Asthma control through indoor air quality control

9 Tips for Controlling Asthma & Hay Fever by Controlling Your Environment

Flu shots for everyone in family. Asthmatics are at a greater risk of suffering asthma attacks when they are around others with colds or the flu, or when they contract a cold or the flu. Other than school, the home is one of the most common places to catch a cold. Remember, 90% of colds are caught while inside, so it is also important to have an air cleaner inside.

Allow fresh air to enter your home. Super-insulated homes have 200% higher allergen level than ordinary homes. This is due to the natural air-cleansing agents found in fresh air that are lacking in indoor air. However, it is not always possible to have your windows and doors open. Plus, if you live in a polluted area, this will do you no good. In which case, use an air purifier that recreates these natural air-cleansing agents.

Avoid using aerosols, floor polish/wax, insecticides, pesticides, and other chemical solutions. Use biologically-based housecleaners and pesticides.

Up to 80% of children with asthma are allergic to one or more of the following: pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander. Always be mindful of ways to minimize these allergens in your home and other environments. Effective ways to reduce these allergens include air cleaners, regular dusting/vacuuming/etc., and removing the source when possible.

The purchase of the (IPS Air Purifier) was a good investment. It has helped our family tremendously, since we live in a high allergy area. We do not take as many allergy pills. - D. Cornett, Tennessee

According to Dr. Doris Rapp (M.D., I.A.A.A., I.A.A.P.), author of the best seller Is This Your Child, every sufferer of asthma and allergies should have at least one environmentally-safe room, which would include an air cleaner, while incorporating many of the tips listed on this page.

Create a school asthma care management team for your child, if your child has asthma. Asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism. Plus, school is one of the harshest environments for children with asthma. Include teachers, counselors, etc. on this team. Meet with them and explain your child's condition. Describe your child's medications along with its side effects. Provide them with phone numbers where you and other guardians can be reached. You and other asthma care mgmt. team members should collaborate to help your child avoid environments with inadequate ventilation, animals, chemicals. Rigorous exercise may also want to be avoided as much as possible.

Use perfumes, candles, nail care products, and sprain medications moderately, if at all.

Keep your basement dry and clean. Basements are prime breeding grounds for molds and fungi.

Wash rugs and furniture often.

Discard moldy and mildewey items.

Do not use wood burning stoves or fireplaces.

Vacuum frequently. Having central vacuuming is the best way to help remove airborne pollutants through vacuuming. It is important to make sure that your system draws particulates directly outside, and not near anything that could draw it back into your home, such as a window or an intake vent. HEPA vacuums are better than regular ones, but are not nearly as effective as central vacuuming.

Replace pillows (havens for dust mites) with 100% cotton pillowcases stuffed with 100% cotton towels. Definitely do not use feather-stuffed pillows.

Use 100% cotton or wool bedding and 100% cotton curtains.

Enclose bookcases and toy boxes. Only bring stuffed animals that are 100% cotton into your home. Avoid synthetic toys.

Close and seal heating ducts with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Avoid odors and chemicals from photography, ceramic glazes, and oil painting.

If possible, replace carpet with vinyl, hardwood, or tile flooring.

Avoid mattresses and furniture made from foam rubber or polyurethane. Use 100% cotton mattresses.

Replace or remove moldy and dusty wallpaper, buy solid wood furniture instead of plastic furniture, and wipe walls and hard floors with a damp cloth regularly.

Install air conditioning in your home if you haven't already, and keep windows closed during high pollen season. But do have windows that open since outdoor air can refreshen the air in your home.

One way to decrease your child's odds of contracting asthma is to breastfeed he or she for at least the first 4 months. According to the American Lung Association, this will substantially reduce their risk of getting asthma.

When outside in the cold air, keep a scarf wrapped around your mouth and nose. This will warm up the air you breath.

Eat foods high in magnesium.

Eat onions. They reduce inflammation.

Drink lots of water.

Monitor the Relative Humidity in the home with a moisture meter:

Toxic Black Mold Information Center
Follow the tips on this site.

Use an air purifier, since you will probably find removing all the sources of asthma and allergy triggers from your home to be impossible.

Love my (IPS) air cleaner. No more sneezing or coughing. Maintenance free, and I would not be without one anymore. - L. Yeske, Mississippi

As hard as you try to keep airborne allergens and contaminates to a minimum, there are simply too many sources inside that cannot, or will not be removed (cleaning products, people, cooking, pets, dust, damp things/places, and so on). An air purifier can take many of these pollutants out of the air as they are being produced.

Not all air cleaners are created equal. though. Take a look at our air purifier buying guide to get an idea of what type of air purifier will work best for you.

Here are a few quick tips though:

  1. Avoid air cleaners that rely on a filter to clean the air, such as a HEPA unit. They cannot remove smaller pollutants such as allergens and cigarette smoke, and the filters need to be replaced often, and are expensive to do so. Instead, use an air purifier that uses nature's most powerful air cleansing agents to clean the air (negative ions and ozone).
  2. Some ion and ozone generators produce oxides of nitrogen as a byproduct of using glass plates, which can act as an irritant and leaves a pungent metallic odor. Make sure the air purifier you buy does not create oxides of nitrogen.
  3. There are many air purifiers that produce only ozone, or only negative ions. Find an air purifier that produces both for maximum effectiveness in cleaning the air in your home.

For air purifiers that meet the criteria above, see the IPS Air Purifier Products Page.

And for the final tip, no pets. Pets will substantially add to the floating particulate level in your home. They contribute dander, hair, and contaminates eminating from their feces. Of course, for many of you this may be the most difficult tip on this list to follow.

Well, if you must have pets , there are a few additional things that can be done to minimize their effect on the asthma sufferer in your home. Click here to for 8 tips that reduce the risk of asthma attacks when pets are in the home.