Childhood Asthma: Triggers Hiding in the Home

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , /

[MUSIC PLAYING] JILL: Many Americans
have asthma, kids, teens and adults. But it can
be controlled through medication therapy and
the removal of triggers, especially in the home. Asthma triggers are all around us.
Triggers are things that make a person’s asthma worse.
There are two types. Allergens are specific to that
individual and cause an immune response. Irritants are
things that irritate the nose, throat, and lungs. We spend the
majority of our time indoors. We need to eliminate those
triggers at that source. In the bedroom the most
common triggers are dust mites and family pets.
Remove places where dust and the dust
mites can collect. Remove wall-to-wall carpet
or vacuum at least weekly. Encase mattresses, box
springs and pillows in allergen-free encasements.
And wash the bedding weekly in hot water.
Remove or wash stuffed animals frequently. Don’t let
the pets spend time in the bedroom or sleep on the bedding. In the common living areas
the primary allergens and irritants are wood smoke,
tobacco smoke, pets, and strong odors.
You should never smoke in the home. Limit or eliminate
the use of wood smoke and fireplaces. Pay attention to
things with strong odors such as perfumes, air fresheners,
candles, and cleaning products. Keep pets off of upholstered
furniture so their dander does not get into the fabric. In bathrooms, the triggers
are strong cleaning products and mold. Because mold needs
humidity to grow, use good ventilation or a fan when
showering or bathing. We want to clean places that
can grow mold. Use cleaning products without strong odors.
Limit things such as hairsprays and air fresheners. In the kitchen,
we need to think about cockroaches and mice. Clean up
crumbs right away. Store food in airtight containers, and wipe up
any grease. The burning of incense or open flame cooking
in the kitchen can be triggers for asthma. Reducing triggers
in the home can seem overwhelming. We recommend starting in
the bedroom, creating an allergen free space.
Remember, even small steps can make a big difference. [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC ENDS]

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