When you have family members who have asthma, keeping your home clean and allergen-free takes on a whole-new level of meaning. Breathing is the most natural thing to do, but for people with asthma, this basic act of breathing alone can become the most difficult task. Family and friends also feel the pain with every breath when they see a loved one struggling. No asthma condition is the same. Some people have asthma at an early age, while others developed the condition into adulthood. The severity of an attack varies. That’s why it’s crucial that you identify asthma causes or triggers. When you know what triggers your asthma attacks, you can take the necessary steps to lessen, if not eliminate them. So, how do you identify the triggers?

Asthma Diary

You might roll your eyes to the idea of keeping a diary. But most doctors would highly recommend keeping one, as it is a useful and powerful tool to identify the triggers. You can ask your doctor for a diary or you could download one here. In your diary, you must record: The Trigger Examples of which are second-hand smoke, dust, mold, and other indoor pollutants. Many triggers for asthma are allergens which cause an allergic reaction that can cause an asthma attack. The Symptoms What happened after you were exposed to the trigger? Did you cough uncontrollably? Did you experience shortness of breath? The Relief What did you do in order to get rid of the symptoms? Write down the specific dosage and even the brand of medication (e.g. took 3 puffs of Singulair).

From Diary to Reality

Just like a scientist, you already completed the data gathering stage. You’re now ready to take action. Based on your diary, what are the most frequent triggers? The most common causes are: Molds Often unnoticed, molds can be found in damp and humid places. Spores are released in the air when they reproduce and can trigger asthma attacks. Action to Take: According to the US EPA, “maintain low indoor humidity, ideally between 30-50% relative humidity.” Animal Dander
Your pets and pests release skin particles that can affect the quality of air in your home. These are a major allergen and anyone with a cat or a dog should be aware of this. Action to Take: asthma.ca reports, “Up to 50% of children with asthma have symptoms triggered by pets.” Before getting a pet, make sure to consider family members with asthma. If you already have pets, you may consider finding a new and loving home for them. Cockroaches These critters are not only disgusting, but they can wreak havoc to people with asthma. Action to Take: Hire a professional exterminator in order to get rid of cockroaches and other pests at home. Pollen Common allergens that can cause asthma and other allergic reactions. They are carried in the wind during hot days. Action to Take: You can’t completely avoid pollen, but with the aid of indoor air pollution sensors, you’ll be able to detect them. By keeping an asthma diary and creating a home with healthy air, you’ll be able to better manage and help prevent asthma attacks. Yes, it might take a lot of time and effort in the beginning, but it is definitely worth it. Home safety and cleanliness is paramount when you have someone with asthma in the family.