According to the American Lung Association, nearly 25 million people have asthma in the United States.
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that develops at any age (ALA, 2022). A chronic condition is lifelong and incurable. Asthma makes breathing difficult because people with asthma experience swollen airways that produce extra mucus (ALA, 2022). Asthma is made worse by some indoor and outdoor environmental triggers. However, well-controlled asthma is possible when medications and triggers are managed and families or individuals have access to healthcare professionals. IKE works with state-wide partners to share asthma resources to make asthma management easier. IKE also advocates for cleaner air by holding the producers of some outdoor environmental triggers accountable, because everyone deserves clean air.
If you need to contact the Indiana Department of Health Asthma Team directly, use this email: IDOHAsthma@health.IN.gov.
8 Principles for Healthy Homes
A healthy home meets “Eight Principles”, according to the National Center for Healthy Housing. You can control asthma in the home by paying attention to these key components.
KEEP IT DRY
WHY? Mold spores are asthma triggers!
- Check for water stains and wet spots under windows, near doors and appliances, and around toilets, tubs and showers
- Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of moisture as soon as they are detected
KEEP IT CLEAN
WHY? Dust mites feed on dust and are asthma triggers!
- Clean carpets twice a year and use HEPA filtered vacuum weekly
- If possible, avoid carpeting altogether and have hard floors
- Dust with a damp or microfiber
- Wash bedding with hot water weekly
- Clean dishes frequently
KEEP IT PEST FREE
WHY? Droppings from cockroaches and rodents are asthma triggers!
- Clean up crumbs and spills right away
- Store food in air tight containers
- Use a trash can with a lid and empty garbage weekly
- Seal cracks and openings where pests may enter
- Use an integrated pest management approach to eliminate pests
KEEP IT CONTAMINANT FREE
WHY? Pollutants such as paints, air fresheners, cleaners and tobacco are asthma triggers!
- Remove harsh chemicals from the home and switch to green cleaning products
- Avoid smoking indoors
KEEP IT VENTILATED
WHY? Pollutants such as mold and dust are asthma triggers!
- Check that the air conditioning and heat work properly
- Change heating and air conditioning HVAC filter as recommended on their package
- Open windows when possible
- Check that bath and kitchen fans ventilate outside
- Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans for at least 20 minutes when showering and cooking
KEEP IT SAFE
WHY? To keep dangerous chemicals, which can be asthma triggers, away from children
- Keep chemicals, medicine, and weapons locked up
KEEP IT MAINTAINED
WHY? A maintained home can reduce asthma triggers!
- Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly
- Annually inspect gutters, furnace, gas appliances, air conditioner, and plumbing fixtures
KEEP IT THERMALLY CONTROLLED
WHY? Extreme temperature can lead asthma symptom exacerbation.
- Maintain adequate temperatures in indoors
- Apply weather stripping around windows and doors