Everyone can benefit from a good clear-out, but when it comes time to start your spring cleaning, it helps to know that asthma and allergy sufferers could benefit a lot from taking the time to do a clean-up.
The Asthma Society of Ireland is keen to emphasise that people with asthma can benefit from a spring cleaning even more than most.
Some clean-up tips for asthmatics from the Asthma Society of Ireland
During winter time, dust, dirt and allergens such as mould can build up in the home, which can trigger allergy symptoms and asthma in susceptible people. So a clean-up is just the thing to get you going.
Get rid of old stuff
Most towns and cities have charity shops, which are always grateful to receive clean and valuable belongings. Your trash could become someone else’s treasure! If you don’t have any charity shop near you, you could instead donate to a site like Freecylce or Jumbletown. Clearing out your old belongings also reduces dust significantly. Store everything in closets and drawers instead. This way, they will collect less dust.
Over the winter months, dust will have collected on windows, blinds, curtain rails and skirting boards. Use a damp cloth to clean these areas and then rinse it out well. Don’t fluff the dust up into the air by using a feather duster though; this just distributes dust around the home.
A well hoovered home will have less dust and allergens than a home that is only hoovered once a month! Make sure that your hoover is working properly and has good suction. The Asthma Society of Ireland also recommends using a HEPA filter. You should leave the windows open while hovering and for an half an hour afterwards. Cover your bed with a sheet when you are hoovering.
Change old filters in dehumidifiers, vents and air purifiers
This way, the air coming into your house will be clean and fresh.
Mould is a significant trigger of asthma and can even cause a person to develop asthma even if they have never had it before. It is extremely important that mould be completely removed from the home and that steps are taken to prevent it coming back. Click here to read the SpunOut.ie guide to mould prevention and removal.
Knowing your triggers
Overall, people with asthma should learn what triggers their asthma and what helps them the most. Learn more about how to identify triggers here.
A self-management plan is also helpful. This plan includes all details of your asthma medication, signs of a possible asthma attack, what steps you should take if you have an asthma attack and emergency information.
The Asthma Society of Ireland Adviceline
The Asthma Adviceline provides information, support and education to people with asthma and their parents/carers. They operate a call back service. As a caller, you have approximately 20 minutes per call to speak with an asthma nurse.
To make your appointment, call the Asthma Society of Ireland from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday on 1850 44 54 64 and one of their asthma nurses will phone you back at a time that suits you.
Outside of these hours you can: Text the nurse on 086 057 1838 or email [email protected]