Is your home making you sick?
One in nine Australians are living with asthma, that’s 2.7 million. During National Asthma Week, 1-7 September 2023, The Institute for Respiratory Health is spotlighting the role our home plays in our health especially when it comes to asthma and allergies.
Professor Yuben Moodley from the Institute for Respiratory Health said, “Research shows that three in 10 people with asthma and allergies have worse symptoms in the home. And this is because there are many triggers in this space that can make you sick. But the good news is this is all manageable.
“Understanding the triggers that can make you sick can improve your lung health overall.”
Some of the key stimulants to look out for include:
Dust and dust mites: Invisible to the naked eye, dust particles can hide a mix of allergens. Dust mites, thriving in warm and moist environments such as bedding and carpets, are notorious for causing allergic reactions.
Professor Moodley warns, “These tiny creatures’ droppings are the real problem, leading to breathing difficulties. One of the best things you can do is invest in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum and vacuum on a regular basis.
Moulds: Moisture-rich areas with inadequate ventilation are perfect breeding grounds for moulds. These fungi release spores that can be easily inhaled, triggering asthma symptoms.
Pollens: Even indoors, pollens from trees, plants and grasses can infiltrate your living space. These outdoor allergens can become airborne making your breathing worse. Keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons can make a difference.
Pets: Our beloved furry friends might be contributing to our health woes. The fur, skin, or scales (known as ‘dander’) of pets can carry allergens that worsen asthma symptoms. Pet owners should regularly groom and bathe their animals to reduce allergen exposure.
Other factors: Cold dry air, smoke and the scents of cleaning products, deodorants, air fresheners, essential oils, incense and perfumes can all agitate respiratory conditions.
“Being mindful of your indoor air quality is essential for managing asthma triggers,” emphasises Professor Moodley.
Asthma Australia have released a new report – Homes, Health and Asthma and have provided some guidelines on how to keep your home as healthy as possible – https://asthma.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/AA23_Healthy-Homes-Guide_Homeowner_v3.pdf
The Institute for Respiratory Health is currently undertaking clinical trials to help those who suffer from asthma. If you’d like to participate visit – respclinicaltrials.org.au
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