According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), 1 in 13 people is affected by asthma, with around 25 million Americans having the condition. Asthma can significantly affect one’s quality of life, making it difficult to do not only sports and heavy physical activities, but sometimes even daily chores and tasks. Asthma attacks could be triggered by numerous factors such as pollen, mold, smoke, and even dust mites (which also trigger specific allergies), to name a few.
That said, there’s an inherent need for homes with asthmatic family members to take certain precautions to prevent asthma flare-ups and improve their quality of life at home.
No Smoking Allowed
Not only does secondhand smoke trigger asthma more frequently and severely, but children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of developing asthma as well as pneumonia, bronchitis, and a plethora of other respiratory illnesses. That said, making your home a smoke-free zone is a good idea altogether, and not just for asthma prevention.
Regularly Vacuum and Dust Your Home
Dust, as well as dust mites, are also a major asthma trigger, so it’s essential to make your home as dust-free as possible. The need to vacuum and dust your home may have to be more frequent if you have carpeted floors and rugs around. You also shouldn’t forget to frequently wash beddings, drapes, and even stuffed toys as they can collect dust and are breeding grounds for dust mites.
Have an Asthma-Friendly Floor
As mentioned earlier, carpets and rugs can collect dust (and other asthma triggers). So, if someone in your household is diagnosed with asthma, consider having wood or ceramic tiles instead of carpets. Not only do these types of flooring materials collect considerably less dust than carpets, but they’re much easier to clean.
Frequent HVAC Cleaning and Filter Replacement
Your HVAC system continuously collects dust and other debris throughout its operation — which can trigger one’s asthma if left unaddressed. More frequent HVAC and air duct cleaning should be done in your Minneapolis home to improve the quality of air and also the quality of life of your asthmatic family members. You’ll also want to consider having a High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filter to your HVAC system to filter out and reduce dust and debris in your air.
Be Smart About Pets (Dogs)
Having pets at home, particularly dogs and cats, can significantly increase the risk of flare-ups, mostly due to pet hair, and also the dust that they track and spread inside the home. If you’re planning to welcome a pet dog or cat into your family, it’s best to choose a breed that doesn’t shed that much. You can quickly look up online for asthma-friendly pets that can safely keep your asthmatic family members company at home. If you currently have a (non-hypoallergenic) pet at home, it must be kept away from your asthmatic family member’s room, and don’t let your asthmatic family member hug or kiss the pet. You’ll also need to be more frequent with regards to washing and brushing your pet.
The Bottom Line
The central theme of making your home asthma-friendly is to eliminate, or at least minimize potential asthma triggers. However, it’s just as essential to accept the fact that asthma attacks and flare-ups can occur any time, despite how much you keep your house (and the air inside it) clean, so make sure that your medicine cabinet is always stocked up with asthma control medication.