Community Views: Making Your Home Asthma and Allergy-Friendly
Asthma triggers are everywhere, and our home is no exception. Allergens and dust can accumulate and hide in all parts of our home. Being exposed to triggers such as pet dander, mold, smoke, dust mites, and many others, can cause flare-ups and frequent asthma attacks. However, making a few purchases or home modifications to eliminate allergens and improve our air quality can make a huge difference in alleviating some of our asthma symptoms.
Making our homes asthma and allergy-friendly
In previous articles, our advocate, John, spoke about how having an allergy-friendly home has made a difference in his asthma control. So, we asked our Facebook community, "How have you made your home asthma-friendly?" and here is what you had to say.
Keeping carpets clean or getting rid of them altogether
"All wood floors. No rugs or carpets."
"I have hardwood floors and vacuum and wet dust mop frequently."
"Laminate and vinyl flooring replaced carpet years ago."
Having carpets and rugs could hold certain pollutants that may trigger our asthma. This includes dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and other allergens. As a solution, many of our members have shared that wood, tile, and vinyl flooring has made a huge improvement in their asthma control. With these types of flooring, it is much easier to maintain and regularly clean with a wet mop. Sweeping causes the dust to spread throughout the home, so it is suggested to use a mop or wet cloth when cleaning our floors. However, some of us may not be able to remove our carpets so it's important to try to vacuum regularly to minimize the amount of allergen buildup. Small rugs can also be a great alternative since they can be cleaned a lot easier than carpets.
"No curtains. Shutters that can be easily vacuumed or wiped off."
"No curtains in my room; just blinds."
Curtains are a great place for dust mites to thrive, so if you aren't looking to replace your curtains with blinds or shutters, a great alternative is to purchase washable ones! This will allow you to clean them regularly without having dust fly around everywhere or stick to the fabric. When cleaning off our shutters or blinds, it's extremely helpful to wear gloves and a mask to protect ourselves and reduce the risk of an asthma attack.
Keeping the furniture and bedroom clean
"Mattress and pillowed covered. Allergy-friendly bedding."
"I wash all bedding weekly."
"All leather sofa’s/chairs (no fabric)."
Allergy-friendly bedding such as dust mite mattress covers and hypoallergenic pillows can provide great relief for those living with asthma and allergies. Hypoallergenic bedding differs from regular bedding by the way the fabric is made. This bedding is tightly woven in order to prevent allergen and dust mite buildup. Many of our members have also shared that washing bed sheets and pillow covers regularly has reduced their asthma symptoms at night. Others have found it helpful to replace the furniture in our living rooms and bedrooms with more allergen-resistant furniture such as wood, metal, or leather. Fabric furniture could be much more difficult to clean regularly, but a leather couch could make a huge difference!
Humidifers and dehumidifers
"Bought an air purifier and it has helped dramatically."
"Investing in an air purifier."
"Humidifier on the furnace."
Humidifiers can improve the air quality in the home by removing harmful air particles. However, humidifiers can create too much moisture in the home which allows mold and bacteria to grow. In contrast, Dehumidifiers can take out some of that moisture and are usually kept in basements and other areas where humidity and mold tend to build up. Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers should be cleaned weekly in order to ensure that they are working efficiently. Many community members have mentioned that HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters have been extremely helpful and have improved their asthma and allergy symptoms tremendously. Using fans can cause allergens to circulate and fly around in your home, causing asthma flare-ups.
How have you made your home allergy-friendly?
Thank you to all who shared a few of your tips and tricks for battling common triggers in your home. Do you have any additional tips? Share them in the comments below!
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