Often, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. Some of the triggers are the same — allergens can cause an allergy attack OR an asthma attack. Or both! Keeping the triggers under control in your home can help reduce the number of asthma attacks and even help decrease the need for inhalers and other asthma medications.
What triggers an asthma attack?
- Allergens like pollen, mold, or dust
- Irritants like smoke, perfumes, or room deodorizers
- Infections, especially the upper respiratory kind
- Emotions like anxiety, fear, or anger
The best thing you can do to keep your home free of allergens and irritants is to clean. Clean regularly, and clean often. Make sure that basements and bathrooms and other potentially damp areas stay dry and free of mold. Want to test your home for mold? Look here to get started.
You may notice that a lot of the advice for preventing asthma attacks is useful in allergy proofing your home — especially if you have pets and pet allergies. Allergies and asthma are very often closely related! Here are some tips to help keep allergy and asthma problems at bay:
- Keep bedrooms free of dust mites! Use plastic mite-proof covers for mattress, box spring, and pillows. Wash linens weekly; wash blankets and stuffed toys in hot water at least once a month. Remove carpets and upholstered furniture where possible to minimize the places dust mites can live.
- Don’t smoke in the house. Irritants can linger on the walls, in furniture and carpets, and on clothing.
- Control dust! Wash curtains monthly. Vacuum carpets frequently. Use a damp cloth to dust, rather than a feather duster that just moves dust around.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom. Creating a pet-free space for your allergic or asthmatic family member can help manage the triggers!
- Think about having your air ducts professionally cleaned. Change or clean air conditioner filters as recommended by the manufacturer.