13 Ways to Prevent an Asthma Attack

Smart habits and treatments can help prevent scary and dangerous asthma episodes (15 Photos)

Laurie Tarkan on Jan 24, 2012 at 4:53PM

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13 Ways to Prevent an Asthma Attack

IAN HOOTON/SPL/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

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Use Your Inhaler

Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective way to control symptoms and prevent attacks, but many people use them only when symptoms arise. Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital found that nearly 25 percent of asthma attacks could be prevented in patients with severe asthma if they took their medication at the prescribed time every day or at least 75 percent of the time. Research shows that people with mild to moderate asthma may not need to use inhalers every day. If you’re asthma-free several months at a time, talk to your doctor about slowly reducing either the dose or frequency of your medication, says David Rosenstreich, M.D., chief of the division of allergy and immunology at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y. “But at the first sign of discomfort, like chest tightening, increased coughing or mild shortness of breath, go right back on them,” says Dr. Rosenstreich.

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