• Regular use of your preventer
inhaler will reduce the risk of an asthma attack due to colds or
• A healthy
diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables containing vitamin
C will help fight viruses.
• Flu injections are recommended
for people with severe asthma and people over the age of 60.
• Use barrier covers for your
mattress, duvet and pillow and wipe them with a damp cloth once
• Hot wash (at
600C) sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases once a week.
• Keep soft toys to a minimum.
Either hot wash them every 1-2 weeks or put soft toys into a bag
in the freezer for six hours to kill mites.
• If your in the market for a
good vacuum cleaner look out for the British Allergy Foundation
seal of approval. This is based upon High Efficiency Particulate
Air (HEPA) filtration. HEPA 12 is the highest possible and
filters out 99.97% of the most penetrating particles (like
allergens, dust mite faeces and tobacco smoke). Besides HEPA,
there's the S-Class filtration, which also rates a 99.97%
filtration. This standard is required of vacuums used in
If you're a pet owner you should choose a cleaner with Active
Air Clean filter. This filter will be more effective at removing
pet hairs and eliminating odours. A turbo brush is also ideal
for removing pet hair. Some new vacuum cleaners offer different
types of filtration, including one that filters through water,
which is a good way of trapping dust mites and allergens.
• Damp dust all surfaces daily
or use an attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
• Use cotton or synthetic
blankets instead of wool. They are easier to wash and are less
likely to carry allergens.
• If you smoke, you could be
putting your children at risk. Passive smoking is particularly
harmful to young children. If you are planning a baby, it is
really important that neither parents smoke. Studies have shown
that children of mothers who smoke are more likely to develop
asthma. Other evidence suggests that if a parent of a child with
asthma stops smoking, it can decrease the severity of the
Inhaling other people's smoke is
hazardous for people with asthma too. Eighty per cent of people
in a National Asthma Campaign survey said that other people's
cigarette smoke triggered their asthma symptoms.
• If someone in your family has
asthma, or if there is a family history of asthma, don't keep a
furry – or a feathered – pet.
• Up to 50 per cent of children
with asthma are triggered by an allergy to cats and/or dogs.
• The urine from guinea pigs,
rats, rabbits and gerbils can cause problems too.
• Bathing cats and dogs once a
week may help. Ask your vet for advice on how to do this
• Always keep pets out of areas
like the lounge and bedroom.
• Studies have shown that using
a vacuum cleaner with a filter can reduce levels of cat allergen
in the air
• Take your usual dose of
reliever inhaler before going out on cold, dry days
• Wear a scarf over your face if
it's cold and windy. It will help warm the air up before you
breathe it in.
• Try to avoid going out in the
middle of the day on hot, smoggy days.
Thunderstorms can also release
large quantities of pollen into the air and trigger asthma
• If grass pollen triggers your
asthma it is important to review your treatment with your doctor
or practice nurse before the hay fever season begins.
• On hot, dry days avoid
spending too much time outdoors.
• Avoid long grass.
• Keep car windows closed.
• Look out for pollen forecasts
on the television, in newspapers or on the internet.