Although asthma is largely controllable with medication, there are certain stimulants that can bring on an attack even if medication has been used. Learning to identify these stimuli and – wherever possible – avoid them is an important part of learning to cope with asthma.

– Smoke: tobacco smoke is a major stimulant of asthma and can in fact worsen the conditions over time.

– Strong cleaning products: any cleaning product that contains strong chemicals is to be avoided. There are plenty of natural product solutions which will leave your home just as clean, but your lungs far more healthy.

– Certain medications: penicillin (primarily used to treat infections) and aspirin (used in pain relief) can exacerbate asthma. Use substitutes wherever possible, such as paracetamol in place of aspirin when you have a headache.

– Swimming pools: not for the water, but for the chlorine. As mentioned with cleaning products, any strong chemical will have an adverse effect on asthma sufferers. Always check with a pool venue before using it to see if the pool is chlorinated.

– Menstrual cycle: women may be more prone to asthma attacks during their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy, due to the hormonal changes and imbalances that occur during this time.

– Stress: an asthma sufferer is far more likely to experience an attack when they are stressed, nervous or panicked than they are when they are feeling emotionally stable. It is especially important to control your temper if you have asthma.

The above is just a brief grounding in the many stimuli of asthma; avoid them wherever possible, and also note down any stimuli that seem applicable to your experiences.

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