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Lifestyle Modifications for Asthma in Adults

Each person experiences asthma differently, with varying symptoms and different triggers. When you’re familiar with what sets off your symptoms, controlling or avoiding them can help you manage the disease and prevent potentially dangerous asthma attacks. Although some triggers are easier to manage than others, NYU Langone specialists can educate you on certain lifestyle changes to ensure good lung health.

Limit Exposure to Irritants

NYU Langone doctors suggest limiting exposure to any allergens that may trigger asthma symptoms, including pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander. If it’s difficult to avoid these—for instance, if you spend a lot of time outdoors or have a beloved pet—you and your doctor can discuss alternative solutions.

Avoid using products that have a strong scent or that have irritated your lungs in the past, including paint, perfume, scented candles, or air fresheners. Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can also trigger symptoms in some people; avoiding them can help prevent symptoms. 

If you smoke, quitting can significantly reduce your asthma symptoms. NYU Langone has Tobacco Cessation Programs that can help you quit smoking for good. You may also want to take steps to avoid secondhand smoke. 

If your job or lifestyle frequently exposes you to dust, fumes, or other irritants that can trigger asthma symptoms, your NYU Langone doctor can help you identify additional safety precautions you can take to protect your lungs.

Manage Other Health Conditions

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a common trigger of asthma. Acid reflux—when acid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach—can be aspirated by the lungs and irritate the airways. Treating GERD with dietary changes and antacid medications may help reduce your asthma symptoms. 

Your NYU Langone pulmonologist can refer you to a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in disorders of the stomach and digestive tract—to determine whether you need treatment.

In other people, chronic sinusitis can trigger asthma; managing your sinus health can help control the disease. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist at NYU Langone can prescribe medications and provide tips on how to manage sinus problems.

Respiratory infections caused by a cold or flu can make your asthma symptoms worse and lead to other dangerous infections, including pneumonia. Getting a flu shot before flu season can prevent infections and protect your lungs from injury.

More Asthma in Adults Resources

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