People with allergies of the respiratory tract have a constant problem with various triggers such as pollen, dust, mites, mould, fur from pets or other particles in the air. While these common triggers do not affect most people, they can be troublesome and set off allergic coughing, wheezing, or breathing problems in those with existing breathing difficulties. While you may keep a distance from pets, it is not possible to stay away from other triggers since most of these are found in and around your home. But there are ways to transform your home into a breathe-easy zone. Here are a few simple methods to control allergens and improve indoor air quality.
1. Maintain good ventilation
You can improve ventilation in potential problem areas such as in the kitchen, bathroom, and dry yards by installing good exhaust fans. To remove steam and cooking smoke that can cause irritation from your kitchen, install an efficient hood, which has an external vent, over your stove. It is also a good idea to switch to electrical cooking appliances such as induction tops that prevent heat loss and do not produce fumes.
2. Moisture control
In places where there are high levels of humidity, it is important to keep your living premises clean and dry to prevent mould. One simple way is to install a de-humidifier in your living space. It is not only important to have good ventilation but also to have an efficient and leak-free plumbing and drainage system in place. Also, make sure that your walls and corners are free from seepage and your drains are clean and unclogged. Avoid the use of room coolers that use an evaporative cooling mechanism as they can add moisture to air.
Cockroach droppings can initiate asthma attacks due to the presence of a protein trigger.
3. Remove dust regularly
Make sure you clean all dust from furniture, open shelves, and wall pieces daily with a damp cloth. Use a vacuum cleaner to rid your carpets, blinds, ceiling fans, and other items of dust regularly, but only in the absence of asthmatic persons. Wash or air dry blankets, bed covers, and curtains every week and dry them in direct sunlight. Avoid or minimise the use of fleece, fluffy cushions and soft toys. Cover soft toys with a plastic cover. In case your home is located in a dusty zone, such as near a busy highway, or where there is a lot of construction activity, then it is ideal to keep your windows closed for the maximum time possible or install air-conditioners in your living areas.
4. Keep your pets outside
If you are an animal lover and you love having pets around, then try to keep them outside your living space. Avoid bringing them into your bedroom or on fabric-covered furniture. Keep your pets well groomed and clean their living areas regularly. It is ideal to opt for pets that are not furry, such as fish!
5. Maintain your garden
If gardening is your hobby, then you don't have to shun it for the fear of pollen. Just make sure to weed often, and avoid rye grass and flowering plants that pollinate by air. Instead go for plants that pollinate by external agents such as birds and insects. Avoid indoor plants that retain too much water as moist soil can invite mould to grow. Opt for plants that act as air-purifiers such as English ivy, snake plant, and aloe vera, which can be kept indoors.
6. Pest control
Cockroach droppings can initiate asthma attacks due to the presence of a protein trigger. Therefore, it is necessary to keep your house clear of cockroaches. Regular pest control can help you keep a check on pests including mites and spiders. To avoid breeding of cockroaches, you must ensure that any wall cracks and floor gaps are repaired or blocked. Keep garbage bins clean and covered, and kitchen sinks clean and dry. Fix leaking pipes and clogged drains immediately.
Other triggers such as tobacco smoke and strong odours from perfumes, sprays, talcum powder, and incense should be kept to a minimum within the house, especially around those prone to wheezing.
A few changes and simple precautions like these can help you stay healthy and keep asthma attacks at bay.