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10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Home More Asthma Friendly


Updated July 21, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

More than 5% of  Americans have asthma causing missed days of school, work, and unwanted visits to the ER and hospital. Allergens are one of the most common reasons asthma symptoms flare. Importantly, there are a number of things you can do in your home to prevent your asthma from worsening. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these 10 things will help keep your asthma in check:

  1. Take it outside. Secondhand smoke is a common asthma trigger. Encourage people to quit and make sure they smoke outside, not in your home or car.
  2. Good night, little mite! Dust mites are also common asthma triggers. Covering mattresses and pillows with dust-proof  zippered covers and washing all bedding once a week in hot water will help keep the mites at bay.
  3. Play it safe. Poor air quality with high levels of ozone and particle pollution can worsen asthma symptoms and trigger asthma attacks. Watch for the Air Quality Index (AQI) during your local news or check out this daily map with warnings for cities having a poor AQI day. If the AQI in your community is poor, consider limiting outdoor activities.
  4. A little goes a long way. Regularly dusting with a damp cloth and vacuuming carpet and fabric-covered furniture when asthma sufferers are out of the house can reduce dust exposures. Using a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vaccume cleaner and filters can reduce exposure to dusts that may make your asthma worse.
  5. Stake your claim. Household pets can trigger asthma with dander, skin flakes, urine and saliva. While its best to keep the pets outside, keep them out of the bedroom if this is not possible.
  6. Uninvite unwelcome guests. Cockroaches are a pain to get rid of- they have been here for thoud=sands of years. Don't make things worse by by leaving food or garbage out. Always clean up messes and spills and store food in airtight containers.
  7. Think before you spray. Instead of pesticide sprays, control pests by using baits or traps. If sprays are necessary, always circulate fresh air into the room being treated and keep asthma sufferers out of that room for several hours after any spraying.
  8. Break the mold. Mold is another common asthma trigger. If you can control the moisyture in your home, you can control the mold. Wash and dry hard surfaces to prevent and remove mold. Make sure to replace moldy ceiling tiles and carpet.
  9. Air it out. Reducing the moisture will control asthma triggers like mold, cockroaches and dust mites. Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking and showering. Fix leaky plumbing or other unwanted sources of water.
  10. Plan before the attack. Work with the doctor or health care provider to develop a written asthma management plan that includes information on asthma triggers and how to manage them.

Why not go tp the forum and tell our community what you do to make your home more asthma friendly.

Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed May 7, 2009. Triggers In Your Home.



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