• Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that various sources inside the home can trigger.
• To reduce exposure to triggers, keep windows open, limit fragranced products, and maintain low humidity levels in damp areas.
• Installing allergen-proof covers for mattresses and pillows, HEPA filters, and screens for windows and doors can help reduce asthma triggers.
• Renovating with an open floor plan is also beneficial for reducing dust accumulation and mold growth.
• Finally, cleaning your home by dusting, vacuuming, and mopping regularly will create a healthier environment.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people in the United States. While most people are familiar with asthma’s triggers outside of the home, many do not realize the impact the indoor environment can have on asthma symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about asthma and how it happens inside your home.
What is Asthma?
First, you need to understand what asthma is and how it works. Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung condition that causes the narrowing of the bronchial tubes, making breathing difficult. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can happen suddenly or over time due to exposure to triggers, some of which can be found inside your home. Here’s how your asthma can be triggered inside your home.
Identify and Reduce Sources of Air Pollution
One of the most significant contributors to poor air quality is air pollution. Common sources of indoor air pollution include cooking fumes, cleaning products, carpets, furniture, and pets. To reduce exposure to these allergens, open windows regularly to let fresh air in and keep fans running in closed spaces. Additionally, try limiting your use of fragranced products like scented candles and aerosols, as these can contain chemicals that worsen asthmatic symptoms.
Mold is another common allergen that can worsen asthmatic symptoms—especially in damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms. To prevent mold growth in these areas, ensure they are well-ventilated and humidity levels remain low (below 50% relative humidity). If you discover mold growth in your home, take steps to remove it immediately using proper safety protocols and protective gear.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures found throughout your home that feed on skin cells shed by humans and animals. Dust mites love warm places such as beds, couches, carpets, closets—anywhere that dust accumulates over time. The best way to reduce dust mite exposure is by vacuuming frequently—at least once a week—and washing sheets regularly with hot water (at least 130°F).
Additionally, investing in allergen-proof covers for mattresses and pillows can help create an environment where dust mites cannot thrive.
Renovating Your Home to be Allergen-free
Creating an asthma-friendly home can reduce your risk of developing or exacerbating asthma. Here’s a look at how to keep your home safe from asthma triggers.
One of the best ways to reduce exposure to asthma triggers is by renovating your home with an open floor plan. This allows for better air circulation throughout the house, reducing the risk of dust accumulation and mold growth.
However, this kind of renovation will require some extra work. If you need help removing load-bearing beams inside your home, you should get help from a professional general contractor. They can advise on how to safely and successfully remove the beams without compromising the structural integrity of your home.
Installing high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home can help reduce airborne particles from triggering asthma. These filters capture small particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and smoke that can irritate your airways.
You need your windows to get fresh air into the house, but this can be dangerous if you don’t have screens. Install window and door screens to keep out any allergens or critters that could trigger an asthma attack.
Finally, keeping your home clean is essential for reducing asthma triggers. Dusting, vacuuming, and mopping regularly can help keep allergens from building up in the air. Additionally, avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia when you clean, as these can worsen asthmatic symptoms.
Creating an asthma-friendly home begins with understanding what causes asthma attacks indoors and taking proactive measures to reduce those triggers whenever possible. Although it may take some time before you start seeing results from these efforts, the payoff will be worth it! With a few simple changes around your home, such as reducing sources of air pollution or preventing mold growth, you will soon be breathing easier, knowing your home is safe from asthma triggers.