According to the British Lung Foundation, more than eight million people in the UK have been diagnosed with Asthma, and of those people, more than 200,000 suffer from a severe form of the condition that doesn’t respond well to medication and requires regular hospital treatment. People with severe asthma can struggle with day-to-day tasks, and their condition can be triggered by certain allergens including dust and pollen.
According to the NHS, damp, and the mould that can grow as a result of it, can be detrimental to the health of people with respiratory problems like Asthma.
Damp itself is not a major problem for asthmatics but it creates an environment that allows certain allergens to thrive. The two main damp related asthma triggers are dust mite faeces and mould spores.
Damp normally develops in areas of the house where there is limited air flow. With less air moving around, and a slightly moist surface, it is easy for dust to build up and create a space where dust mite populations can grow.
Large numbers of dust mites consume a lot of dust and create their own waste products. Dust mite waste is light enough to be picked up by the air and carried around the house. When inhaled it irritates the airways, and this can lead to a reaction where the sensitive tissues of the lungs become enflamed and cause an asthma attack.
Mould thrives in damp conditions where the spores have the chance to settle. Colonies can grow quite quickly on damp walls and ceilings and will quickly mature to the point where they release their own spores into the air.
Moulds create a number of issues for asthmatics. At the most serious end of the spectrum, toxic black mould (Stachybotrys Chartarum) releases chemicals called mycotoxins into the air. These can cause a severe allergic reaction which is particularly serious for asthmatics and can result in a serious attack.
Even normal mould spores can be an irritant that creates additional risk for people with asthma. Early symptoms of an allergic reaction to mould spores may be sneezing, red eyes, a runny nose, or a rash, but if the spores are inhaled, they can cause the same reaction in the airways which can lead to a serious asthma attack.
Not everyone with mild asthma will have a serious reaction, however if you have a weak immune system, or suffer from other allergies, it is important to take precautions. The most sensitive groups are young children, elderly people, and people with a weakened immune system. The risk is highest for people who are undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy.
Condensation from cooking, bathing and other activities is one of the major causes of damp and mould. Poor ventilation can lead to moisture from bathrooms without efficient extractor fans, and from uncovered pans spreading around the house where it can settle as condensation.
If you have asthma and are concerned about the potential impact of damp on your health, speak to one of our local ventilation specialists. They can provide you with advice about the best solution for your home. Contact us today to book your free home survey and get rid of your damp problem for good.
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