Swollen airways becoming irritated by one of several environmental triggers can turn an existing asthma condition into a full-on attack. The airway begins closing in, and as less air reaches the lungs, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness can lead to serious breathing difficulties.
Avoiding asthma triggers
Severe asthma attacks can cut off access to oxygen and cause death. Avoiding things that exacerbate symptoms is a good way to protect yourself from a potentially fatal attack. Common triggers include allergens (most people with asthma also have allergies), strenuous exercise and viral infections.
In general, people with asthma should try to avoid:
Other potential triggers
Asthma doesn't have to control your life
People with asthma can't be cured of the condition, but through treatment and medication, they can often manage it well enough to experience few symptoms and live active lives. It doesn't have to prevent participation in sport or recreation, either. A number of top athletes and Olympians cope with asthma, continuing to compete and even win. Not to mention the long list of entertainers and former presidents who didn't let it get them down. Over 20 million people in the Untied States have been diagnosed with asthma, and many of them have learned to live with it.