Posted by Administration on 1/13/2012
Controlling Asthma Triggers
How can I prevent asthma
triggers at home?
The most important thing you can do is to
control asthma triggers. The main asthma triggers that are in your home are
dust mites, molds, pollens, pets, cockroaches, and household irritants.
Secondhand tobacco smoke may also be a trigger in your home, especially for a
child with asthma.
How can I protect myself
against dust mites?
pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen-proof, zippered covers.
all bedding in hot water about once a week.
flooring is best. If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, vacuum often with a
multi-layer, allergen-proof vacuum bag. Wear a mask while vacuuming. If your
child has asthma, do not vacuum while he or she is in the room. Products that
eliminate dust mites from carpeting (such as Acarosan) can be purchased. Your
asthma care provider can give you information about these products.
change filters on heaters and air conditioners.
heavy, lined curtains or drapes with washable window coverings. Wash window
coverings in hot water. Use plain window shades instead of mini-blinds.
all surfaces often, including lampshades and windowsills, with a damp cloth.
clutter under control. Toys and books should be stored in enclosed bookshelves,
drawers, or closets.
traditional stuffed animals with washable stuffed animals.
all clothing in drawers and closets. Keep drawers and closets closed.
air ducts with filters or cheesecloth. Change these when soiled.
and bedding should not contain feathers.
indoor humidity low (25-50%). Use a dehumidifier.
How do I stop mold and
mildew from growing in my home?
out damp, humid areas frequently. Run a dehumidifier to keep humidity between
25% and 50%.
air conditioners when possible.
bathrooms regularly using products that kill and prevent mold. Use exhaust fans
to vent steam. Do not carpet the bathroom.
indoor plants out of bedrooms.
painting, add mold inhibitor to paint to prevent mold from growing.
sources of outdoor molds, such as wet leaves or garden debris.
How do I control insects
inside my home?
Many homes and apartments have cockroaches
and other insects. Some people with asthma are allergic to these. To control
these allergens in your home:
roach baits or traps.
sprays can be used but should only be sprayed when no one is at home.
you or your child returns home after spraying, make sure that your home has
been aired out for a couple of hours.
How can I decrease my
exposure to pollens?
Pollens are difficult to avoid, as they
cannot be eliminated from the atmosphere. You can lessen your or your child's
exposure to these by following these guidelines:
counts are highest early in the morning, especially on warm, dry days. Limit
your or your child's outdoor activities during these times.
windows closed during pollen seasons.
air conditioning if possible.
How do I protect myself
against asthma triggers from pets?
best not to own any pets if you or your child is highly allergic. Definitely
avoid pets that have been shown to cause allergies.
visits to friends and family who own pets should be avoided. If you do visit,
make sure you or your child takes asthma medicines before the visit. Exposure
to the pets should be kept to a minimum when visiting.
you must have a cat or dog in the home, restrict its living area. It should not
be allowed in your or your child's bedroom at any time. If possible, keep the
the animal weekly.
as much carpeting as possible. Animal dander deposits in the carpeting and
stays there, even after the pet is gone from the home.
How do I avoid irritants
in the air?
using aerosol sprays, paint, and cleaning agents with heavy odors when you are
in the home. Make sure your home has proper ventilation. Wear a mask or
handkerchief over your mouth when cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, or
working in the yard.
not use perfumes, scented lotions, or other highly scented products that may
irritate your lungs.
you live in an area where air pollution is a problem, limit outdoor activities
when the pollution counts are high.
an exhaust fan when cooking to remove smoke and odors.
How can I protect my child
from secondhand tobacco smoke?
If your child has childhood asthma, there are
a number of steps you can take to protect your child from secondhand tobacco
you smoke, quit -- if not for yourself, for your child. If your spouse or other
family members smoke, help them understand the dangers of smoking and encourage
them to quit.
not allow anyone to smoke in your home, car, or while having extended contact
with your child.
smoke-free places to go with your family. Avoid restaurants and public areas
that allow smoking.Further Reading: