How can patients manage factors that contribute to their asthma symptoms?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Control of factors contributing to asthma severity is an essential component in asthma treatment. Exposure to irritants or allergens has been shown to increase asthma symptoms and cause exacerbations. Clinicians should evaluate patients with persistent asthma for allergen exposures and sensitivity to seasonal allergens. Skin testing results should be used to assess sensitivity to perennial indoor allergens, and any positive results should be evaluated in the context of the patient's medical history.

All patients with asthma should be advised to avoid exposure to allergens to which they are sensitive, especially in the setting of occupational asthma. Other factors may include the following:

  • Environmental tobacco smoke

  • Exertion during high levels of air pollution

  • Use of beta blockers

  • Avoidance of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if the patient is sensitive

  • Avoidance of sulfites or other food items/additives to which the patient may be sensitive

  • Occupational exposures

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