Given that you need to breathe in order to exist, having asthma can be a major pain. Asthma is a respiratory illness that affects one’s airways, which makes normal breathing more complex than it should be. Asthma is worsened when the sufferer is exposed to triggers such as pollen, mold, respiratory infections, dust, cold air, and even exercise.
When such triggers strike, the muscles surrounding the airways become smaller, which makes it harder to breathe. Also, when the airways are inflamed, they start to produce more mucus, which makes the task of breathing almost seem like a punishment. During an asthma attack, an individual typically experiences shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing and coughing.
When you have asthma, you usually have a good idea of what types of medication make your breathing easier, as well as the triggers that worsen it. Some things, however, can make your breathing worse without even realizing it, like the state of our homes. Triggers that lead to attacks hide in our homes and because we spend a huge portion of time indoors, those triggers can accumulate making your asthma worse than it needs to be.
So how do you ensure that your home is trigger free to prevent further attacks? Here is how to create an asthma-friendly home:
Pay attention to your indoor air quality
While most individuals think of smog as the most serious form of air pollution, the air we breathe inside our homes is likely more toxic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labels indoor air quality as one of the most concerning health risks, which is ranked up there with polluted drinking water.
Poor indoor quality stems from polluted outdoor air, which is usually cycled ineffectively in tightly sealed homes as well as energy-efficient homes. As a result, the trapped allergens tend to be higher inside the home than outside; in some extreme scenarios, the pollution levels may even be 100times higher than outside.
Add to that the homeowners’ use of chemicals such as pesticides, hairspray, cleaning detergents, air fresheners, and perfume and you have a recipe for disaster. The situation is made worse when you have pets that produce dander and dust mites and suddenly the home is one of the worse places that you can be.
Polluted indoor air poses a risk to everyone- the elderly, children and people suffering from respiratory illnesses such as asthma. So what can you do to improve the indoor air quality in your home?
Place Himalayan salt lamps in every room
Himalayan Salt Lamps are made from huge chunks of pink or orange Himalayan rock salt that have been hollowed out to make room for a light bulb. The salt produces negative ions that work to eradicate pollutants from the air, helping to neutralize toxins, which in turn makes the air cleaner and less irritating to people that suffer from chronic lung conditions such as asthma.
If you are already suffering from asthma or you suspect that you have poor indoor air quality, one of the easiest things that you can do to remedy the situation is to place Himalayan salt lamps in rooms that you frequent such as the bedroom, living room and kitchen area. Please note that although Himalayan salt lamps can do wonders for your indoor air quality, it should not be used as a substitute for any medication that you may be using.
Take it outdoors
The dangers of smoking are very well documented and one of the most prevalent triggers for asthma in the home is second-hand smoke. If you live with someone with asthma, it is imperative that you completely diminish the number of times that you smoke around them. If you are completely unable to quit, the second best thing that you can do is smoke outside and not in your home or car.
Get rid of dust mites
Dust and dust mites are some of the worst triggers for asthma attacks. As such, you must keep your home as free of dust mites as possible, which means cleaning regularly to keep dust levels at a minimum. Dust mites thrive in warm, moist conditions, making carpets and beddings perfect breeding grounds.
To control the number of dust mites in your home, make sure that you cover your mattresses and pillows using dust-proof zipper covers. Also, wash your sheets and blankets at least once a week in hot water to kill them.
Remove your carpeting
If your home has wall to wall carpeting, you may need to remove it to make your space asthma-friendly. Wall to wall carpeting is known to trap allergens that can make asthma symptoms worse. If you can, stick to floors that are easy to clean such as tile and wood.
If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, ensure that you vacuum it once to twice per week. Be sure to clean thoroughly only when asthma sufferers are out of the house.
Change the household cleaners that you use
Cleaning is vital for creating an asthma-friendly home, just make sure that you are not using cleaning products designed to irritate your airways. Not all cleaning supplies are created equal- some contain harsh chemicals that can exacerbate asthma. In general, you should avoid using stringent cleaners like ammonia and bleach.
When buying your cleaning supplies, look for products that come with a green seal of approval, which is a designation given to products that are safe for you and the environment. Such products are made using natural ingredients, which tend to be a lot kinder to your airways.
Almost everyone with asthma finds that their symptoms worsen when exposed to particular triggers. While many individuals are privy of allergens and airborne pollutants that hide outside our home, research has shown our homes also harbor many of these triggers. Therefore, creating a healthy indoor environment has never been more important.
When creating an asthma-friendly home, you must remove as many of these asthma triggers as possible. You must also execute a lot of knowledgeable tricks to ensure that the allergens do not return.