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5 Ways to Fight Asthma in your Home

5 Ways to Fight Asthma in your Home

One of the most common diseases in first-world countries with symptoms often beginning in early childhood, asthma is a foe to be respected but not to be feared. This article is useful for those who have asthma and those who are reading to prevent it. Since it attacks children and is generally developed in our homes, there are a few things you need to know about asthma.

Asthma is a prevalent inflammatory disease of the airways that was known as long ago as ancient China and Egypt. Symptoms come in episodes distinctive for asthma and most commonly feature coughing, shortness of breath and overall tightness in the chest area. Asthma is a serious disease if left untreated and can lead to death.

If you or anyone you know have these symptoms, please contact your GP as soon as possible.

Because of the rising air pollution and lowered allergens resistances, asthma is on the rise especially in the USA and other developed countries. In 2014, around 24,000,000 people had asthma in the USA alone. Furthermore, the number of asthma diagnoses has increased by almost 60,000,000 cases in the period between 1990 and 2013 along with asthma being the underlying cause for around 490,000 deaths worldwide.

As you all probably know, asthma does not have a cure, but the symptoms can be dealt with, and it can be somewhat prevented. For those that do have asthma, it is imperative to use the inhaler correctly and to take any prescriptions your physician has prescribed for you regularly.

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However, the causes of asthma are both genetic and environmental meaning that are ways to improve the quality of life for those who have asthma as well as a chance to prevent it from occurring in our children. I have been battling with asthma almost my entire life, and I think it is safe to say that the key is to improve the air in your home, the overall cleanliness and to avoid known allergens.

Try the following tips to improve the air in your home:

1. Get rid of the dust

vacuuming

    Dust makes breathing difficult even for a healthy person so getting rid of it should be your first step. I am not implying that you should develop an overprotective cleaning disorder or that you will ever be able to clean all the dust. For visible results try to vacuum and dust your home as often as you feel it should be done but no less than once a week.

    Vacuuming is especially important if your floors are covered with rugs or carpets. Dust in its own right is not as dangerous as the dust mites, tiny insects that primarily live in the dust. They are known to be found in bed sheets and pillow casings so you wash them on the highest temperature settings every few weeks. In kid’s rooms, try to have as few as stuffed animals as possible as they collect dust quite rapidly. A strong and quality vacuum cleaner is an absolute necessity for asthma patients; here’s a guide to best vacuum cleaners for your home.

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    2. Air conditioning

    air-conditioning

      Air filtering is one of the most important factors you need to consider when dealing with asthma. Air conditioning units filter the air as a part of their basic operational methods. This is something that is clearly visible if you have ever washed the filters on your AC unit. The dark colors mainly come from dust particles and nicotine smoke.

      Be careful, however, with overcooling a room in the summer. Extreme changes in the temperature are known catalysts for asthma attacks. Also, use the kitchen and bathroom exhaust systems because odors such as those from cleaners and other chemicals are an asthma hazard. Proper maintenance of all venting units in your home is a must and probably best left to be done by a professional.

      3. Be careful with opened windows

      opened-window

        Even though your instinct tells you that keeping an open window will increase the flow of air, the truth is that you are best off keeping your windows shut and relying solely on the AC unit. As I have mentioned earlier, the main triggers for asthma are air pollution and known allergens, such as pollen. Keeping the windows open is basically inviting the allergens in your home. Regularly check the air quality index, as it will tell you how likely your allergies are about to be triggered.

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        Since asthma can be purely genetic, some people do not suffer from pollen allergies and in that case it is advisable to leave a window open. The nights, being naturally colder, are an excellent time to keep an open window since a decreased temperature in the bedroom means there is a higher chance of getting a good night sleep. I have had some pretty severe night-time asthma attacks and have realized that if I keep the bedroom temperature at around 16-18C, I can mainly prevent them (asthma is a subjective disease, and this might not work for you).

        4. Humidity

        humidifer

          With winter approaching, humidity becomes an issue in most homes. Cold air does not sustain humidity very well, and after warming up a room, the humidity drops as low as 10%. Dry air is quite hazardous for the respiratory system, especially one that is already battling with asthma. The best choice of action is to use a humidifier, preferably one with a monitoring system that tells you the exact level of humidity in a room.

          On the other hand, too much humidity creates an even bigger problem for those who have asthma. Too much humidity creates a very habitable place for mold, a known allergen and a cause of asthma. In damp areas, such as basements, I recommend using a dehumidifier, as well as getting rid of any existing mold. For the optimum settings, humidity should be kept at around 30% to 50% (here is where the humidity monitoring system comes in handy).

          5. Avoid any kind of smoke

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          no-smoking

            If you have asthma, smoking  is out of the question, but passive smoking can be as equally as dangerous. If you have asthma or someone else has it in your household, try to throw out the nicotine smoke completely. Not only will it make for a much better environment for the asthma patient but it also might convince the smoker to stop.

            Furthermore, any kind of smoke is dangerous when you have asthma. This means that if you have the option of choosing, you should avoid heating your house with wood or coal stoves and furnaces. The carbon monoxide that is being produced from the exhaust pipe is not only lethal in high doses but very unpleasant coupled with asthma even in small doses.

            Living with asthma

            I know that living with asthma doesn’t seem very fair, and you probably feel excluded from normal life activities, but it’s really not the end of the world. If you are careful and you follow your physician’s instructions, your attacks could become very rare. Try to live your life as healthy as possible and your friends and family, whom you should definitely inform, are the only ones that are going to know you have asthma.

            Do not let asthma run your life, feel free to enjoy some recreational sports, try a walk in the park (outside of the pollen season, of course) and breathe freely as if you own the entire world.

            Featured photo credit: www.sbs.com.au via sbs.com.au

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            Dejan Kvrgic

            Blogger, Writer

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            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            How to Overcome Boredom

            How to Overcome Boredom

            Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

            I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

            If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

            What is Boredom?

            We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

            You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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            It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

            If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

            When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

            Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

            If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

            Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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            Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

            In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

            It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

            Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

            Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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            In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

            3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

            1. Get Focused

            Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

            You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

            Here are a few ideas:

            • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
            • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
            • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

            2. Kill Procrastination

            Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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            So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

            Here are some ideas:

            • Do some exercise.
            • Read a book.
            • Learn something new.
            • Call a friend.
            • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
            • Do a spring cleaning.
            • Wash the car.
            • Renovate the house.
            • Re-arrange the furniture.
            • Write your shopping list.
            • Water the plants.
            • Walk the dog.
            • Sort out your mail & email.
            • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

            3. Enjoy Boredom

            If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

            Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

            So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

            Final Thoughts

            Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

            More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

            Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

            Reference

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