Eliminating asthma triggers in the home
One of the most effective ways to manage asthma in the home is by eliminating asthma triggers or things in the home that can cause asthma attacks. Because triggers vary from person to person, it is important to speak with a doctor to identify your asthma triggers so you can remove them from your home.
Common asthma triggers are allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, outdoor mold, cockroaches, pollen and outdoor mold. In addition, common irritants such as strong odors, sprays, perfumes, and smoke can also trigger an asthma attack.
To eliminate exposure to dust mites in the home you can:
- Wash your bedding weekly in hot water.
- Keep stuffed animals and toys off beds and make sure to wash them weekly in hot water as well.
- Use dust-proof covers on your mattresses and pillows.
- Reduce humidity in the room by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
- Frequently dust and vacuum your home. It’s best to use a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particle air or HEPA filter.
You can also reduce pet dander as a trigger by frequently dusting and vacuuming your home with a vacuum that uses an HEPA filter. Bathing your pets weekly can also cut back on their dander. Keep your pets outside if possible.
Someone without asthma should be the one that changes the litter box. Add HEPA filters to your home’s heating and cooling system, this can cut back on the pet dander in the air.
Don’t allow pets in your bathroom.
Outdoor Mold and Pollen
Keep your windows closed and use your air conditioning or central air to cool your home.
Stay indoors during the morning and afternoon hours as this is when pollen and mold counts are at their highest. Wear a dust mask when doing yard work (such as mowing the lawn or raking the leaves).
Mold in the Home
An HEPA filter on your home’s heating and cooling system or central air will help alleviate mold in the home as well. Frequently clean areas that are prone to develop molds (such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement and laundry room).
Clean surfaces that may develop mold with a cleaner that has bleach in it. Store bedding and stuffed animals in airtight containers if you’re going to keep them in the basement or cellar. Open the window or turn on the exhaust fan during and after a shower.
Wash or throw out moldy shower curtains and bath mats. Make sure your home is not too humid by using an air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Be sure to clean air conditioners, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers regularly as they are often sources of mold.
Strong Odors, Smoke and Chemical Irritants
Avoid these irritants if it all possible. Air out the house after cooking, after using cleaning spray, or after using any other chemical irritant. It is also best not to smoke if you have asthma. (Set a rule in your home that no one else be allowed to smoke either.)
Ways to Prevent Asthma Attacks and Treat Them When They Occur
If your healthcare provider has prescribed medication to help you deal with your asthma, it is important that you take it daily —whether you are experiencing symptoms or not.
In order to remember to take your medication while at home, it’s best to utilize an alarm system, be it a reminder on your phone or an alert from your Google Calendar. (There are also free online medication reminder services that you can sign up for.) Once you establish a medication-taking regimen, be sure to stick to it.
Discuss an asthma action plan with your doctor and be sure to share it with those you live with. Whether you have moderate or severe asthma, an action plan will help you know what to do in case of an emergency. And by partnering with your doctor, you’ll be able to customize an asthma action plan that is suited for your unique condition. Going over your customized asthma action plan with your loved ones can help them feel more confident about what to do in an emergency situation as well.
Dealing with Asthma with Dr. Mayank Shukla
Now that you know some best practices for managing asthma in the home, be sure to utilize these techniques to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from asthma attacks.
If you have any further questions or concerns about how to manage asthma in the home, be sure to reach out to us today. And to schedule a consultation, visit drmayankshukla.com.