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.
Indoor Molds
  • 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.
  • EPA
  • 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.
Tobacco Smoke
  • 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
Wood Smoke
  • 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.

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