Asthma is a condition that affects the airways, causing them to swell and fill up with mucus. As a result, people who suffer from this condition have difficulty breathing.
When it comes to asthma, triggers are defined as anything that makes your symptoms worse. This can range from pollen and dust mites to mold, pet dander, and airborne pollutants.
For people with healthy lungs, these types of contaminants usually don’t cause any problems. For people with asthma, however, they can lead to difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Although triggers are not the underlying cause of asthma, they can make the condition worse by causing flare-ups.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to get control of your asthma is by identifying your triggers. You will need to work closely with your doctor to figure out which contaminants are the most likely to trigger asthma attacks. Once you identify your triggers, you can then work on removing them from your environment. This is particularly essential for any rooms in your home where you frequently spend time.
Common Triggers That Are Found In The Air
The air inside your home can be filled with contaminants, many of which can trigger asthma attacks. Some of the most common triggers include cigarette smoke, wood smoke from a fireplace, fragrances, aerosol cleaning products, hair spray, paint fumes, air pollution, and pollen.
Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to minimize the number of airborne contaminants inside your home. Start by prohibiting smoking indoors. Rather than starting a fire in your fireplace or wood stove, turn on your furnace or add an extra layer of clothing. During the summer, turn the air conditioner on to help filter the air. Avoid opening the windows when the outdoor pollen count is high or when there is a lot of air pollution in your area.
Getting Control Of Dust Mites
Even though you can’t really see them, there are tiny insects known as dust mites that make their home in the dust that exists around your home. They also take up residence in carpeting, bedding, and other soft surfaces. Typically, they are found in the highest concentration in the bedroom.
Even though there is no way to eliminate dust mites completely, you can help keep them under control by frequently vacuuming and dusting. You should also avoid the use of pillows or duvets that are filled with feathers or down. Regularly wash your bedding using the hottest water setting on your washing machine, then dry the bedding in your dryer.
Consider investing in a mattress cover, special hypoallergenic pillowcases, and a cover for your boxsprings. Consider removing carpeting from your home, opting instead for hard floors. Finally, keep your home as clean and tidy as possible, eliminating any clutter or knickknacks. If nothing else, keep these items in an area of your home that is far away from where you spend the most time. If you want some more info, check out these 10 Ways to Relieve Allergy Symptoms with Cleaning
Dealing With Mold
Mold is a living organism that grows in areas where there is moisture. For instance, you can often find it in basements or in bathrooms. In order to reproduce, it sends spores out into the air. These spores can act as a trigger for people who suffer from asthma.
The best way to take control of this problem is by eliminating mold inside your house. There are quite a few different ways that you can do this.
Start by investing in a dehumidifier to help dry out areas where excess moisture gathers. If you have any carpeting or wallpaper in your bathroom, basement, or another area of your home that tends to be damp, try removing it. Turn the air conditioner on during the summer to help dry out the air.
If you have any houseplants, consider getting rid of them and replacing them with artificial plants instead since mold can grow in the soil. If you can see areas where mold is growing, spray them down with a mixture of bleach and water to kill the mold. Finally, periodically wash your shower curtain to keep it from getting moldy.
Allergens Related To Animals
Even the cleanest animals can leave behind certain contaminants that can trigger asthma attacks. For instance, pet dander, the tiny flakes of skin that fall off of animals, are a major trigger for many people. Some people also experience an increase in asthma symptoms when exposed to animal urine, saliva, or feathers.
Try keeping your pets outdoors. If nothing else, at least keep them from entering your bedroom. Make sure that your pets are bathed and brushed on a weekly basis. When you play with your pet, try to avoid getting too close to it. Always wash your hands and have other people wash their hands after they play with your pet.
For small animals in cages, try keeping them in a part of your home where you don’t usually hang out. The job of cleaning the cage should fall to someone who doesn’t have asthma. Cold-blooded pets like fish are usually a great choice for people who have asthma.
Cockroaches Can Be Triggers
Cockroaches are a hidden trigger that most people don’t think about. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to get rid of – especially if you live in an apartment building.
You can minimize the risk of developing a cockroach problem by getting rid of paper products like bags and newspapers right away. Make sure that all of your food is stored in airtight containers and that you wash your dishes as soon as you are done eating. Don’t leave any crumbs or spilled beverages on your countertops.
Choose a garbage can with a lid and make sure that all of the materials you are recycling are thoroughly rinsed out before they find their way into your recycle bin.
Taking the time to remove as many asthma triggers as possible from your home can help create a more comfortable living environment. It is a lot nicer to spend time at home when you don’t have to worry about experiencing regular asthma attacks.