You know that allergies can worsen your asthma
symptoms. But allergies aren’t the whole story.
Two other conditions can increase your risk for
severe asthma symptoms.
Do you have a constant stufy nose? Sinus
infections sometimes can cause swelling in the
sinuses and nasal passages. Also, frequent
irritation by pollution or smoke can cause nasal
congestion that lasts for a long time. And a
stopped-up nose can’t do its job properly. The
nose doesn’t flter and warm air as well before it
reaches the lungs. This may afect lung health
and worsen your asthma.
Your doctor can help determine the cause of your
sinus congestion. Possible treatment options may
include medications, saline or saltwater nasal
mists or surgery.
Or, do your asthma symptoms get worse at night
when you are asleep? If so, the cause may be
your digestive system. Some people experience
gastroesophageal refux disease (GERD) when
lying down. In GERD, the stomach’s contents rise
up into the esophagus, causing irritation. GERD
may make asthma symptoms worse.
If you think GERD might be your problem, it may
help to avoid eating within two to three hours of
bedtime. You may also try to stay away from
certain foods, like spicy or fried dishes. Or your
doctor may prescribe medication.
Surprising Conditions that May Make Your Asthma Worse
If you have asthma, you probably use an inhaler. An
inhaler sends medication directly to your lungs. Your
doctor might recommend using a spacer with your
inhaler. A spacer is a device that attaches to the
When you use it, the medication goes into the
spacer and then into your lungs. It wastes much less
medication than spraying it into your mouth. It also
reduces your risk for a mouth infection called
Here’s how to use an inhaler with a spacer:
Remove the cap from the inhaler and spacer.
Shake the inhaler.
Attach the spacer to the inhaler.
Exhale to empty your lungs.
Place the mouthpiece between your teeth.
Seal your lips around it.
How to Use a Spacer
Slowly inhale through your mouth.
Spray one puf of the inhaler.
Continue breathing in as deeply as you can.
Take the mouthpiece out of your mouth.
Hold your breath for a count of 10. Slowly
breathe out through your mouth.