Self-help measures

  • Always ensure that you have sufficient supplies of medication, particularly if you are traveling. A spare inhaler is a good idea in case you lose one.
  • Take preventative medicine regularly to allow it to work effectively.
  • Exercise may trigger asthma but this should not prevent you from exercising, as most symptoms can be controlled with the correct preventative medicine. However, you should check with a healthcare provider first. Swimming and yoga are particularly good for people with asthma.
  • Moving will not relieve asthma symptoms as air quality is not the only trigger and there are people affected by asthma even in the least polluted areas of the United States.
  • Try to avoid trigger factors such as cigarette smoke or furry household pets.
  • House-dust mites are a common trigger and live in house dust. Covers can be applied to mattresses, blankets, and pillows; wash soft toys regularly. Additionally, putting them in the freezer for 24 hours will kill any mites. Vacuum all carpets regularly; linoleum or tiled floors may be more suitable; damp dusting of surfaces can keep dust levels down.
  • Some people may have a food allergy, which can increase symptoms. Your doctor can refer you for tests if a food allergy is suspected.

Further information:
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/
American Lung Association: www.lungusa.org/lung-disease/asthma/

Last Reviewed: April 2013