cold.

Food and Medicine Allergies

Talk with your health-care provider or pharmacist about all prescription or over-the-
counter medications you take, as well as vitamins and herbal supplements to find out if
any of them could affect your asthma.

Stay away from any food or medicine that makes your asthma worse.

Be careful to avoid eating foods that contain sulfites.

Read food labels.

Use substitute medicines when appropriate, such as acetaminophen instead of


Do warm-up and cool-down exercises 5 to 10 minutes before and after strenuous exercise.

Talk to your health-care provider about medicine you can take 15 to 30 minutes before exercising to prevent asthma symptoms.

Talk to your health-care provider about your symptoms if they persist when you exercise

Stress and Emotions

How can you reduce stress

Think about the different events or situations in your life that cause you to feel stressed and take steps to reduce them wherever possible.

Use stress management techniques, such as meditation and yoga.

Develop a regular exercise program and healthy eating habits.

Spend time with friends and family.

Reflux and heartburn

Some lifestyle changes can help, such as avoiding certain foods, alcohol or tobacco, or sleeping with your head slightly elevated.

Talk with your physician about medications that control acid in your stomach.

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