Don't Make These Allergy Asthma Mistakes This Spring

Allergy Asthma Mistakes

Allergy Asthma Mistakes
Allergy Asthma Mistakes. Getty Images-- Layland Masuda

The spring pollen season has kicked into high gear where I live. Don't let these allergy asthma mistakes ruin your asthma control this spring. All it takes is a little planning and these 5 tips will help.

1. Sleeping With Your Pet

Sleeping With Your Pet
Sleeping With Your Pet. Getty Images

Sleeping with your pet is not a great idea if you have asthma anytime of year. For some reason (my only pets are fish), I find this particular practice more common in summer months compared to the rest of the year although I am really not sure why.

My goal for my asthma patients is to have the bedroom as a pet free/ trigger free zone. Trigger control in the bedroom is very important for your asthma symptoms.

Even if you are not allergic to your pet, dander, dust, and other potential triggers can be carried by your pet into your bedroom. Further, many patients develop allergies to pets over long periods of time. This is often not noticed because the symptoms develop gradually over time.

While your bed looks like a safe place and pictures of animals curled up with their owners are really cute, animal dander and dust will get into your bed, will stay there, and will require frequent cleaning. You will be better off keeping your bedroom pet-free.

2. Sleeping With The Window Open

Sleeping With Windo Open
Sleeping With Windo Open. Getty Images- Robert Warren The Image Bank

I live in Louisiana and love to escape to Colorado in the spring/ summer. One of the greatest parts about this is the cool mountain air. However, sleeping with windows open significantly increases your exposure to pollen– your are essentially bringing the outdoors indoors!

Keeping windows closed and using air conditioning systems can significantly reduce pollen exposure. Air conditioning systems help you by improving ventilation. Air conditioning systems can bring in fresh air, filter it, and remove dirty air from your home.

Similarly, a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter is commonly recommended by some physicians. However, there are more effective control measures and you may want to ask yourself will a HEPA filter improve my asthma before purchasing.

3. You Get A Hypoallergenic Pet

Chinese Crested. Gandee Vasan/Stone/Getty Images

I have had patients who listened to me about pets, and then return several months later exclaiming they have a hypoallergenic pet. While there are no true“hypoallergenic” pets, some produce less allergen than others and may be a better choice if you really want a pet. Or consider one of the following animals that typically do not worsen asthma or allergies:

  • Fish
  • Hermit crabs
  • Snakes
  • Turtles

4. Not Paying Attention To Pollen Counts

Asthma and Allergy
Photo credit: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Pollen counts can be one of the clues that you may have trouble with your asthma. Avoiding allergen is one of the best ways of keeping your asthma under control. It makes sense that you may want to avoid outdoor activities, if possible, when pollen counts are high.

5. Spending Time Outdoors at the Wrong Time

Outdoor Asthma Problems
Outdoor Asthma Problems.

Knowing a little bit about how weather affects your asthma can help you decide when the best time to go outside is. If hot, humid air leads to inflammation in your lungs, then spending time in the early morning may be better for you. Likewise, if extreme cold makes your asthma worse you may want to plan for more indoor activities. Wearing

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Questions & Sources


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  1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. What Do I Need to Know About Air Cleaners? Accessed on August 7, 2014.
  2. Sulser C, Schulz G, Wagner P, Sommerfeld C, Keil T, Reich A, Wahn U, Lau S. Can the use of HEPA cleaners in homes of asthmatic children and adolescents sensitized to cat and dog allergens decrease bronchial hyperresponsiveness and allergen contents in solid dust? Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2009;148(1):23–30. Epub 2008 Aug 21.
  3. Diana Babb. Asthma- Run With It. Accessed on April 12, 2015.

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