If you have asthma, your immune system reacts as soon as you encounter a substance it considers dangerous—whether that’s pollen, dust mites, mold, or air pollution. When your asthma is triggered, your airways tighten, and they create more mucus than they should. As a result, you end up with uncomfortable symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, and coughing.
The first step in avoiding uncomfortable symptoms is to develop a solid action plan, which should include the medications necessary to minimize your symptoms. Depending on your symptoms’ severity, you might also have to make some changes at home to avoid encountering triggers. Here’s how to boost your indoor air quality to make your home as comfortable as possible.
Invest in a dehumidifier.
Warm, moist climates are a breeding ground for harmful substances like mold spores and dust mites. If you live in a humid area, investing in a dehumidifier can help prevent your indoor air from becoming too muggy. According to the AAAI, it’s best to keep your home’s humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.
To find the right air quality products for your home, you might need to shop around to find products that fit your budget and your family’s needs. Fortunately, there are countless indoor air quality products on the market to help you breathe cleaner air.
If you’re unsure where to start, trusted HVAC companies like Alford Mechanical offer installation services for humidifiers, air purifiers, air ventilation systems, and UV lamps. Ultimately, improving your home’s air quality translates to healthier living for everyone. Even pets are sensitive to air quality issues—so if you have any furry friends, you have that much more reason to invest in the best air quality products.
Keep your living area clean.
Dust mites, molds, and other contaminants accumulate every day in your living room. As a result, the more you clean your space, the less likely you’re going to react to allergens. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with asthma should aim to clean their space at least once a week. During your cleaning sessions, be sure to dust your mantel and ceiling fans, vacuum, and clean out the fireplace.
When it comes to decorating your home for Christmas, there’s a lot you can do to maintain the air quality in your living room. Although not everyone with asthma has trouble with real Christmas trees, real trees introduce mold and pollen spores into your indoor air. If you’re sensitive to mold and pollen, you might notice symptoms that resemble hay fever when you bring a real Christmas tree, poinsettia, garland, or wreath into your home.
If you’re worried that a real Christmas tree will trigger your asthma symptoms, opt for an artificial tree. Alternatively, if you’re set on a real tree, hose the tree down before bringing it into your living room to wash off allergens and odors and let your tree dry out first before decorating it with lights and ornaments.
Keep pets out of the bedroom.
If animal dander triggers your asthma symptoms, consider banning your furry friends from the bedroom. Although it might seem cruel, your sinuses are more important than cuddles.
While you sleep, you spend hours exposing your sinuses to any allergens or contaminants in your bedroom. According to the AAAAI, if your pets have been hanging out in your bedroom, animal dander can negatively affect your airways and sleep quality. If you can’t find a way to ban your pet from the bedroom, it’s important to wash them twice a month. However, this solution might not always be realistic, depending on the animal.
When making changes to your home, it’s important to keep in mind that whether or not these tips will help ultimately depends on your specific triggers. For example, if your symptoms are only exercise-induced, making changes to your home may not make a significant difference in your symptom severity. But if your symptoms are triggered by allergens like dust mites, pollen, and mildew, taking steps to maintain your home’s air quality can make all the difference.