I've read that some of you have bad air quality listed as one of their triggers and I was just wondering how you define bad air quality? My pulmonologist was actually a bit reluctant about admitting that there is a correlation between for example PM10 readings and asthma, but it's about the only thing that could explain why I sometimes get persistent breathing problems for a couple of days that then clear away just as fast as they came. I'd really appreciate your comments on this!
I have major issues with the bad air quality. I just go to my states air quality website. They have a forecast that lets us know when we are healthy, unhealthy for sensitive people, unhealthy or extremely unhealthy. They also have trend charts that measure particulate matter and ozone levels.
Particulate matter (PM) up to 12 can be healthy
PM 15.5-35.4 is moderately unhealthy
PM 35.5-55.4 is unhealthy for sensitive people
PM 55.5-140 is straight up unhealthy
My state utilizes a green to red system. Right now we are at red forecasted through next week. As I type, my PM reading is 76.9. A couple hours ago it was 97.9.
At the higher levels, everyone is impacted to some degree. There is no escaping it.
Well, that would be when you premedicate before going outside - like before cardio - and possibly up you daily meds.
As an example, my family lives in New Orleans, LA. After Hurricane Katrina there was concern about the air quality due to mold and nasty things in the flood waters. I was going home for Christmas 4 months later and talked with my asthma doc about what to do. My sister was concerned for my asthma. So, we added an extra puff of Flovent a day for 3 days before I went and 3 days after I returned. I never had an issue while I was there.
Another example, I had to do the same thing plus my albuterol before bedtime one summer when we had 12 straight days of 100 degree weather. The air was jut too dry and oppressive and I had shortness of breath.
So these are the types of things I've been told to do when it's an air quality issue.
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You should have an asthma action plan that you work out with your doctor. That is what I follow first. There is a sticky at the top of the page if you need information on them.
When it is low you shouldn't need to do anything.
When it is moderate quality, just be careful going out. If it is moderate and you have asthma, take precautions. I pre-treat with my albuterol.
When it is unhealthy for sensitive people and you have asthma, it is recommended to stay indoors.
When it is unhealthy straight up, it is recommended that all people limit their time outdoors.
Honestly, when it is unhealthy I'm upping my asthma treatments to the max in addition to staying indoors. When I go out, I wear a mask. I found a nice d-loop one on the internet that has a replacable air filter on the inside that helps some. It is made of cloth so it doesn't look as medical. I still get some funny looks, but if it helps me breathe it is worth it.
When the air is that bad, it really is hard to avoid. An air filter in your home might also be helpful.