According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 19 million Americans over the age of 18 that currently suffer from asthma. And over 1 million people seek treatment in an Emergency Room from severe asthma attacks each year.
If you or a loved one has asthma, you know firsthand how scary an attack can be. You also know how important it is to be able to identify your triggers, so you can avoid them.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common asthma triggers and then some not-so-common triggers so you can recognize a potential culprit.
Tobacco smoke is unhealthy for the person holding the cigarette as well as for the people sharing a space that are exposed to secondhand smoke. If you have asthma, you should stay far away from cigarettes and smokers.
Dust mites, like cockroaches, have been around for millions of years. For a microscopic bug, they sure can cause people to feel awful. The mites eliminate an aggressive digestive enzyme in their waste. This enzyme can attack and melt the ‘glue’ that binds delicate cells together. As you might have guessed, these cells are found in the nose, eyes and lungs. This enzyme is so powerful it can actually kill cells, causing a huge immune response in certain individuals.
Outdoor Air Pollution
A common culprit of an asthma attack is air pollution. This comes from factories, cars, ozone, smog and smoke from forest fires. Asthma sufferers would be wise to pay attention to air quality through the radio or internet and only plan outdoor activities when air pollution levels are low.
Some people are allergic to the protein found in pet skin cells, saliva and urine. While you can’t see them, your pets are constantly shedding dead skin cells and those wind up all over your house causing an allergic reaction and consequential asthma attack.
Where there is humidity there is generally mold, and these mold spores can cause an allergic reaction and asthma attack in many people. While you may not visibly see mold, it doesn’t mean it’s not behind walls, under floorboards or behind ceiling panels. It’s a good idea to have someone come to your home and professionally inspect your home for mold if you think you might have an issue.
Other Common Triggers
- Colds and flu
- Sinus infections
- Household chemicals such as VOCs
- Acid reflux
- Physical exercise
- Prescription medicines
- Cold, dry winter air
Some Not-So-Common Asthma Triggers
There are several odd or unusual things that can trigger asthma attacks. Knowing these potential triggers will help you be better prepared.
Research has uncovered an unusual pattern. There are more emergency room visits for an asthma attack after a thunderstorm. No, its not the lightening or thunder that’s causing you to have an attack. It’s the fact that pollen grains rupture during an electrical storm. This sends a large amount of allergens into the air. This pollen is then spread by gusty winds.
Laughing and Crying
Extreme laughing or crying changes our breathing patterns and restricts air flow. This can bring on an asthma attack for many people.
Some food additives and flavoring agents have been found to trigger an asthma attack, so it’s important to read those labels. Sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite are all potential triggers.
Indoor air fresheners and scented candles can make our homes smell nicer, but for people with asthma, they are doing more harm than good. Perfume and flower scents are particularly likely to irritate sensitive airways, according to the results of research by a Swedish team published in the January 2016 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research.
Want a healthier, more natural way to make your home smell better? Keep reading…
How an Air Purifier Can Help Lessen Alleviate Asthma Triggers
While an air purifier can’t protect you against laugh-out-loud comedies or food additives, it can alleviate most of the common and uncommon triggers on this list. From pet dander to dust mites, pollen and harmful toxic chemicals, air purifiers use robust filtration systems to remove harmful irritants from your home’s air.
But in order to protect you and your loved ones from harm, your air purifier must have several important features:
Most quality air purifiers these days are sold with a HEPA filtration system. These filters can trap even microscopic particles like dust, dander, bacteria, pollen and mold spores. Just be sure you change your filter as often as the manufacturer recommends so your air purifier can do a good job.
Activated Charcoal Filter
While a HEPA filter is excellent at trapping tiny particles, it can’t trap toxic gases and VOCs found in many household products. For this job you need an air purifier that has a built-in charcoal filter. These filters can remove the gases from the air and trap them inside the unit.
Square Footage Capabilities
Each air purifier unit is built to be able to handle a certain size room. It’s important to buy a unit that can handle the space. For instance, a small unit that can easily handle a 300 square foot bedroom will have a hard time handling a 1000 square foot living room. Be sure to check the box to see what square footage is recommended.
Best Air Purifiers for Asthma
If you’d like to purchase an air purifier to help you eliminate some of the most common asthma triggers in your home, you can begin by taking a look at our inventory of air purifiers that were built with asthma sufferers in mind. You can filter choices by size of room, price, and specific allergen you’re trying to tackle.
If you have any questions about which unit may be best in your home, please feel free to give us a call. We are always happy to help people find the right solution that will bring them the most relief. We don’t think of ourselves as a company that sells air purifiers, we think of ourselves as people who want to help other people breathe easier.