Asthma is a condition caused by an inflammation of the bronchi (the small tubes which carry air in and out of the lungs). When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their lungs (this is called an asthma trigger), the muscles around their airways will tighten and become narrow, swollen and inflamed.
This can be accompanied by a build- up of sticky mucus (phlegm) that can narrow the airways even further making it hard for the sufferer to breathe.
The following are symptoms of asthma:
Not everyone will experience all of the above symptoms and the severity of the symptoms will vary from person to person.
Anything that irritates the airways and brings on the symptoms of asthma is a trigger. Just like the symptoms, these can differ from person to person and some sufferers may have several triggers. Common asthma triggers included:
There is no cure for asthma but there are effective treatments which can help to control it, relieve the symptoms and prevent future symptoms and attacks developing. Both the treatment and prevention of asthma comprises of the following:
You can take steps to make your home as ‘asthma friendly’ as possible. If you have identified which indoor asthma triggers make your condition worse and know what other potential triggers to look out then you can put measures in place to avoid them.
For example, dust mites are a known asthma trigger and they live in the dust that builds up in the home. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely rid your home of all house dust mites but there are ways in which you can reduce them.
Here’s a few of them:
By keeping the home well ventilated, high levels of humidity are controlled. Dust mites thrive in dwellings where the humidity levels are high, therefore, by controlling the humidity levels in the home effectively you are also controlling and reducing the dust mite population.
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Hear what Aggie MacKenzie says about Asthma and Indoor Air Quality with EnviroVentFind out more