Asthma, a chronic disease, is on the rise. As per WHO estimates, 235 million people worldwide suffer from it. In the U.S. alone, around 8.1 percent of the population (in 2017) has been diagnosed. Anything can trigger asthma symptoms — dust, pollen, allergies, and even dander. And the result is not so pleasing; the recurring breathlessness and wheezing can last for days or weeks.
When asthma flares, most of us rely on drugs such as Ventolin. However, there are several drug-free ways you can adopt in your home to keep these symptoms at bay. Let’s see how.
Remove Dust Particles
Image via Flickr by polentafria
Dust is the No. 1 irritant of asthma, and the best way to avoid it is to vacuum or mop your house daily. If possible, avoid carpets and rugs in your house and go for bare floors. Alternatively, opt for nylon solution-dyed or loop carpets.
Wash your bedding every other week. If you’re one of the lucky ones staying in warmer climes, dry it under direct sunlight or give it a hot wash above 60 degrees Celsius.
You also need to dry your blankets frequently, vacuum the furniture (preferably using a damp cloth to clean rather than dust), eliminate any fluffy toys, and put doors on all open shelves. Vacuum your curtains daily or replace them with vertical or roller blinds that are easier to clean.
Install an HVAC Filter
The best way to reduce allergens in your home is to install an HVAC filter. It’s quite effective in capturing even the smallest particles from your indoor air.
Another option is a ventilator system that filters outside air from dust, pollen, or other irritants, keeping the inside atmosphere fresh. For better indoor air, avoid strong odors in the house like incense sticks and perfumes, and clean the outside of air ventilation units and fans.
If you stay in a place with low humidity levels, consider installing a humidifier, which will help the dust particles to settle on flat surfaces that can be easily wiped.
Nicotine in cigarettes causes the lungs to inflame, which worsens asthma symptoms. If you smoke, it’s time to quit or seek help. If anyone else in your house does, then he or she needs to stop smoking near you. In addition, try to avoid public smoking areas whenever possible.
Tend to Your Garden
You must avoid trees that release pollen in the air, such as oak, elm, birch, or maple. In addition, beware of grasses such as ryegrass or orchard grass, as they can trigger asthma quickly. Opt for the plants that birds or insects pollinate naturally, such as hibiscus, fuchsias, and honeysuckles. Be sure to weed frequently.
Keep Pets Clean
We can’t live without our furry friends, but pets do trigger asthma in some individuals. If possible, don’t keep a pet or adopt one with a low- or no-shedding coat. Either keep them outside or confine them to specific areas of your house; don’t allow them inside your bedrooms.
You also need to groom your pets frequently, as their coat contains many allergen particles. Be sure to clean their sleeping places, toys, and eating bowls regularly.
By adopting these simple solutions, you can keep your asthma symptoms in check at home and help reduce your dependency on medication to manage your health.