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5 Ways to Fight Asthma in your Home

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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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            Last Updated on November 22, 2021

            Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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            Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

            Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

            During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

            But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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            Simplify

            I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

            Absolutely.

            And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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            If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

            • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
            • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
            • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

            Be Mindful

            You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

            Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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            Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

            Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

            Reflect

            As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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            Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

            But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

            So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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            Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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