Prevention

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PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

The best way to stop asthma is by prevention. Identification and control of triggers causing symptoms and attacks of asthma are essential for successful management of the disease.

Primary Prevention

  • It is important to protect the unborn child and infants from the triggers that cause asthma.
  • Breast feeding the infant till the age of 4 to 6 months will make the infant less likely to get asthma.
  • Young children should be protected from repeated cough and cold caused by viral infections.
  • Infants should be protected from dust, pollen and food that can trigger asthma.

Environment(a)

Common Asthma Triggers and Avoidance Strategies Global initiative for asthma NHLBI/WHO workshop report 1997

Patients should adhere to the following golden rules

  • Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke and others triggers which provoke an attack.
  • Take preventive medication regularly as advised by the physician.
  • Should properly understand the role of preventer and reliever medications and to use them accordingly. (Salbutamol should be used as and when required and the inhaled steroids are to be taken regularly).
  • Appropriate monitoring of his asthma status should be done by using a Mini Peak Flow Meter.
  • Should not run out of treatment and always carry their medication while traveling.
  • Should avoid an occupation that is likely to make asthma worse.
  • Should remain indoors during festivals (Diwali, Dussherra) and also during dust storms.

Control of environmental allergens, irritants and infections which cause asthma:

  • Remove carpets, soft toys and other dust catchers from the bed room.
  • Avoid the use of feather pillows and cotton blankets.
  • Enclosing/encasing mattresses in polythene.
  • Allergen impermeable bed cover (covers with zip).
  • Wet mopping to be encouraged as compared to dusting.
  • Pets are to be kept out of the bed room and to be bathed weekly.
  • Regular vacuuming of the house.
Trigger To Avoid
Domestic dust mite allergens (so small they are not visible to the naked eye) Wash bed linens and blankets once a week in hot water and dry in a hot dryer or the sun. Encase pillows and mattresses in air-tight covers or special anti-allergic covers. Remove carpets, especially in sleeping rooms, Use vinyl, leather, or plain wooden furniture instead of fabric-upholstered furniture.
Tobacco smoke(whether the patient smokes or breathes in the smoke from others) Stay away from tobacco smoke. Patients and parents should not smoke. Make sure no one smokes at your home or your child’s day care center.
Allergens from animals with fur Remove animals from the home, or at least from the sleeping area. Keep Pets away from carpeted areas.
Cockroach allergen Clean the home thoroughly and often. Use pesticide spray-but make sure the patient is not at home when spraying occurs. Never leave food uncovered. Keep food out of bedrooms. Always cover the garbage bins.
Outdoor pollens and mold Close windows and doors and remain indoors when pollen and mold counts are highest Adjust your medication dose as advised with the start of your allergy season.
Indoor mold Reducedampness in the home; clean any damp areas frequently. Fix leaky taps and pipes. Use bleach based agents to clean mouldy surfaces.
Physical activity Do not avoid physical activity. Symptoms can be prevented by taking a short- or long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist or sodium cromoglycate before strenuous exercise. Warm up 6-10 mins before exercise.
Vaccum cleaning Stay out of the rooms while cleaning and for a short while there after. Use dust mask while vaccuming.
Miscellaneous Take a flu shot. Do not drink wine or beer or eat shrimp, dried fruit if they cause asthma. Avoid aspirin and other pain killers unless advised. Cover nose and mouth with scarf on cold windy days