The lung condition Asthma is incredibly common amongst both children and adults, and can affect the ability to breathe normally. Asthma sufferers have narrower airways, and may produce more mucus than non-asthma sufferers, causing respiratory complications.
Some of the most common asthma symptoms include a shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing.
Asthma is often triggered by an environmental factor that, when the conditions are right or the problem particular is breathed in, can lead to asthma symptoms or even an asthma attack, which can be fatal if not promptly and appropriately treated.
Whilst outdoor elements can trigger your asthma, there are several indoor contributors that it is worth eliminating from your house if you’re suffering from asthma.
This article from the online pharmacy Pharmica explores the most common indoor asthma triggers, and suggests methods to control and manage your symptoms.
What are the most common indoor asthma triggers?
Airborne dust particles
Dust is one of the most common triggers of asthma, and may even cause irritation to those without the condition. Whilst thought to be predominantly dust particles, most of the airborne dust indoors comes from outside.
It can be brought into the home when going to and from, but it also finds its way indoors when we keep our windows open for extended periods of time.
Cigarette smoke, or any smoke for that matter, can cause breathing complications for those with asthma. When others are smoking outside, although this is unpleasant if an asthma sufferer is nearby, the smoke does at least dissipate into the air and doesn’t linger.
If smoking inside, however, tobacco smoke can remain in the air for up to two and a half hours, as well as clinging to clothes and soft furnishings, becoming tricky to get rid of.
This common indoor asthma trigger occurs when there is an abundance of moisture inside, in which mould fungi find it easy to grow in and can multiply very quickly.
Areas like the bathroom, kitchen, or basement might have recurring mould problems due to the level of moisture in the air and/or the lack of airflow. Mould in small quantities is fine, but if lots of mould spores are breathed in regularly, you may find it hard to control your asthma.
Household animals like dogs, cats and hamsters shed their fur and skin (known as dander) which may trigger asthma symptoms.
Large amounts of this may irritate your airways regardless of whether you have pet allergies, but if you do, symptoms will be far worse. It’s therefore also worth checking if you have an allergy to your pets, something that can develop at any age.
How to reduce the impact of indoor asthma triggers
- Vacuum not only the floors but also the furniture regularly, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for trapping the smaller dust and pet dander particles as well as bigger ones.
- Keep surfaces clear so that dust can’t build up easily.
- Remove your shoes at the front door and try not to bring too many items indoors that might be holding dust or dirt particles.
- Make sure you and those you live with only smoke outdoors. If you can quit smoking, this is highly advised, especially if tobacco smoke is one of your personal asthma triggers.
- For wet or damp areas of the home, try to keep these as dry as possible by mopping up visible water and use a dehumidifier and extractor fan. Also check there are no leakages that are contributing to water build-ups.
- Take medication for allergies, such as antihistamine tablets, if you have an allergy to pets or dust.
- Wash your pets bedding regularly to stop dander from accumulating.
- Establish areas of the house, especially the bedroom, that you restrict your pet from entering. Those who let their pets sleep on their bed often suffer the worst from pet-related asthma symptoms.