Controlling Your Asthma

The airways in our lungs help us to breathe. People with asthma have airways that are very sensitive to things like cigarette smoke, strong scents, dust, or household pets. When people with asthma come into contact with one or more of the things that bother their airways, they may wheeze, cough, and have trouble breathing. The good news is that people can learn to control their asthma. By doing these things, you and your family may have to make some changes in the way you live. Talk to your primary care doctor or nurse for advice to help you make these changes.

What can I do to control my asthma?

1. Don't Smoke

Ask people not to smoke in your home or around you. If you smoke, ask your primary care doctor or nurse for help to stop.

2. Wash Away Dust

Wash bed sheets, pillows (filled with polyester fiber), and blankets in hot water every other week. Vacuum carpets often, but not when the person with asthma is nearby. If possible, remove rugs and carpets from the bedroom. Dust bedrooms weekly with a damp cloth.

3. Clean Your Pets

Keep all pets out of the bedroom of the person with asthma. Wash pets, if possible, each week.

4. Remove Mold

Remove any mold and mildew in your bathroom and kitchen. Use cleaning products that do not contain chlorine bleach. White vinegar cleans well and is a good choice. Do not use humidifiers or vaporizers in the bedroom of the person with asthma. Avoid damp areas.

5. Avoid Strong Scents

Don't paint inside the house when the person with asthma is home. Don't use perfumes and scented products. Don't use aerosol sprays such as deodorants and hair sprays.

6. Rid Your Home of Cockroaches

If you live in an apartment, work with your landlord or tenants' group to make sure your building is kept clean and pest-free.

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