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How to create an asthma safe home and environment? – Part 1

For a person with asthma, the only way not to trigger asthma is by providing the person a home safe environment by expelling all the triggering agents and minimizing the possibilities of a trigger. The allergens may be:
• “Seasonal” pollens
• Year-round dust mites
• Molds
• Pets
• Insect parts

Foods that can trigger asthma:
• fish
• egg
• peanuts
• nuts
• cow’s milk
• soy
• sulfites
• work-related agents
• latex
• epoxides
• formaldehyde

Irritants like:
• colds
• bronchitis
• sinusitis
• aspirin
• beta blockers
• tobacco smoke
• smog
• weather changes
• diesel fumes
• paint
• detergents
• deodorants
• chemicals
• perfumes
• nighttime
• exercise
• chemicals
• dusts
• gases
• metals
• laughing
• crying
• yelling
• distress
• premenstrual syndrome hormones

Basic Steps to create an asthma safe environment

1. Improving Indoor Air
• The air inside the house should be of good quality and free of allergens.
The irritants that can be avoided in providing a safe environment are:
– tobacco or wood smoke
– perfumes
– aerosol sprays
– cleaning products
– fumes from paint
– cooking gas
– scented candles
– fresh newsprint

Imbibe the following:
– Choose a proper exhaust system.
– Always keep the air condition on when the rate of pollen is high.
– There may be a mold counts or ozone or pollution warnings.
– Choose an artificial tree for the holidays.
– Run the air conditioning, especially on days with high pollen or mold counts or ozone or pollution warnings.
– Change your air conditioning filter as and when required.
– Close the outlets of the room where the person is sleeping.
– Provide meshes to the windows.
– Keep all the air ducts clean.
– Have a planned exhaust system.
– On high count of pollen, open the windows after mid morning as it is considered to be the highest time of pollen count.
– Air cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air filter is the best for air cleaning.

2. Dealing with Dust Mites
• Dust mites are a trigger for asthma for many people.
• These dust mites are very tiny which are born from the dust that is in the house.
• They like on the dead cells of the human skin.
• They make upholstery their home.
• This can be sofas, beds, rugs and so on.
• The bedroom can be considered their main den.
• These dust mites thrive well in humidity.
• If the humidity is >50%-60%, their existence becomes lot better.
• Hence, it is always better to avoid a humidifier.
• If humidifier is unavoidable, check for an alternative to either reduce humidity of the house or replace another alternative for humidifier.
• If that is also not possible, then try to run the humidifier at certain times when humidity is less otherwise.

To reduce dust mites:
• Vacuum and dust your home once a week.
• Use small pore filter bags in the vacuum.
• Buy a HEPA filter equipped vacuum for best results.
• Use a damp cloth to clean your house from dust.
• This disables the spreading of dust mites.
• Avoid down pillows.
• Choose synthetic made bedding.
• Wash the clothes in hot water especially the bedding clothes.
• Dry the clothes in hot sun or high setting of washing machine.
• Use mite proof covers to cover your mattresses, pillows, and box springs.
• Wipe down the covers once in a week at least.
• Remove wall to wall carpeting if required to reduce flare ups.
• Wash the area rugs in hot water and dry them in good hot sun.
• Clean them once in a week at least.
• Wash the window covering also once a week to ensure good cleaning.
• All the blinds, horizontal surfaces and the whole house where dust can accumulate have to be taken care of for the same.
• Wash all window coverings regularly.
• Upholstered furniture and pillows should be avoided.
• Keep the house clean and clutter free to ensure safe environment and avoiding of dust accumulation.
• Clear away picture frames and plants.
• Store the books in a room other than where you are sleeping.
• Child’s collection of stuffed animals has to minimize for safety.
• Seal the toys in a plastic bag if they are not used.
• Put them in the freezer.
• Leave them for about 5 hours or overnight.
• This way dust mites are killed.
• Avoid using a humidifier.
• This will ensure no humidity.
• If required, in moist seasons, run a dehumidifier.

Ridgecrest Herbal Clearlungs Red/Herbal The Asthma Sourcebook Beating Asthma: Seven Simple Principles

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