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Keep asthma out of your home

From washing your curtains regularly to minimising the use of household cleaners, in the second part of this series, Dr Shikha Sharma talks about simple precautions that will help you manage this respiratory condition better.

brunch Updated: Nov 09, 2014 13:26 IST
Shikha Sharma
Dr-Shikha-Sharma
Dr-Shikha-Sharma

Dust, smoke and cold air are the biggest triggers of asthma, a respiratory condition in which the airways suddenly contract and become inflamed. Given our highly polluted environment, many people, especially children, are prone to asthma.

The condition must be carefully managed, especially in winter, when cold air adds to the dust and smoke we breathe already.

General dos and don’ts for asthma
*Use a wet duster to clean your home. Dry dusting causes small dust particles to fly and remain suspended in the air for a long time.

*Ideally, use a vacuum cleaner for your floors. Like the dry duster, the broom lets dust particles fly. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, use a wet mop.

*Wash your curtains frequently, as they tend to gather dust and pollen.

*Avoid carpets altogether. They collect dust, pollen and house mites.



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Minimise the use of household cleaners. The chemicals in them could trigger coughing, sneezing and an asthma attack.



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If you’re painting your home or varnishing the furniture, keep asthma-prone family members away.



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Avoid using strong chemicals in the rooms of asthma-prone family members. Try natural and herbal alternatives.



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*Ask your physician for a list of medicines that are unsuitable for asthmatics. Refer to that list whenever you’re buying over the counter medications.



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Go to an immunologist for a food allergy test and patch test to identify the allergens that trigger your asthma.



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Sometimes, strong emotions like fear and rage can trigger an asthma attack too.



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Inhalers and critical medications should always be close at hand. Family members and your child’s school teachers must be taught what to do in case of an asthma attack.



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Asthma-prone children must avoid soft toys and all dust-collecting toys.



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Do not keep pets at home.



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Do not let the asthma-prone be suddenly exposed to hot or cold air.



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Get checked by a doctor if you have a cough that leaves you breathless.



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Have regular oil massages with a non-fragrant oil.



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Do home-based exercises like yoga and Pilates.



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Avoid junk food, cold drinks, pickles, fried food, and curd at night.



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Stay away from smokers and polluted areas.



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List foods that trigger allergies and avoid them.



(This series is concluded. You can read part 1 of the series here)

From HT Brunch, November 9
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