Friday, October 3, 2008

5 Tips for Reducing Asthma or Allergy Attacks at Home

The American Lung Association and the EPA offer four tips for relieving respiratory problems at home and I’ll suggest a fifth.

1. Reduce or remove asthma and allergy triggers. They include:
• Cold air.

• Tobacco smoke and wood smoke.

• Perfume, paint, hair spray, or any strong odors or fumes.

• Allergens (particles that cause allergies) such as dust mites, pollen, molds, pollution, and animal dander - tiny scales or particles that fall off hair, feathers or skin - and saliva from any pets.

• Common cold, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses

2. Use air filters and air conditioners -- and properly maintain them.

3. Pay attention to the problem of dust mites. Work hard to control this problem in the bedroom.

4. Vacuum cleaners with poor filtration and design characteristics release and stir up dust and allergens. Select a unit with high-efficiency filters such as micro filter or HEPA media, good suction, and sealed construction.

Ask for test data from manufacturers to determine the quantity and size of dust particles captured (e.g., 96 % at 1.0 micron or 99.97% at 0.3 micron). Alternately, consider a central vacuum that exhausts particulate outside the home.

5. Just as there is a wide variation in vacuum cleaner perform, air filters vary. Along with purchasing a HEPA-level vacuum, also get a HEPA-equivalent Electronic Air Cleaner (EAC). EACs perform better than conventional whole home air filtering systems. In fact the EAC technology used by AspenAir Inside also uses less energy, does not require a whole new HVAC system, installs quickly, lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Learn more here.

Here’s “ten more tips to making your home asthma-friendly.” (PDF)

Think you or someone you love has asthma? See the free online test here, to help a doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

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