All kinds of everyday things can provoke asthma attacks, and what triggers an attack in some people won’t have any effect on someone else. Indoor air pollution is one of the most common causes of an asthma attack, so understanding the possible triggers can make the home a more pleasant, safe and relaxing place.
While we’re all aware of outdoor pollution, unless something smells bad in the house we don’t necessarily associate breathing difficulties with poor air quality indoors.
Common household elements that create indoor pollution are:
- Hair Spray
- Air Fresheners
- Pet Dander
- Smoke or Fumes from candles
- Dust Mites
Why Indoor Pollution is Bad for Asthma
Small liquid, or solid, airborne particles are easily breathed into the lungs, and in people with asthma this causes extreme irritation in the delicate lung tissue. This in turn causes a restriction of the airways that leads to coughing or wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing. Allergic reactions to common household products can also trigger asthmatic attacks, particularly in children.
Practical Steps to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
The first step towards creating cleaner, less harmful indoor air is to remove those items that you know are irritants. If you’re not sure what’s triggering an asthma attack in your home you may need to experiment a little, removing or reducing use of one irritant at a time and watching for improvement in the sufferer.
Many people are surprised to find they’re allergic to the fumes given off by burning candles. It may be the compounds used in the manufacturing of the candle, or it may be perfume, whether it’s an added scent or the natural scent particles in the wax. Either way, the answer is to switch to flameless candles so you can still enjoy the ambiance but carry on breathing at the same time. As an added bonus, flameless candles are much safer in the home, especially where there are children or pets.