In some countries the rate of asthma sufferers is as high as 10% of the population, so it is by no means an uncommon ailment. Medicines to help control the condition and alleviate symptoms have been around for a long time, but what else can be done around the home to help?
This article will prove to be somewhat of an asthma action plan, offering tips on how to prevent asthma within the home; what’s good, and what to avoid. Not only will we be dealing with asthma and its prevention, but these tips will also help anyone who suffers any form of airborne allergies such as hay fever.
First, let’s take a brief look at asthma.
What Is Asthma and What Causes Asthma?
Asthma can affect people of all ages and doesn’t discriminate between the sexes. People suffering asthma have sensitive airways to the lungs. Certain things trigger this sensitivity, leading to a narrowing of the airways and resulting in an asthma attack.
3 main factors contribute to this narrowing of the airways:
- Mucus in the airways
- Bronchoconstriction – Muscles tightening around the airways and squeezing
- Inflammation and swelling of the airways
Why people develop the asthma condition in the first place is largely unknown, but many environmental issues can certainly contribute not only to its development, but also the onset of symptoms.
Triggers include some of the following:
- Dust and pollens
- Colds and flus
- Weather and abrupt changes in air temperature
- Certain medications
If you suffer from any form of allergy, then solvent-based paints are the worst. Even after they are dry and the paint smell is gone, many of these solvent-based paints still give off toxins for months and years to come.
Water-based paints are a much better alternative. Not only are they way less smelly when applied, the clean up is much easier and they don’t emit toxic fumes. I don’t think an acrylic gloss gives quite as nice a finish as oil-based paints, but they are a better idea if you happen to be an asthma sufferer.
Wherever there is a flat surface, then dust and allergens can collect. The floor of your home is a huge flat surface, so covering it all in carpet is asking for trouble where allergies are concerned. Don’t get me wrong, I love carpet, but carpets are dust collectors.
A better choice is tiles. Much simpler to keep clean and tiles don’t trap dust. Perhaps just have a rug on the floors here and there to break it up a little. Choose rugs with a very short pile as they collect and trap less dust. Parquetry flooring is another option, or wood that hasn’t been painted or stained with an oil-based paint.
If you are an asthma or allergy sufferer, then it’s important to consider the furnishings you have in your home; what they’re made of (fabrics and fillings included) and what they’re coated with. Anything natural is always a good first choice; materials such as leather or cotton. Vinyl is not a bad choice, either. Although it’s not a natural material, it doesn’t have an open weave and is non-toxic.
Avoid wooden furniture that is coated in solvents and toxic oil paints. Natural oils are fine. Furniture made of bare metals should be avoided; especially if it is prone to rust. Glass table tops are a great option. They don’t contain toxins or trap dust, but should ideally be cleaned with a mix of vinegar and water rather than a chemical glass cleaner.
As about one third of our lives are spent in the bedroom it is a crucial room to keep as dust and allergen-free as possible for asthma and allergy sufferers. Bed linen should be changed regularly, and dust shaken out of blankets and covers. There is special bedding that can be purchased that is hypo-allergenic. It generally costs a little more, but is well worth the investment if it is affordable. Pillows and mattresses made of latex are one of the best options, rather than those stuffed with synthetic padding. Quality bedding will prove cost-effective in the long run as it will last much longer. And who can measure the cost benefits of ones own health?
Air purifiers are an awesome way of filtering out airborne pollutants. Dust, pollen and mould can invade the home, much of it not even visible. These pollutants can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. An air purifier does a great job of removing most of these from the air we breathe. There are many brands and models on the market that vary in price, so there is much to choose from to suit your needs. They are also very cost-efficient to operate for long periods of time.
These function by first filtering the air of dust and other impurities. As well as this they have a system in place that breaks down the pollutants before returning the purified air to the room. Anyone suffering from asthma or allergies should have at least one of these in their home; preferably in the bedroom.
Homes that are open plan offer the best ventilation. Having a constant supply of fresh air is always helpful for allergy sufferers. Kitchens and bathrooms should have ventilation fans installed to extract stale, damp air and cooking smoke. Windows and doors with fly screens not only keep out insects, but also work as dust filters. Screens should be washed or vacuumed off regularly to keep the air coming into the house as clean as possible.
Whilst ceiling fans are good for circulating the air, they also collect a lot of dust on the blades, so it is important to wipe them over regularly with a damp cloth and dry the blades. The same goes for any other types of fans within the home, as well as the filters in air conditioners.
Plants are natural air purifiers, converting our expelled carbon dioxide back into life-giving oxygen. They will also trap and absorb many airborne pollutants.
Here is a list of some good indoor plants:
- Bird of Paradise
- Kentia Palm
- Rhapis Palm
Avoid fresh flowers or flowering plants as they release pollens into the air, and pollens can be a real enemy to asthma and allergy sufferers.
Dust collects on curtains and blinds; especially horizontal blinds. Best to avoid these style of blinds if at all possible. They are not only a hassle to clean, but provide multiple flat surfaces on which dust can collect. Go for vertical blinds instead, or curtains that are easily washable. Materials made from natural cotton are best.
The dropped hair from cats and dogs can play havoc with asthma sufferers. Regular grooming and brushing will help keep irritations to a minimum. Not only does it remove loose hair, but also removes dog dander (dead skin cells, a known irritant).
Avoid the use of flea powders, too, as these can really be a problem when it comes to allergies. There are quite a few options when it comes to eradicating fleas on pets these days, including oral tablets.
Household Cleaning Products
This is one of the most important ones when it comes to making the home more friendly to an asthma sufferer.
It is best to always try and use products that are natural and organic and chemical-free wherever possible. Sometimes chemical cleaners are the only thing that will get the job done, but if the house is basically chemical-free when it comes to cleaning products, then this certainly helps reduce the risk of asthma attacks.
As mentioned earlier, vinegar mixed with water is very effective for cleaning glass surfaces and windows. It even works well on kitchen bench tops. Steam cleaning carpets and curtains is also a good idea. Using a quality vacuum cleaner with very good filtration will also help to ensure the air isn’t refilled with dust while cleaning. And at the end of the day, a damp cloth to wipe down dusty surfaces is just as effective as anything other method. The dampness stops the dust flying back up into the air. Using an open-weave, porous cloth will also ensure the dust is trapped in the weave and rinsed down the sink.
More Useful Tips
- Clean the lint filters in washing machines and clothes dryers religiously
- Always use natural air fresheners
- Use fragrance-free tissues
- Keep doors shut to wardrobes and walk in robes to keep dust out of clothing
- Never allow smoking in the house
- Avoid cluttering surfaces with too many objects, as this will collect dust and make cleaning that much more cumbersome
As an alternative to the medications on the market to relieve asthma symptoms, there is an all-natural product called AsthmaMist. It is formulated to relieve symptoms naturally with no side effects or sore throats.
It helps by reducing the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing and wheezing
- Mucus and congestion
- Tightness in the chest
AsthmaMist is made from FDA approved ingredients, such as:
AsthmaMist works by delivering the homeopathic spray directly into the bloodstream to relieve symptoms. Simply spray directly under the tongue three times a day for best results.
Right now there if a FREE trial offer and the company offers a 100% satisfaction, money back guarantee on any future purchases.
So click on the image below and check out the official website, as AsthmaMist could be a good product to add to your arsenal in the battle against asthma and allergies.