Asthma Education Triggers
Triggers are things that irritate or bother airways are called triggers. The first step to preventing an asthma episode is to identify and avoid asthma triggers.
Pollen and Outdoor Molds
- Watch the pollen count and stay indoors in the afternoon when the pollen count is high.
- Use air conditioning in the home when possible. Keep the filter clean.
- Keep windows closed during seasons when pollen and mold are highest.
- Avoid damp and dark places, like basements.
- Keep bathrooms, kitchens and basements as dry as possible.
- Run exhaust vents to remove moisture form the air.
- Clean bathrooms, kitchens and basements regularly.
- Avoid using humidifiers unless absolutely necessary.
- Use dehumidifiers for damp basements. Set the humidity level between 30% and 50%. Empty and clean the unit regularly.
Humidifier Fact Sheet pdf.
Animal Dander and feathers
- Remove animals from the house or school classroom.
- If you must have a pet, keep it out of your bedroom at all times.
- Upgrade your furnace filter to a high efficiency air filter (MERV > 8).
- Wash the pet weekly, if possible.
- Try to avoid visits to homes who have pets or limit the amount of time spent in the home.
- Ask your doctor which medicine to take before visiting homes or places where animals may be present.
- Avoid using products such as pillows or comforters that contain feathers.
- Avoid using pillows, bedding or furniture stuffed with kapok (silky fibers from seed pods of the silk cotton tree).
- Use HEPA filters in vacuum cleaners, heaters and air conditioners.
- Keep kitchen area clean and free of uncovered food containers.
- Use roach gel traps to control roaches.
- Avoid insect chemical sprays if possible. If you must use them, have someone else spray when you are out of the house and air out the home for a few hours before returning.
House Dust Mites
- Cover your mattress, box spring and pillow in an airtight cover.
- Avoid sleeping or laying on fabric (uncovered) furniture.
- Remove carpets that are laid on concrete and replace them with flooring.
- Wash your bed covers, clothes and stuffed toys once a week in very hot water (130 degrees).
- Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50% by using a dehumidifier.
- Remove carpet in the bedroom and replace with flooring.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a strong suction and an allergen or HEPA bag or filter.
- Avoid staying in a room when it is being vacuumed.
- Dust surfaces regularly and wear a "N95" dust mask when dusting or sweeping.
- Do not smoke. If you do smoke, try to quit. Remember, it is best for your health and the health of your children.
- Do not allow smoking in your home. If they must smoke, ask friends and family to smoke outside.
- Wear a cover-up when smoking outdoors. Leave the cover-up outside when you go back inside. Wash face and hands when returning inside.
- Avoid secondhand smoke, even in public places.
- Use a portable room air cleaner to help remove smoke from the home.
- Passive Smoke
- Secondhand Smoke
- Missouri Quit Line
- Smoking Cessasation Programs in Kansas City
- Do not use wood-burning or gas stove to heat the home. If used to heat the home make sure it is vented to the outside.
- Avoid using kerosene heaters indoors.
- Limit use of fireplace.
- Avoid bonfires and burning brush outdoors.
Chemicals and Strong Odors
- If your home is being painted, do not stay in the house. Allow enough time for the paint to dry before going back in. Use low VOC paint when possible.
- Avoid strong perfumes or colognes.
- Avoid using strong-smelling cosmetics like nail polish.
- Avoid using room deodorizers.
- Use non-perfumes household products whenever possible. Asthma-Safer Cleaning.
- Reduce strong cooking odors by using an exhaust hood or opening the windows.
- Help yourself to a Healthy Home Book
Colds and Infections
- Avoid people with colds or flu, if possible.
- Wash hands regularly.
- Get rest, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
- Talk to your health provider about flu shots.
- Avoid taking over-the-counter cold remedies, such as cough syrup, unless you speak to your doctor first.
Weather Patterns and Changes
- Wear a scarf over your nose and mouth in cold weather.
- Watch the news for up-coming weather changes and step up your medicine as advised by your health provider.
- Avoid frequent temperature changes as possible.
- Avoid air pollution by staying indoors when the pollution is high-ozone alert days. Ozone alert
- Work out an asthma control plan with your health provider that allows you to exercise without problems.
- Use your Quick Reliever medicine as needed before exercise.
- Warm up before exercise and cool down after exercise.