Allergens in Homes Linked to Asthma

Updated at: May 06, 2014
 Allergens in Homes Linked to Asthma

A little housecleaning may help to reduce asthma symptoms in people who have both asthma and allergies.  A national survey found that allergy-triggering substances, called allergens, are quite common in most homes.

Arka Roy Chowdhury
AsthmaWritten by: Arka Roy ChowdhuryPublished at: Feb 05, 2011

The truth is that asthma and allergies go hand-in-hand, and it is a disease of the windpipe which is also known as bronchial tubes that helps to carry air in and out of the lungs.

Research shows that allergen levels in homes are very much related to asthma, and the allergens can be detected from dog, cat, mouse, cockroach, dust mite and also some other common indoor fungus. In the US, research has shown that nearly half had increased levels of 3 or more allergens, and just over half of homes had at least 6 detectable allergens. Allergens in your home space are quiet enemies that attack you during your most peaceful hour, and this is why it affects so many people the world over. The allergic asthma is a type of asthma which gets triggered by allergy, such as pollen or mold spores.

allergens at home

How It Happens

The air we breathe is taken into the body through the nose and the windpipe, which then takes it into the bronchial tubes. Here at the end of the tubes we have tiny air sacs which are known as alveoli which deliver oxygen into your blood. These air sacs are also responsible for collecting stake air or carbon dioxide that is being exhaled out of the human body.

When you are normally breathing then the bands of muscle which are surrounding the airways get relaxed and air tends to move freely. When you have an asthma attack which could be caused by allergens or there occurs three main changes that will stop the air from moving freely into the airways:

•  Your band muscles surrounding the airways tighten, which causes them to narrow in what is called "bronchospasm.
•  The lining of your airways get swollen or inflamed.
•  Your cells which line the airways begin to produce more mucus, and this is rather thicker than normal.

Your Home and Allergies

Your home is a hot bed of allergies, thanks to dust mites. Dust mites are the most common trigger of allergy and asthma symptoms. These are tiny insects that live in the dust particles that get collected naturally in our homes. Skin cells of pet and humans and pollen are common culprits that trigger the allergy and asthma symptoms. What you need to do is to have as few places as possible for particles that collect and keep these places relatively clean.

cleaning for allergens

So here is what you can do to avoid allergens.

•  Always keep your windows closed and use air conditioning, ceiling fans stir up dust.
•  Instead of carpets use wall-to-wall carpet, flooring like hardwood, tile, and linoleum is far better. You could use small rugs which can be cleaned very easily. You could at least vacuum your carpets if replacing them is not an option.
•  Always cover your mattresses, box springs, and pillows with plastic cases or special allergen proof fabric covers.
•  Always avoid down pillows or comforters.
•  Do avoid upholstered furniture as they can trap allergens. Use only wood, plastic, leather or vinyl.
•  Use long drapes instead of dust collecting blinds that have window shades or washable curtains.
•  Always wear gloves and mask when cleaning and vacuuming.
•  Prevent household molds as they can trigger symptoms in allergy sufferers.
•  Control cockroaches as their droppings contain a protein that is a primary asthma trigger.

More research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to asthma.  Regular household cleaning, however, is a simple way to help reduce exposure to allergens.  If someone in your family has asthma, you may be able to improve their symptoms by reducing allergen levels in your home.

Read more articles on Understand Asthma.


All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK