Skip to content

    Asthma Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Budget-Friendly Home Asthma Program Works

    At-Home Fixes Can Help Kids Stay Healthy Without Breaking the Bank
    By
    WebMD Health News

    Oct. 13, 2005 -- A home-based plan to ease kids' asthma symptoms works and may be cost-effective, a new study shows.

    The study included 800 children aged 5 to 11 with moderate to severe asthma. Most were black or Hispanic children living in low-income, inner-city neighborhoods, where asthma rates tend to be particularly high.

    The study was done in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Tucson, Ariz. However, the strategy should work anywhere. The basic goal was to identify what triggers the kids' asthma and teach the families how to get rid of those triggers.

    The report appears in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology's online edition.

    At-Home Checklist

    In the study, trained environmental counselors visited the participants' homes five times in one year to provide instruction on reducing asthma triggers.

    Those triggers included many of the usual suspects for asthma -- dust mites, cockroaches, secondhand smoke, pet dander, rodents, and mold.

    The families also received some resources to cope with those problems. Here's the list:

    • Allergen-impermeable covers for pillows and mattresses
    • Vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA filter)
    • Air cleaner with a HEPA filter for homes with smokers, pets, or mold problems
    • Vent filters for homes with forced air heat
    • Miscellaneous cleaning equipment
    • Pest management services

    The mix was tailored to each child's asthma triggers.

    All of the families participating in the at-home asthma program got the allergen-impermeable covers for pillows and mattresses. Those covers help block out dust mites.

    Dust mites are known for triggering asthma and allergies. They're microscopic creatures that live in dust. They thrive in pillows, mattresses, bedding, stuffed animals, and humid settings.

    More Asthma-Free Days

    The interventions were "clearly effective in reducing asthma symptoms," says researcher Meyer Kattan, MD, CM, in a news release.

    Kattan works in the pediatrics department of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He and his colleagues had assigned some of the kids to the at-home program and the others to a comparison group.

    The kids in the program showed asthma benefits including:

    • 38 more days without asthma symptoms
    • 19% fewer unscheduled clinic visits
    • 13% drop in use of rescue inhalers for acute asthma symptoms. However, use of other asthma medications was not shown to be reduced.

    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?
     
    Madison Wisconsin Capitol
    Slideshow
    woman wearing cpap mask
    Article
     
    red wine pouring into glass
    Slideshow
    Woman holding inhaler
    Quiz
     
    Man outdoors coughing
    Article
    Lung and bronchial tube graphic
    Article
     
    10 Worst Asthma Cities
    Slideshow
    runner
    Article