Don't pet a pet. The best approach is to not have a pet that can trigger your asthma, such as a dog, cat, or bird. The problem is not the hair of the animal but the dander, which is the dead, dry skin that flakes off. The animal licks the skin, and the dander remains in its saliva. Dander is a powerful allergen, so close contact with the pet can leave you gasping.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The best approach is to not have a pet that can trigger
your asthma, such as a dog, cat, or bird.
In addition, try bathing your dog or cat once every other week in warm water with no soap. Bathing the animal in this way significantly reduces the amount of allergen on your pet's fur.
Smite the mite. Dust mites, or rather the feces and dead bodies of these microscopic insects, are one of the most common allergic asthma triggers. They're everywhere in your home, although they love the bedroom most because they feed on the dead skin cells we constantly shed. Banishing dust mites from your home, or at least reducing their ranks, will help ease symptoms if you have allergic asthma triggered by these little critters. Here are some tips:
- Enclose your mattress in an airtight cover, then cover it with a washable mattress pad.
- Wash your sheets in hot water every week, and wash your mattress pads and synthetic blankets every two weeks.
- Use polyester or dacron pillows, not those made of kapok or feathers, and enclose them in airtight dust covers.
- Avoid carpeting, which is difficult to clean thoroughly; stick to bare floors with washable area rugs.
- Choose washable curtains instead of draperies.
- Avoid dust-catchers all over the house, especially in the bed; the less clutter the better. If possible, avoid storing out-of-season clothing or bedding in the bedroom; if you can't, enclose them in heavy plastic.
- Try not to do heavy cleaning, but if you must, use only a vacuum cleaner and damp cloth to clean; dust mops and brooms stir up the dust.
- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose while cleaning, and leave the room when you have finished.
- Run an air conditioner or dehumidifier in warm weather, especially in spring and fall when mites multiply. Aim to keep the humidity level in your home under 40 percent but above 25 percent.
- Consider using an air purifier in the bedroom to keep the room free from dust particles.
- Keep your windows closed, because the mold spores can come right in through the windows even if the windows have screens.
- Stay out of attics, basements, and other dank, musty places.
- Wear a face mask and give your bathroom a going-over for signs of mold. The most likely spots for mold growth: dark areas, such as the backs of cabinets and under the sink.
- Examine all closets regularly to see that molds have not set up housekeeping in unused shoes and boots.
- On a regular basis, have a family member or friend investigate the inner workings of air conditioners, humidifiers, and vaporizers in your home where molds like to grow.
- Periodically check houseplants for mold growth. This will help keep your plants healthy, too.
Avoid cutting grass or even being outside while grass is being mowed. Keep your windows closed as much as possible (pollen can get through screens, too) and use an air conditioner to cool your home in warm weather. Room air purifiers are also available that can purify recirculated air, removing particles of all sorts that are suspended in the air and further cleansing the air by passing it through a charcoal filter. After being outside in the midst of pollen, take off your clothes and wash them if possible or run a vacuum over those that can't be washed. Wash yourself, too, and don't forget your hair.
For more information about asthma and the allergies that can trigger an attack, try the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat go to our main Home Remedies page.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
- Read How Allergies Work to learn the causes, symptoms, and types of allergies.
- How to Allergy-Proof Your Home includes advice for reducing allergens in your home.
- For a variety of safe and effective remedies for allergy symptoms, read 27 Home Remedies for Allergies.