YAKIMA VALLEY — Over 22 million people living in the United States have asthma, a chronic lifelong disease that affects the lungs.

Asthma can cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. There is no cure, but asthma can be managed.

People with asthma can prevent asthma attacks if they learn how to avoid triggers like tobacco smoke, mold, outdoor air pollution and colds and flu. Asthma episodes can also be prevented by using inhaled corticosteroids and other prescribed daily long-term control medicines correctly.

“We teach our clients how to define and control triggers in their allergies and asthma,” Adriana Perez, Asthma Program Coordinator at Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, said.

Tips for control include: Showering before bed because allergens can be in bedding; always carry a rescue inhaler; don’t vacuum every day because it can prevent dust from settling out of the air; close windows and turn on an air conditioner when pollen levels are high; wash sheets and blankets weekly in very hot water, and use allergy proof mattress and pillow covers; switch to less toxic cleaning and hygiene products to avoid flare-ups; run exhaust fan during a bath or shower and up to 20 min after to avoid mold and consider keeping pets outdoors or out of the bedroom.

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