Although there is no method guaranteed to prevent asthma, there are a number of measures parents can take to reduce their child's risk of developing asthma. These include:
Exclusively breastfeeding for the first 3 to 6 months of life; this issue is controversial, however, with the most recent (and largest) study suggesting that breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life helps to protect the child up to age two, but may increase the risk once the child is older than two years.
Delaying the introduction of solid food until age 6 months
Manipulating the child's environment (not smoking during pregnancy or around infants, eliminating household allergens such as mites and cockroaches. For example, to reduce exposure to dust mites, encase mattresses and pillows in special covers that are impermeable to allergens; also, remove carpets from bedrooms.)
According to certain studies on adults, apples and selenium-rich food in the diet may protect against asthma, and moderate consumption of red wine may be associated with less severe asthma attacks. These foods are high in antioxidants (namely, flavonoids). It is too early to say definitively that these nutrients protect against asthma, however. Plus, it is important to note that in certain individuals, red wine may actually induce asthma symptoms if you have an allergy to sulfites, a food additive, or any other substance found in wine. Often, wine labels indicate if sulfites are present.
Key steps in preventing asthma attacks include identifying the allergens and the triggers that bring on or worsen your asthma symptoms and then working to eliminate or avoid them. Sometimes it takes exposure to more than one of these factors before an asthma episode is triggered. Keeping a diary to determine triggers may be helpful. Certain medication can help to prevent an attack due to triggers; in other words, if you know your triggers, you can anticipate when you might be exposed, and use your medication before that expected exposure.
The following conditions are common triggers for asthma. Reduce your chances of exposure to them by taking some common-sense steps:
Viral infections (colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia)-stay away from people who you know are ill
Sinusitis and allergic rhinitis (hay fever or year-round allergies)-avoid seasonal allergens by staying indoors in air conditioning as much as possible and eliminating indoor allergens; fewer allergy attacks generally means fewer cases of sinusitis and asthma
Gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn)-avoid provoking foods, medication, and mealtime habits
Avoid the following altogether:
If sensitive or allergic, aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) .Beta-blockers (such as acebutolol, atenolol, esmolol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol, pindolol, propranolol, and timolol) including those in eye medication .If sensitive or allergic, processed potatoes, shrimp, dried fruit, beer, and wine-these often contain sulfite food preservatives.
Allergy desensitization, if you have a known allergy, may decrease the number of asthma attacks you experience, diminish the intensity of each attack, and lower the amount of medication that you need. Desensitization includes regular injections of the allergen (substance causing the allergic reaction) given in increasing doses (each dose is slightly larger than the previous one). The aim of desensitization is to gradually accustom the immune system to the allergen so that it no longer reacts to that substance. This is done very slowly and carefully, starting with minute amounts of the substance, in a controlled setting (namely, your doctor's office). Talk to your doctor about whether desensitization is right for you.