Are you an asthma sufferer? Are you dealing with flare-ups even when relaxing at home or working at the office? Those prone to asthma attacks may be relieved to know there are methods of identifying and reducing the presence of asthma triggers indoors. After all, the indoors should be an escape from the pollution and allergens of the outdoor world, not an extension of it.
Those who suspect their home or office’s air quality should consider using a proven air quality test kit to identify what is polluting their space and the degree to which it is a problem. With this data on hand, more informed decisions can be made when creating a plan of action.
Common Indoor Asthma Triggers
People with asthma are typically dealing with sensitive airways which can react to potential triggers, leading to inflammation, excess mucus production and restriction. Coughing, wheezing, chest congestion, or a runny nose are often symptoms that one is reacting to one or more irritants.
There are a number of indoor allergens or irritants that can aggravate the airways of those with asthma, including:
- Certain gases such as Nitrogen dioxide
- Tobacco smoke
- Cockroach and insect waste products and body parts
- Dust mites
- Household dust
- Pet dander
- Chemical odors from solvents, paint, adhesives, cleaning agents and more
- Certain fragrances or perfumes
For those looking to improve indoor air quality at home, it is useful to look into specific allergies and their effect on their household’s ability to breathe. What may trigger a response in one person with asthma may not do so with another. For example, some may benefit greatly by reducing the amount of pet dander in their home, while eliminating certain scents or perfumes may reduce symptoms for others.
Helpful Ideas to Reduce Indoor Allergens
Steps one can take to reduce indoor allergens often include:
- Replacing household products for those sensitive to fragrances or chemicals
- Reducing moisture in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom for people triggered by mold or insects
- Improving ventilation for asthma sufferers triggered by certain gases and solvents
- Cleaning bedding and/or fabrics more frequently for people with sensitivity to pet dander
- Replace carpeting with hard flooring or vacuum carpeting more often
- Avoiding having anyone smoke in or around the home or office and not using perfumes or aerosol sprays that could potentially trigger a reaction
- Addressing leaks as they occur to help prevent the formation of mold
- Installing purification systems to remove VOCs and Formaldehyde from the environment
All of these actions may reduce potential triggers in an indoor environment and can be used to improve its overall air quality for those who do not suffer from asthma as well. For those on the fence about making changes in an office or commercial space, it should be noted that many commercial building owners are starting to realize that improvements in air quality (as well as addressing other health concerns associated with office life) can help attract tenants looking for a green, healthy workspace. As young people continue to enter the workforce, it is expected that this will only become more important for investors looking to keep units filled.
Children, the elderly and those with other respiratory problems can be particularly vulnerable to an asthma attack and allergens indoors. Indoor allergens cannot only be hard on those with asthma but also exacerbate symptoms for those with long-term health conditions, such as respiratory illness, cancer and heart disease.
Keep Allergens at Bay
It is possible to reduce exposure to allergens indoors, making it easier to perform routine activities safely and without discomfort. Those who suspect the presence of potential allergens and asthma triggers in a home or indoor space will want to have their air quality tested as soon as possible.
Kris Lindahl is a Minnesota native and owner of Kris Lindahl Real Estate. Working in both residential and commercial real estate, Kris understands the importance of considering health needs when improving the quality of life for the inhabitants of any building.