Spring is a very nice season, but for people suffering from allergies, it can be a very uncomfortable time. Symptoms can include chronic nasal congestion, allergic rhinitis, sore throat, sneezing and swollen eyes. Asthma triggers are found everywhere: outside, at work, and inside the house. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside the home can be more polluted than the outdoor environment. Americans are estimated to spend up to 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is important, especially if you have asthma. (EPA.gov). How do we control asthma triggers inside our homes? First, speak with your doctor to develop a comprehensive asthma action plan. Your plan should include information about treatment, emergency care and prevention tips.
Next, follow these 10 easy steps to prevent asthma and allergy triggers in your home:
- When cleaning your house, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. For air filtration choose a small particulate air filter.
- Eliminate the clutter of boxes, magazines, paper bags and piles of newspapers.
- Store stuffed animals (or wash them in hot water).
- Line mattresses and pillows with closed and dustproof covers that are allergen-impermeable or look for a seal that says it is Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly.
- We know that pets bring a lot of joy, but dandruff (small flakes of dead skin) can trigger symptoms, so keep pets out of rooms (pets like dogs, cats and birds can be the cause of asthma attacks).
- Bathe pets weekly and clean the area where they relieve themselves (cat litter).
- Maintain a cleaning routine to prevent cockroaches. Do not leave food or garbage out. Store food in airtight containers. Clean all food crumbs or spilled liquids right away. Try using poison baits, boric acid (for cockroaches), or traps before using pesticide sprays. If sprays are used, limit the spray to the infested area. Carefully follow instructions on the label. Make sure there is plenty of fresh air when you spray and keep the person with asthma out of the room.
- Use safe strategies that are non-toxic and place pest traps near walls, under sinks (dishwashers) and in cabinets.
- Replaced pest traps as needed.
- Identify areas in the house that might have water leaks, mold or mildew
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