Plan Your Asthma Trigger Reduction Project Carefully
Many homes across America have occupants who live with asthma every day. As a result, if you or a loved one has asthma, identifying and eliminating triggers in your home can be critically important. Finally, as you read the following information, take a close look at your home and take immediate steps to protect the indoor environment in your home from as many asthma triggers as possible. Possible asthma triggers include:
Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks. Don't let anyone smoke near your child, in your home or in your car.
Dust mites are tiny bugs that are too small to see. Every home has dust mites. For example, they are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric-covered items. Dust mites can trigger asthma in individuals with allergies to dust mites. In addition, exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms. If dust mites are suspected to be an asthma trigger, wash bedding in hot water once a week and dry completely. Use dust proof covers on pillows and mattresses and vacuum regularly. Hard flooring surfaces accumulate less dust than carpeting and they are easier to clean. Also, choose stuffed toys that you can wash in hot water. Make sure you dry them completely before your child plays with the toy.
For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can trigger an asthma attack. The best way to control mold growth inside of your home is to control interior moisture levels.
Cockroach allergens likely play a role in asthma in many urban areas. Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and free of clutter. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away and store food in airtight containers. Seal cracks or openings around or inside cabinets.
Dogs, cats, rodents (including hamsters and guinea pigs) and other warm-blooded mammals can trigger asthma in individuals with an allergy to animal dander. If you must have a pet inside, keep it out of the bedroom of the person with asthma. Keep pets off your furniture and vacuum carpets and furniture when the person with asthma is not around.
Chemical irritants are found in some products in your house and may trigger asthma. For example, your asthma or your child's asthma may be worse around products such as cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics or air fresheners. If you find that your asthma or your child's asthma gets worse when you use a certain product, consider trying different products. Additionally, if you must use a product, then you should:
- Make sure your child is not around.
- Open windows or doors, or use an exhaust fan.
- Always follow the instructions on the product label.
Very dry air in the winter (low relative humidity) can trigger asthma attacks. As a result, it is beneficial to seal homes to control relative humidity, ventilate them right and maintain humidity levels between 30% and 45%.
Finally, knowing how to identify the asthma triggers in your home is important. Therefore, don’t hesitate to seek out experienced professional to help you determine the best approach to minimize the exposure and health effects of asthma triggers in your home.