Asthma Safe Home

An asthma attack occurs when a person’s airways tighten and become inflamed or filled with mucus. Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing.

Asthma symptoms can be brought about by any number of outside factors, including cigarette smoke, dust, mold spores or pet dander. Since many of these asthma triggers can be found in the home, people with asthma must take great care to make sure their home is as free of asthma triggers as possible.

Asthma-Safe Cleaning Products

Aerosol sprays and many commercial cleaning products can irritate asthma patients. If you or someone in your household has asthma, switch to non-aerosol and unscented asthma-safe cleaning products. Don’t purchase scented candles or air fresheners, either.

When buying household cleaners, look for ones marked “low VOCs.” VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are found in many commercial cleaners and can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Better yet, steer clear of commercial cleaning products entirely. Many household cleaning tasks can be achieved using only baking soda and white vinegar. Not only are these asthma-safe, but they’re better for the environment and easier on your wallet, too.

If you often have your clothes professionally dry-cleaned, allow your dry-cleaned items to hang outside for a while before bringing them indoors. Dry-cleaning solvents use strong chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled.

When possible, cleaning products should be handled by a non-asthmatic household member. Open windows and run exhaust fans when using commercial cleaning products in your home.

Lifestyle Changes to Consider

If you have asthma, take a good look at some of your lifestyle choices and see if you can cut out anything that contributes to your asthma. For example, if you’re a cigarette smoker, you’ll see a vast improvement in your health and quality of life if you quit.

Other changes you can make include:

  • avoiding wood-burning fireplaces
  • giving away a pet if allergies are a problem
  • not opening windows during pollen season
  • not using hairspray, perfumes and other scented personal-care products
  • opting for an artificial tree instead of a real tree during the holiday season
  • using unscented laundry detergent.

How to Asthma-Proof Your Home

If you’ve eliminated as many asthma-causing behaviors from your life as possible and you’re still experiencing asthma flare-ups, home remedies for asthma are in order. Asthma-proofing your home is not the easiest task and it requires constant upkeep, but your airways will thank you.

A few steps you can take for asthma home remedies include:

  • Check your gas appliances and make sure that all of their vents go outside.
  • Consider installing hardwood floors instead of carpet.
  • Don’t allow smoking in your home. At all. If a guest or family member must smoke, ask them to do so outside.
  • Fix leaky pipes, make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated and run a dehumidifier in damp areas to avoid mold.
  • Get rid of clutter and items that collect dust.
  • Regularly change your air-conditioning filter.
  • To get rid of dust mites, which are a common asthma trigger, vacuum and dust your entire home at least once a week. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Use pillows and blankets made with synthetic materials, rather than down or feathers.
  • Wash all bedding at a high temperature once every couple of weeks.

Resources

American Lung Association. (2009). How to purify the air in your home. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from the American Lung Association Web site: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/indoor-air-quality-47020101.

Ben-Joseph, E.P. (2007). Creating an asthma-safe home. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from the Kids Health Web site: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/asthma/asthma_home.html.

Emiss, A. (2008). 10 steps to making your home asthma-safe. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from the Ezine Articles Web site: http://ezinearticles.com/?10-Steps-to-Making-Your-Home-Asthma-Safe