According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 24 million people with asthma in the US. Of this number, 19 million are adults, while 5.5 million are children below 18 years old. Three out of thirty children are likely to have asthma.
Asthma affects your lungs and is one of the leading chronic diseases among children and adolescents. It can cause breathing difficulty, coughing, and tightness of the chest. Symptoms usually occur at night or early in the morning. Specific triggers can cause an asthma attack. Eliminating these triggers, such as changing the beddings regularly to hiring an air duct cleaning service, can help reduce risks of an asthma attack.
Common Asthma Triggers
Each person will have his or her own set of asthma triggers. You must identify what triggers your asthma attack. Here are some of the most common asthma triggers that you should watch out for:
- Dust mites
- Tobacco smoke
- Smoke from burning wood
- Outdoor air pollution
Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
An asthma attack is always an ugly occurrence. The airways become swollen and inflamed. The muscles in the airways contract, making breathing difficult. Symptoms can be minor, which can be relieved with home treatment to severe and life-threatening.
The signs and symptoms of an asthma attack can vary from person to person. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Severe shortness of breath
- Tightness of chest
Your doctor will prescribe you medication to give you relief. Make sure to follow your doctor’s directions. If the symptoms do not improve, seek medical help immediately.
The good news is, you can control your asthma by avoiding triggers and taking your medicines as instructed.
How to Reduce Asthma Triggers in Your Home
One of the steps in controlling your asthma is by avoiding triggers. However, why not reduce or eliminate these triggers at all?
Here are some steps that you can take to make your home asthma-friendly.
1. Reduce dust mites.
You cannot completely eradicate dust mites, but you can reduce them to lower the risks of asthma attacks by doing the following:
- Change and wash beddings once a week.
- Vacuum at least once a week.
- Avoid feather or down pillows and comforters.
- Invest in dust-proof, allergen-impermeable, zippered covers for your pillows and mattresses.
- Get rid of carpeting, especially in the bedroom.
- Clean up your room. Clear your room of items that can easily collect dust.
- Avoid sleeping with stuffed toys.
- Prevent dust build-up through daily dusting using a wet cloth.
2. Get rid of molds.
Molds thrive in dark and wet places like bathrooms, basements, and air ducts. Molds reproduce by sending mold spores into the air. These mold spores can trigger your asthma attacks.
Here are some tips to eliminate molds in your home.
- Use a dehumidifier.
- Do not use wallpapers in the bathroom and the basement.
- Do not keep plants inside your home.
- Clean visible molds with a bleach solution.
- Replace and wash shower curtains at least once a week.
- Keep your air ducts clean.
- Fix leaky plumbing.
3. Stay away from animal allergens.
Unfortunately, your furry friend can trigger your asthma attacks. Animal danders, saliva, pee, and feathers can all trigger asthma symptoms.
If your pets are one of your asthma triggers, here are the things that you should do:
- Keep pets out of your bedroom. If you have sufficient covering outside to keep your pet safe and warm, keep them outside.
- Have someone else wash and brush your pets.
- Play with your pets, but avoid hugging them.
- Ask your companions to wash their hands after they play with your pets.
- Have someone else wash your pet’s beddings and cage.
4. No smoking.
Secondhand tobacco smoke is one of the most common asthma triggers. Forbid smoking in your home. Ask your companions who smoke to do it outside, not inside your house and your car.
Other sources of smoke that you must also avoid are wood-burning fireplaces and burning leaves.
5. Avoid using products with a strong odor.
Products with a strong fragrance, such as perfumes, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and deodorants can trigger an asthma attack. Choose personal care and cleaning products that are fragrance-free and allergen-free.
6. Get rid of cockroaches.
Cockroaches can be an asthma trigger for some people. Cockroaches can be hard to avoid, but here are the steps you can take so that they won’t thrive in your home.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes lying around. Clean up immediately after meals.
- Don’t leave food uncovered in your table or your kitchen counters.
- Don’t save paper bags and newspapers.
- Keep garbage bins closed.
- Throw away your garbage daily.
Keeping your home allergen-free can make a big difference and reduce the risks of an asthma attack. After all, your home should be your place of relaxation.