Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Avoid Asthma Triggers

We must be educated of asthma triggers in order to help prevent them. If you or anyone you know or love, struggles with asthma, you know how critical it is to avoid any kind of trigger that would spur on an attack.

You can take your preventative medicine, of course, but as soon as you enter a dusty room or even go outside, allergens are inhaled and your airways may constrict, causing another attack.

Many people with asthma keep an inhaler with them to prepare for going outside or into the workplace. But we cannot control these environments, unfortunately.

On a better note, you can prevent asthma triggers in your own home! The main triggers in your average household are dust mites, molds, and pollens.

Dust mites may be the most common asthma trigger at home. How can you protect yourself? Wash your bedding in hot water every week and make sure your pillows and bedding don’t contain feathering. Non carpeted floors are great because they are easily cleaned. If you don’t have hardwood floors, vacuum more often with an allergen proof vacuum bag.

MAKE SURE TO WEAR A MASK WHILE VACUUMING! Remember to keep clean air filters installed for your heating and air and cover air ducts with cheesecloth for extra protection. Remember what I said about washing your bed-sheets in hot water? Do the same for your curtains every week! It looks tiring, but it’s worth it to have a dust-free home! And, as usual, keep surfaces and lampshades cleaned. Don’t forget to wear that mask!

What about asthma triggers caused by mildew? How do you keep it from growing in your home? Where do we encounter mildew the most at home? Bathrooms! Clean your bathrooms regularly using cleaners that kill and prevent mold. If you feel like taking a hot shower, make sure to open the bathroom door or window to air it out.

Nothing causes mildew more than too much humidity. Do you have a bathroom rug? After that hot bath or shower, make sure to immediately remove it and set it outside to air out and dry. Have a rug in front of the toilet? Get rid of it. Make sure to air our the damp and humid areas of your home regularly. Buy a dehumidifier if needed! Keep household plants OUT of the bedroom.

Lastly, remember to avoid those pollens. They may be difficult to avoid completely, but there are a couple of things you can do to cut down on exposure to them. Limit your exposure to the outdoors in the morning as the pollen counts are highest in the early morn. This is especially the case when the weather is warm and dry. Most importantly, and you may already have figured this one out, keep your windows shut.

Most people with asthma don’t have pets. For those of you who do, make sure to restrict your pet’s living area in the home. Once you find a main dwelling area for your pet, make sure to pull up any carpet if there is any. Do not allow it in the bedroom, and if possible, keep the pet outside.

Like those bed-sheets and curtains, put on your mask and wash your dog or cat weekly in hot water (not too hot!!!). If you are visiting a friend or relative’s house and they are indoor pet owners, avoid long visits. Exposure to the pets should be kept to a minimum or completely avoided. And, as usual, take your medicine before entering the home.

All these procedures may seem tiring, but once you make it a daily affair to follow them, the decrease of asthma triggers will give your system a break from excessive stressors in your living space.
To say it loud, there’s nothing like having a clean environment to come home to! Breathe clean and easy.