Environmental Controls for Allergies and Asthma

Cutting down on some environmental irritants and allergens will help reduce the trigger load, which:

  1. Reduces the symptoms of allergies.
  2. Reduces the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms.

Here are some tips to reduce environmental irritants and allergens:

1. Seasonal pollen

  1. Keep your windows closed in the house.
  2. 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.
  3. Shower off any pollen at night.
  4. Frequently change and use adequate air filters in the central ventilation system.

2. Dust and dust mite control

  1. Use special allergy covers on pillows and mattresses.
  2. Minimize the number of stuff animals.
    1. On a weekly basis, place the stuffed animals in a plastic bag and freeze them overnight to kill the dust mites.
    2. Then wash the stuffed animals in hot water to remove the dust mites and their fecal residues.
  3. Reduce the number of carpeting and fabric drapes.
    1. Consider hard flooring over carpeting.
    2. Consider blinds over fabric drapes.
  4. Vacuum and dust at least 2 times per week.
  5. Wash bedding in hot water weekly.
  6. Consider using a de-humidifier during humid weather.  Keep humidity below 50% to decrease dust mite growth.

2. Indoor mold control

  1. Keep common areas of mold growth clean– molds usually grow in damp areas (eg, around sinks, vents, bathrooms, basements, etc.).
  2. Limit use of humidifiers and vaporizers—dampness can promote mold growth.
  3. Fix leaky faucets and pipes to decrease unnecessary dampness.
  4. Consider using a de-humidifier during humid weather.

4. Cockroaches

  1. Clean up left over foods and house hold wastes.
  2. Frequent environmental and laundry cleaning to remove cockroach fecal matter and residues.

5. Pets

  1. Consider removing pets from the household.
  2. Keep pets out of the bedrooms.
  3. Frequently vacuum areas where pets usually roam.
  4. Wash pets at least weekly to decrease the amount of loose dander, urine, and dried saliva.

6. Other environmental irritants and tips

  1. Try to limit uses of aerosolized sprays and strongly scented materials (room deodorants; hairsprays, scented candles, etc.)
  2. Avoid second hand smoking.
  3. Tobacco residue alone on clothing can cause an asthma exacerbation.
  4. Consider using a HEPA air filter and HEPA vacuum cleaner.
  5. Provide adequate ventilations to dry damp areas.

Dr. Kevin Lue is especially interested in asthma care because of his personal experience with it.

1-2-3 Pediatrics
3925 75th Street, Suite 105; Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 978-7337