If you have asthma, you already know how frightening an asthma attack can be.
Your hearts’ racing, you can’t barely take your next breath, and a feeling that you’ve lost control and you are on the verge of following the light.
Living with asthma can be even more stressful and a real cause for anxiety, especially when you know you have no control over your cause of allergic reactions. Allergens are lurking everywhere. On your walk in the park, in your classroom or workplace, even just chilling at home.
You may not be able to control the air quality at your local park or neighborhood, but you can reduce the irritants in the air you breathe in your home by improving your indoor air quality.
This article will help you take control of your irritants indoors by outlining some of the considerations for an asthma-friendly environment.
1. Keeping your house clean
Cleaning your house can be a great way to cut down on dust, mold, and animal dander in your house. Your cleaning efforts should focus on lowering all irritants that can trigger your asthmatic symptoms. Here are some of the cleaning activities you should consider:
Cleaning your floors
Consider vacuuming your floors, carpets, and rugs one to two times a week. This helps in reducing chemicals, dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens that accumulate on your floors.
Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter, and strong suction to ensure that dirt and dust don’t get blown out back to your floor through the exhaust.
You can also consider mopping your floors to pick up any dust the vacuum cleaner leaves behind. Any lingering allergens or dust should be easy to get rid of with just plain water and soap.
Clean your bedding regularly
If you have pets, regularly cleaning your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases should be a top priority when reducing your indoor irritants. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology recommends doing this weekly in water that is at least 1300 F.
Empty and clean your trash can regularly
Clearing clutter and emptying your trash regularly helps in reducing bad odor from the trash which might trigger a reaction.
2. Cut down on smoke and scents indoors
Eliminating scents and smoke is an important aspect of improving your indoor air quality.
You can start by ensuring no one smokes in your house, on your balconies/porches and compound. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals that can take months to clear from clothes, cushions, and carpeting once someone smokes indoors.
Next, reduce fragrances in your houses such as colognes, air fresheners, scented candles, and fragrant hand creams. They might be a cause for irritation once inhaled.
3. Let your leafy friends stay outdoors
Indoor plants are a good way to bring nature inside and make your house look lively. However, these plants can collect and facilitate the growth of mold. This can be a cause for concern especially if plant allergens and mold trigger your asthma symptoms.
While some indoor plants said to be effective at improving air quality indoors- through the release of oxygen- on the balance, they might be causing more problems than help. Therefore, always avoid having indoor plants for fewer allergic reactions.
4. Change your HVAC filters
If you have a heating and air conditioning system in your home, changing filters regularly is important. Filters ensure dust and other irritants get trapped preventing them from being recirculated in your home.
It is also important to have your ducts cleaned and trapped dust removed. This might not be an immediate solution in all cases, but it helps, where dust build up the ducts is very high, say if you live in a drier or desert like region or areas with minimal tree cover.
When changing your air filters, always ask for advice from a qualified HVAC technician (here is a heating and air conditioning New Jersey technician) for advice on the right filter for your system.
5. Open windows
Opening your windows from time to time allows fresh air in your house. Consider doing this for 5 – 10 minutes a day. Open windows flush out potential air contaminants that cannot be avoided by other means such as cooking fumes. It also helps to lower air humidity which is known to boost mold growth indoors.
During winter, make sure to close your windows at night to avoid breathing cold air which increases the risk of developing chest infections.
Breathe easier indoors
Stale indoor air is a major cause of allergic reactions and other respiratory problems. Consider these 5 tips to improve indoor air quality and reduce the amount of allergy-inducing pollen, pet dander, and mold spores in your home for easier breathing.