What is Asthma? Well, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.
Asthma attacks are caused by pollen, wind, pets, dust, mold and mildew, smoke and inhaling cold, dry air. These are the most common triggers for those who suffer from asthma. The frequency of these attacks can, therefore, be kept to a minimum if you stay away from these triggers. One of the ways to help is to eliminate these causes from the environment by performing a regular thorough cleaning around the house.
Below we have described some areas and surfaces that need to be clean regularly to help you minimize Asthma attacks.
- Mattresses and Beddings
Anyone who suffers from asthma should not have feathers in their pillows and beddings. These feathers can act as asthma triggers and therefore should be avoided at all costs. Additionally, the mattresses and pillows should be encased in allergen-proof zipped cases to ensure that they do not collect any of these allergens from the air. Finally, beddings ought to be washed at least once a week for an adult or child who suffers from asthma.
- Cleaning the Common Areas
Vacuuming should be done at least once a week for hardwood, laminate or tile floors and twice a week for carpeted areas. The latter ought to be vacuumed using allergen-proof vacuum bags. If you are the one suffering Asthma, always wear gloves and a mask during the cleaning process to prevent contact with these allergens. If your kids are the affected ones, take them out of the room while you vacuum it.
When it comes to picking the type of floors you want, it is best to use hard surfaces such as hardwood or tile floors These reduce the amount of dust that is accumulated in an area and can be cleaned easily. Additionally, if you can, limit the number of area rugs or get rid of them completely. If you have these rugs, you need to clean them twice a week to ensure that they are not harboring any allergens.
- Other Surfaces
You need to commit to cleaning other surfaces such as lamp shades and window sills once a week. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe them clean. This will prevent the accumulation of dust and reduce the asthma triggers in the home. Dusting all the air vents in your home as well as changing your air conditioning filters regularly will help reduce the amount of polluted air in your house. To add on to this, the drapes need to be washed in warm or hot water after every two to four weeks and blinds mus be hand wiped regularly.
- Toys and Clutter
Clean out all the clutter and arrange everything neatly on shelves or other storage. This minimizes the accumulation of dust in the room. Swap out the traditional stuffed animals for washable ones if your child is the one who suffers from asthma. These are usually asthma triggers that no one remembers to consider.
Other effective means to ensure that your home is free of asthma triggers is to include the use of a dehumidifier to help keep the indoor humidity. As we mentioned in previous blog posts, controlling the amount of dog hair in your house will also help to reduce the Asthma causes. It is also important to keep the windows closed and opt for air conditioners when it is allergy season. Finally, make it a rule that no one is allowed to smoke in the house. The thing about smoke is that it also lingers and some of the particles adhere to other surfaces, posing danger even after the smoke has cleared out. It doesn’t matter how clean that house is if other asthma triggers are reintroduced into the home.
Although keeping your house clean will not reduce 100% the Asthma attacks, it will definitively help you control the frequency of these events and hopefully will give you more peace in your daily life.
(photo credit: practicalcures.com)
(Photo credit: Neil Turner https://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/10114120/in/faves-67335929@N06/)
(Photo credit: practicalcures.com)