One in 12 Americans have asthma, according to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're one of them - or if a family member is - you should be doing all you can to avoid the things that can trigger an asthma attack. Triggers vary from person to person, but keep clicking to see eight common ones...
People with asthma shouldn't smoke, obviously. In addition, they should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Parents, friends, and relatives of children with asthma should never smoke around them - or allow others to.
Dust mites are in just about everyone's home, and they can cause big trouble for asthmatics. To reduce exposure to the mites, use mattress and pillowcase covers. Don't use down-filled pillows, quilts, or comforters. And remove stuffed animals and clutter from bedrooms.
Car exhaust, industrial pollutants, and other things that foul the air outside can trigger asthma attacks. So pay attention to air quality forecasts, and plan outdoor activities for times when air pollution levels are low. EnviroFlash is a good resource.
To limit exposure to asthma attack-causing roaches and their dander, keep your home scrupulously free of crumbs and other food sources. At least once every three days, vacuum or sweep areas that might attract roaches. You can also use roach traps or gels.
Furry pets can cause big problems for asthma sufferers. Best to find them a new home. If that's not in the cards, the animal should at least be regularly bathed and trimmed - and kept out of the asthmatic's bedroom. Frequent vacuuming and damp-mopping can help too.
To keep airborne mold particles to a minimum, keep humidity in the home between 35 and 50 percent (in hot, humid climates, an air conditioner or dehumidifier might be necessary). Fix water leaks. They can promote the growth of mold behind walls and under floors.
Flu, colds, and other respiratory infections can trigger an attack.
Strenuous physical exercise might be good for your heart and waistline - but not so good for your breathing.