Asthma is often triggered by allergies, and spring can be a primetime for flare-ups for those people who suffer from both. Knowing what steps to take to reduce your exposure to common triggers such as pollen and dust mites can make a huge difference in your comfort level:
- Stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when pollen counts are highest
- Choose a low pollen producing grass, such as buffalo grass
- Choose lightly scented flowers and plants
In Your Home:
- Remove shoes before you come in the house, so you don’t track pollen inside.
- Flooring and carpeting should be easy to clean – if you have carpet and can’t remove it, Carpets with shorter piles are easier to clean, and synthetics have a lower moisture content, making it harder for dust mites to thrive. A good, deep steam cleaning will help reduce the dust mites in any carpet you can’t get rid of.
- Get your air conditioner cleaned and serviced regularly to make sure it is running effectively – cooler environments are harder for dust mites to live in. Air conditioners can also reduce the humidity levels in your home, another effective way to reduce the amount of dust mites.
- Also consider getting a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter for your air conditioner.
- Choose leather or vinyl instead of upholstered furniture if you can, they are much easier to clean, again making it much harder for dust mites to thrive in.
- Wash your bedding – sheets, pillows, comforters, etc. on hot at least once every two weeks. Consider pillow or mattress protectors to stop the transfer of dust mites.
- Vacuum and dust often – vacuums with HEPA filters are ideal.
Remember if you have asthma, know and try to avoid your triggers, keep your medicine with you at all times and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.