Spring into action to minimise asthma and allergies
WITH spring – and National Asthma Week, (September 1-7) beginning this week asthma and allergy sufferers are being reminded to be on their guard against the triggers that come with warmer weather.
National Asthma Council Australia and Sensitive Choice are encouraging the 2.5 million Australians with asthma and one in three with allergies to take steps to reduce common household triggers.
Allergy and asthma triggers vary from person to person but common triggers in many homes include grass pollen, dust and dust mites, animal dander, mould and moisture, fragrances, including air freshener and some chemicals.
People should also be aware of the increased risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma heading into spring and early summer.
Epidemic thunderstorm asthma can result from thunderstorms in areas with high grass pollen concentrations, which can cause life threatening allergic asthma flare-ups in susceptible individuals, even those who have not had asthma before.
Steps that can be taken to help prevent thunderstorm asthma include keeping control of your asthma and hayfever, having a thorough asthma action plan, and being educated on the risks of thunderstorm asthma.
For those working on their spring cleaning, these tips can help you and your family breathe more easily this spring:
• wash sheets, pillowcases, soft toys weekly in water hotter than 55°C;
• cover mattresses, quilts and with dust mite-resistant protectors;
• open curtains and air bedding in the sunshine and give them a regular clean;
• use a damp or electrostatic cloth to dust hard surfaces (including floors), and avoid feather dusters and dry dusting cloths, which just stir up dust;cloth to dust hard surfaces (including floors), and avoid feather dusters and dry dusting cloths, which just stir up dust;
• keep rooms dry and wll ventilated; and
• clear out clutter.
To find out more about managing asthma for yourself or a loved one, contact your GP or practice nurse, or go to www.nationalasthma.org.au or www.asthmaaustralia.org.au.