|Cutting down on some environmental irritants and allergens will help reduce the trigger load, which:
- Reduces the symptoms of allergies.
- Reduces the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms.
Here are some tips to reduce environmental irritants and allergens:
1. Seasonal pollen
- Keep your windows closed in the house.
- Keep bedroom a safe haven by placing any clothing worn outside, that may have collected pollen, outside the bedroom. Wear separate indoor clothing inside the bedroom.
- Shower off any pollen at night.
- Frequently change and use adequate air filters in the central ventilation system.
2. Dust and dust mite control
- Use special allergy covers on pillows and mattresses.
- Minimize the number of stuff animals.
- On a weekly basis, place the stuffed animals in a plastic bag and freeze them overnight to kill the dust mites.
- Then wash the stuffed animals in hot water to remove the dust mites and their fecal residues.
- Reduce the number of carpeting and fabric drapes.
- Consider hard flooring over carpeting.
- Consider blinds over fabric drapes.
- Vacuum and dust at least 2 times per week.
- Wash bedding in hot water weekly.
- Consider using a de-humidifier during humid weather. Keep humidity below 50% to decrease dust mite growth.
2. Indoor mold control
- Keep common areas of mold growth clean– molds usually grow in damp areas (eg, around sinks, vents, bathrooms, basements, etc.).
- Limit use of humidifiers and vaporizers—dampness can promote mold growth.
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes to decrease unnecessary dampness.
- Consider using a de-humidifier during humid weather.
- Clean up left over foods and house hold wastes.
- Frequent environmental and laundry cleaning to remove cockroach fecal matter and residues.
- Consider removing pets from the household.
- Keep pets out of the bedrooms.
- Frequently vacuum areas where pets usually roam.
- Wash pets at least weekly to decrease the amount of loose dander, urine, and dried saliva.
6. Other environmental irritants and tips
- Try to limit uses of aerosolized sprays and strongly scented materials (room deodorants; hairsprays, scented candles, etc.)
- Avoid second hand smoking.
- Tobacco residue alone on clothing can cause an asthma exacerbation.
- Consider using a HEPA air filter and HEPA vacuum cleaner.
- Provide adequate ventilations to dry damp areas.
Dr. Kevin Lue is especially interested in asthma care because of his personal experience with it.
3925 75th Street, Suite 105; Aurora, IL 60504