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    Frequently Asked Questions About Asthma

    9. I Have Allergies to Mites and Mold; How Do I Avoid Them?

    If you have allergies to mites and mold, approaches to avoid dust mites and mold include:

    Dust Mites

    • Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen-proof, zippered covers.
    • Wash all bedding in hot water once a week.
    • Non-carpeted flooring is best. If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, vacuum often with an HEPA filter. Wear a mask while vacuuming. If your child has asthma, do not vacuum while he or she is in the room. Products that eliminate dust mites from carpeting (such as Acarosan) can be purchased. Your asthma care provider can give you information about these products.
    • Avoid curtains and drapes. Use plain window shades instead of mini-blinds. Washable curtains should be washed in hot water every two to four weeks.
    • Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth often, including lampshades and windowsills.
    • Keep clutter under control. Toys and books should be stored in enclosed bookshelves, drawers, or closets.
    • Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable stuffed animals.
    • Keep all clothing in drawers and closets. Keep drawers and closets closed.
    • Cover air ducts with filters. Change these when soiled.
    • Pillows and bedding should not contain feathers.
    • Keep indoor humidity low (below 50%). Use a dehumidifier if needed.
    • Regularly change filters on heaters and air conditioners.

    Mold and Mildew

    • Air out damp, humid areas frequently. Run a dehumidifier to keep humidity lower than 50%.
    • Use air conditioners when possible.
    • Clean bathrooms regularly using products that kill and prevent mold. Use exhaust fans to vent steam. Do not carpet the bathroom.
    • Keep indoor plants out of bedrooms.
    • When painting, add mold inhibitor to paint to prevent mold from growing.
    • Avoid sources of outdoor molds, such as wet leaves or garden debris.

    10. What Do I Do If I Have an Asthma Attack?

    An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by the tightening of muscles around your airways (bronchospasm). If you are experiencing an asthma attack, follow the "Red Zone" or emergency instructions in your asthma action plan immediately. If you have trouble breathing, walking, or talking or have blue lips or fingernails, call 911.


    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 22, 2014
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