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    Top Tips for Managing Asthma & Asthma-friendly Homes
    Thursday, May 09, 2019

    In honour of Asthma Awareness Week, we bring you some top tips for managing asthma and making your home a more asthma-friendly place.

    *Information adapted from the Asthma Society of Ireland

    Top Tips

    1. Know the 5 Step Rule for dealing with an asthma attack
    2. Take your medications as prescribed, even when you are well
    3. Use a written asthma action plan to help you manage your asthma
    4. Go for a regular asthma review (adults: at least once a year, children: every 6 to 12 months)
    5. Have your inhaler technique checked regularly
    6. Know your triggers and avoid them where possible
    7. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly
    8. Do not smoke and ask people not to smoke around you
    9. Make sure you can tell when your asthma is getting worse so you can quickly get help from your GP or asthma nurse
    10. Call the free Asthma Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 to arrange a call back appointment with an asthma nurse

    Asthma Triggers in the Home

    As we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, it is vital for people with asthma that the quality of air within the home is good. Research has shown that, in some cases, the air within a home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside.

    Managing your asthma triggers within your home will allow you to have a much better quality of life.

    1. Pets

    • If you are allergic to certain pets, rehome the pet if possible
    • Keep pets away from living areas & fabric-covered furniture, rugs and carpets
    • Make sure your pet is properly washed by someone who does not suffer from an allergy/asthma
    • Vacuum your home regularly to get rid of pet hair

    2. Dust/Dust mites

    • If you are allergic to dust, it is advised to damp-dust the home at least once a week (i.e. using a damp cloth rather than a dry/feather duster which will simply flick the dust back into the air)
    • Try to minimise clutter to avoid dust gathering
    • Wash your sheets, pillow cases and blankets weekly at 60 degrees
    • Invest in allergy-proof covers for your mattress, pillows and blankets
    • Vacuum your pillows and mattress when they are not covered
    • Wear a dust mask when dusting around the home

    3. Mould

    • Try to avoid drying clothes indoors
    • When you are taking a shower or cooking, open a window or use an extractor fan if one is available
    • Check for leaks around pipes or water appliances as mould will only grow in moist conditions. If necessary, use a de-humidifier to reduce the moisture content of the room

    4. Smoke

    • Do not smoke and do not allow others to smoke in your home
    • Avoid having an open fire as these are dangerous for asthma sufferers – try something more asthma-friendly like a sealed stove
    • Ensure your chimney is clean and clear to allow a steady flow of smoke out of the house and not back into the room

    5. Cleaning Products

    • Bleach, polishes and air fresheners can all trigger an asthma attack
    • Use warm water for cleaning and solid/liquid cleaners rather than sprays
    • Check your cleaning products and try to use those which are labelled as asthma-friendly or stick to the classic vinegar & baking soda/lemon concoction
    • Ensure the area in which you are cleaning is well ventilated

    6. Gas cookers/cooking appliances

    • A top tip for cooking safely when you suffer from asthma is keeping fume levels low
    • Make sure the kitchen area where you are cooking is well ventilated
    • Use an extraction fan or open a window
    • Ensure your gas appliances are serviced regularly and stay on top of their maintenance
    • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home

    Pop into your local CarePlus Pharmacy and ask our friendly Pharmacist for advice on dealing with your asthma.