Asthma and allergies are two of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States. And for people who have both asthma and allergies, exposure to allergens can increase their asthma symptoms and trigger asthma attacks.
Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but common allergen triggers include pet dander, mold, dust mites and pollen. While you can’t always avoid these triggers, there are things you can do to minimize your exposure and stay healthy.
Here are some tips to help:
- If you have pets with fur, bathe them every week. Keep them out of the bedroom and off the furniture. Vacuum carpets and furniture often.
- Keep your house as mold-free as possible. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to help keep the humidity level low. Use exhaust fans or open a window in the bathroom when showering. Fix water leaks that can cause mold to grow behind walls and under floors.
- Dust mites are in almost every home. Use dust-proof covers on mattresses and pillows to create a barrier between dust mites and yourself. Don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts or comforters. Wash bedding in hot water weekly and dry it completely to get rid of dust mites.
- When pollen counts are high, keep doors and windows closed. Limit the time you spend outdoors. After being outdoors, change and wash your clothes, and shower before going to bed.
Knowing your triggers and taking steps to reduce or remove them from your daily life is important to managing your asthma. You should also talk to your doctor and follow your treatment plan, including taking any medications as prescribed.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health