Skip to content

Asthma Health Center

Select An Article

Controlling Asthma Triggers

Font Size

How can I prevent asthma triggers at home?

The most important thing you can do is to control asthma triggers. The main asthma triggers that are in your home are dust mites, molds, pollens, pets, cockroaches, and household irritants. Secondhand tobacco smoke may also be a trigger in your home, especially for a child with asthma.

How can I protect myself against dust mites?

  1. Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen-proof, zippered covers.
  2. Wash all bedding in hot water about once a week.
  3. Non-carpeted flooring is best. If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, vacuum often with a multi-layer, allergen-proof vacuum bag. 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.
  4. Regularly change filters on heaters and air conditioners.
  5. Replace heavy, lined curtains or drapes with washable window coverings. Wash window coverings in hot water. Use plain window shades instead of mini-blinds.
  6. Dust all surfaces often, including lampshades and windowsills, with a damp cloth.
  7. Keep clutter under control. Toys and books should be stored in enclosed bookshelves, drawers, or closets.
  8. Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable stuffed animals.
  9. Keep all clothing in drawers and closets. Keep drawers and closets closed.
  10. Cover air ducts with filters or cheesecloth. Change these when soiled.
  11. Pillows and bedding should not contain feathers.
  12. Keep indoor humidity low (25-50%). Use a dehumidifier.

How do I stop mold and mildew from growing in my home?

  1. Air out damp, humid areas frequently. Run a dehumidifier to keep humidity between 25% and 50%.
  2. Use air conditioners when possible.
  3. Clean bathrooms regularly using products that kill and prevent mold. Use exhaust fans to vent steam. Do not carpet the bathroom.
  4. Keep indoor plants out of bedrooms.
  5. When painting, add mold inhibitor to paint to prevent mold from growing.
  6. Avoid sources of outdoor molds, such as wet leaves or garden debris.

How do I control insects inside my home?

Many homes and apartments have cockroaches and other insects. Some people with asthma are allergic to these. To control these allergens in your home:

  1. Use roach baits or traps.
  2. Insect sprays can be used but should only be sprayed when no one is at home.
  3. Before you or your child returns home after spraying, make sure that your home has been aired out for a couple of hours.
Next Article:

When Is Your Asthma Worse?

When Is Your Asthma Worse?

Take the WebMD Asthma assessment to get Personalized Action Plan

Start Now

Today on WebMD

Lung and bronchial tube graphic
5 common triggers.
group jogging in park
Should you avoid fitness activities?
 
asthma inhaler
Learn about your options.
man feeling faint
What’s the difference?
 
Los Angeles skyline in smog
Slideshow
man in a field with allergies
Slideshow
 
Woman holding inhaler
VIDEO
Slideshow Allergy Myths and Facts
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Man outdoors coughing
Article
Lung and bronchial tube graphic
Article
 
10 Worst Asthma Cities
Slideshow
runner
Article