1. Per my previous post… get rid of all indoor pollution: air fresheners, deodorizers, liquid diffusers, scented candles, moth balls, etc. Anything and everything that can release fragrance (chemicals) into the air all day long is super bad for your lungs over time.
  2. Pay attention to and detect any mold issues in your home. Mold is turning out to be a lot more dire for asthmatics than we may have realized. Don’t let it get a hold of or out of control in your home. Vinegar mixed with tea tree oil is especially effective on all kinds of mold, even the black kind. But call a professional if you have extensive mold damage that needs to be torn out and wood needs to be replaced.
  3. Stop using strong chemicals to clean. And get rid of your bleach. Bleach actually leaves behind a bit of a carbon film which encourages mold to grow back, so then you have to keep using bleach. Vinegar works great on mold and tea tree oil keeps it from growing back since it’s a natural fungicide. Use baking soda if needed. Baking soda and vinegar are great natural non-toxic cleaners.
  4. Wear a mask when you clean and dust, always. Protect your lungs from what you stir up while cleaning. Get rid of your regular laundry detergents and soaps. Try to buy fragrance free or even organic type of detergents.
  5. Replace your pillow every year or so. Encase it in a dust mite cover. Dust mites can cause huge issues for asthmatics due to all the microscopic poo they leave behind that floats up into the air. Encasing your mattress in a dust mite cover can be a good idea too. Keep pets out of the bedroom. Vacuum regularly, but get one with a HEPA filter and bagless vacuum. Even Walmart has a decent selection of allergy vacuums and dust mite covers. Stay away from the vinyl ones if you’re sensitive.
  6. Some folks swear by air purifiers, and for some they don’t help much. Do your research online before you buy one. The more effective kinds usually have a combo of filter types (HEPA, carbon, etc) and a higher ACH (air changes per hour) rating. Stay away from ionizers if you’re more sensitive to the extra ozone they can create, which can aggravate the lungs.
  7. Stop using perfumes, colognes, body sprays, smelly hair products, etc. They have many hidden toxins too. The more chemicals and fragrances you dump on your body, the harder your liver has to work to detox it. Your liver is probably already working overtime to try and detox your body for your lungs. A lot of asthmatics also suffer from adrenal fatigue after years of steroid medications. Give your liver, adrenal glands, and your lungs a break. If you must use a fragrance on yourself, try an organic essential oil like lavender and use it sparingly.
  8. Learn breathing exercises and some meditation to help you relax. They really can help if you’ve gotten stuck in the “asthma panic” we all experience when our symptoms start to get a little scary. Try this next time. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and then exhale out through your mouth. Do it for several minutes. It will help.
  9. Exercise, or try to. Even walking is great for the lungs. Exercise helps build up your lung capacity. If you have exercise induced asthma, then start with something simple like walking. Asthma tends to put a strain on the heart over time, so taking care of our heart with exercise is a good idea too. Asthmatics have a higher rate of heart attacks due to the inflammation from asthma and some of the meds we have to take that rev up our hearts.
  10. Stop smoking if you smoke, or stay away from smokers or smokey places if you don’t. Smoke particulates can get deep into the lungs and cause all kinds of inflammation. Change out your furnace filters frequently to help clean dust and smoke that get trapped in your home’s vent or apartment vent system. Clean window unit air conditioners frequently or change their filters so that mold doesn’t build up.
  11. Stop eating fried and overly processed foods. Fried and fatty foods are bad for asthmatics because they tend to lead to acid reflux issues which can aggravate asthma even more for some. Eating healthier really does help. Try herbs/roots with anti-inflammatory properties like oregano, tumeric, ginger, etc. Look for food lists online that gear towards foods that reduce inflammation in the body. Garlic and fish oils are good. If you can reduce inflammation in the body overall, that will help to reduce inflammation in the lungs as well.
  12. Buy a bunch of plants. NASA tested several years ago, and many are capable of removing all kinds of chemicals we breathe every day from carpeting, furniture, newer construction, etc. Some of them, like the Golden Pathos can even be grown in water, so you don’t have to worry about mold growing in the soil. Plants are great natural air purifiers. Get smooth leaf plants that don’t flower and you won’t have to worry about any pollen allergies. Many are easy to keep alive indoors and don’t need a lot of light. You can find lists of these plants online.
  13. Get enough sleep. Your body heals tissue damage while you sleep. Make sure you are getting enough of it. If you suffer from insomnia, take cat naps if you can. Studies have shown that even short naps can benefit the body. We are all sleep deprived, especially asthmatics who tend to have symptoms at night.
  14. Get outside. It’s easy for us to want to stay indoors with our asthma, especially if we are feeling anxious and want to isolate. As long as the outdoor air doesn’t make your lungs worse, get outside. Indoor air actually tends to be more polluted. We asthmatics tend to be especially low on Vitamin D and other vitamins due to our issues, so we need the outdoors and sun even more sometimes.
  15. If you have insurance that will cover them, consider allergy shots. They work great for some folks and help build up your immune system so that you don’t have to take over the counter meds all the time. Neti pots with saline powder packets dumped into warm water can work great for the sinuses too.
  16. Connect with others. Asthma can be very isolating sometimes. If you can’t get out and meet folks as much as you like because someone’s perfume, etc, might set off your symptoms, try to connect online. There are asthma groups on Facebook, etc. Or start an asthma blog like me or even a YouTube video about your asthma experiences. Just talking to others about your symptoms who know what you’re going through can help.
  17. Use your peak flow meter. I’ve been guilty of not using it enough and then I have a harder time telling what my true breathing capacity is if I’m experiencing symptoms. Use it regularly every week to get a feel of where you’re supposed to be when you’re feeling ok.
  18. If you’re supposed to be on a maintenance med like an inhaled steroid every day, take it every day. Don’t skip days if you start feeling better. Remember, asthma is a disease of chronic inflammation, and your meds help to control that. I know we all hate taking meds, especially if we’re on a daily dose, but it helps to prevent future flareups.
  19. Research, research, research supplements. There are some herbs and supplements out there that might be beneficial to asthmatics. But manufactures don’t have to get FDA approval before putting their products out on the market. They are self regulated to a certain extent, so they can put pretty much any type of “filler”they want into their pills and claim all sorts of things on their bottles. Unless you’re a chemist and you can test every brand you buy, you’d never know what may actually be in what you take. For example, magnesium supplements may help with asthma. But some brands tested in recent years did not actually contain the amount that was listed on the bottle (as far as how much magnesium was actually in each pill). So, do your research.
  20. Get rid of pesticides in your home. That includes bug and glue traps. They are not truly “non-toxic”. If they get to me, they can get to you. There are many organic and non-toxic ways to get rid of or prevent bugs from getting into your home. Some stores carry a brand of non-toxic bug sprays called Eco Smart. It’s really the only brand my lungs can barely tolerate these days. Look up organic ways to kill or repel bugs online.

Try a few or some of these above. You may find that your lungs improve if you can implement some of them. I know they’ve helped me.

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