Asthma sufferers are often hyper-aware of potential hazards in their surroundings, such as dust particles floating in the air or a vast field of wildflowers whizzing by the car window. While you’re probably aware of the more common asthma triggers in your environment, there are many more that you may have overlooked.
It’s important to stay on top of potential irritants in and around your Beaumont, Texas, home. Proper vigilance will help you minimize your asthma symptoms and take control of flare-ups so you can live comfortably in any season.
Home Improvement Projects
If you’ve noticed more frequent asthma symptoms since your latest home improvement project, the improvements themselves could be at the root of the problem. Paints, flooring materials, and even new furniture can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are released from the offending products in a gaseous form. This “off-gassing” can continue for months after your project is complete.
If you or a family member has asthma, it’s more important than ever to use products that are free from VOCs. An activated carbon air purifier is effective for removing VOCs if you’ve already chosen materials that are off-gassing in the home.
If you’re eating processed foods of any type, you’re almost certainly consuming a significant amount of additives as well. Additives are used to enhance the color, flavor, or texture of processed foods. They also serve an important purpose as a preservative in certain manufactured food products. Individuals with asthma often have certain additive sensitivities. The connection between food additives and asthma flare-ups is easily overlooked because additives are consumed so regularly.
Speak with a health care provider about sensitivity testing that will help you pinpoint which additives are giving you trouble. If you want to be safe, you can also opt to avoid additives altogether. While this will eliminate many convenience foods for you, it will still leave you with a broad range of whole foods that you can enjoy, such as fruits, vegetables, and additive-free meat products.
Despite their name, air fresheners are anything but fresh. Most of these products pump potentially hazardous chemicals into the air. These rarely neutralize unpleasant odors, attempting instead to simply cover them up with a stronger smell. The fragrances and other ingredients in air fresheners can irritate your air passages, causing asthma to flare up.
Avoid all artificial air fresheners in the home. Instead of masking irritating odors, you should try to eliminate them at the source. You can safely remove airborne pollutants like mold, mildew, dust, and dander with an air purifier. A product like the Infinity Air Purifier GAPA fits inside your HVAC system and traps up to 95 percent of pathogens.
There’s no denying the cozy ambiance of a fire, but it isn’t always a good idea for asthma sufferers. Wood smoke is a common irritant that can cause asthma symptoms. If you’re not ready to give up the warm glow of the fire, opt for gas or propane logs instead. If you simply want to keep the home warm, a well-maintained furnace can do the job far more efficiently than a wood fireplace, which lets cold air in through the chimney even while it’s producing heat.
There’s a common misconception that opening the windows will let “fresh air” into the house. Unfortunately, the outdoor air is often filled with hazards such as seasonal pollen. Keep your windows tightly sealed to keep these irritants out. Run your air conditioner regularly during warm weather months and it will remove much of this pollen from the air by circulating it through your air filter. With proper air circulation and clean filters, you can keep your indoor air feeling fresh without opening the windows.
If you need professional help addressing the indoor air quality in your home, contact Reed Service Co. at 409-232-0110. We’ll help you choose the right products and accessories to create a safe space in your home, where your asthma and allergy symptoms are dramatically minimized so you can live comfortably and rest easy.
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