People with asthma have sensitive airways wherein the event of an exposure to a trigger, the airways will narrow, then swell and produce excessive mucus. As a result, the person will experience difficulty breathing and start to cough, wheeze, or experience shortness of breath. Because of this,people with asthma must improve their environment to ward of triggers. The air indoor quality plays a significant role in asthma management. Poor indoor quality will not only worsen the symptoms of someone who already suffers from asthma, but in the more vulnerable persons (for example children), develop the problem.
The role of air conditioners
Installing an air conditioner in your house is one right step towards improving indoor air quality. Air conditioners improve adequate airflow by filtering and circulating indoor air. By controlling temperatures, AC systems also control humidity (high humidity worsens asthma) in a home. Generally, the humidity level in the house shouldn’t exceed 50 percent. Important to note: only ACs that are in excellent condition improve indoor air quality, a faulty one will do the vice versa. A refrigerant leak, for example, will pollute the environment with toxic vapors, poisoning indoor air thus triggering asthma symptoms. Always invite a technician whenever you notice your AC showing signs of failure.
To improve indoor air quality even further, you could also invest in an air purifier which does a better job dealing with filtering pollutants. Furthermore, in the warmer months, opening the windows to let fresh air and help you avoid asthma flare-ups.
Thorough cleaning of the house keeps allergens at bay
Since there’s a limited flow of air from outside, indoor air quality tends to worsen during winter. For this reason, homeowners must go the extra mile to improve indoor air quality. Thorough cleaning of the house can greatly cut down on pet dander, dust, and mold. Vacuuming your carpets with a HEPA fitted vacuum cleaner once or twice a week will help cut down on allergens. In addition, washing your drapes and beddings regularly will clear off allergens.Dust-mite proof mattress and pillow covers also help minimize allergens.
Air pollutants to avoid
Still on indoor air quality, tobacco smoke, aerosol sprays, perfumes, and some cleaning products are known to trigger asthma. Tobacco has been well-documented as a tract irritant which induces wheezing. Tobacco smoke particles linger in the air long after the cigarette has been put out. To avoid exacerbating asthma symptoms, you should neither smoke in the house nor allow others. When selecting cleaning and personal care products, opt for unscented ones or those with recommended concentrations. Also, to minimize moisture build-up in the bathrooms and kitchen, install exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors.
Although asthma is a chronic condition, attending to one’s environment can make the condition more manageable. According to research, most people spend 90% of their time indoors; that is in the house, at school or work. People with asthma should regularly inspect their environments to identify asthma triggers; most of these are easy-to-fix problems.
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