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Good Health Starts at Home Asthma and Allergies


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Title: Good Health Starts at Home Asthma and Allergies

Good Health Starts at HomeAsthma and Allergies
  • ltyour name heregt

April 2014
Learning Objectives
  • Knowledge Describe symptoms and causes of
    asthma. Recognize medical interventions for
    asthma AND environmental control of asthma
  • Comprehension Identify asthma/allergy triggers
    in the home environment.
  • Application List examples of low-cost action
    steps to reduce asthma triggers. Identify
    resources for more help and information

ResourceHelp yourself to a healthy home
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Asthma Allergies
  • Mold Moisture
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Lead
  • Drinking Water
  • Hazardous Household Products
  • Pesticides
  • Home Safety

Seven Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home
  • Keep It
  • Dry
  • Clean
  • Pest-free
  • Ventilated
  • Safe
  • Contaminant-free
  • Maintained

AsthmaWhat is asthma?
  • A chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways
  • It is treatable, but not yet curable
  • It is not the same as allergies, but allergies
    MAY cause asthma
  • Not contagious
  • Can be life-threatening!
  • It can be controlled

Asthma Facts
  • About 26 million Americans have asthma, including
    about 7 million children. It is the most common
    chronic childhood disease.
  • Asthma causes more hospital stays than any other
    childhood disease.
  • Cost of lost workdays for parents with asthmatic
    children is near 1 billion.
  • It is a leading cause of school absences.
  • Annual direct and indirect costs of asthma are
    more than 56 billion.

Who suffers from Asthma
  • Children
  • Low-income, urban residents
  • Some minorities
  • Allergic individuals
  • People with hereditary disposition for asthma

What happens during an asthma attack?
  • Airways narrow, caused by
  • tightening of the muscles that surround the
  • swelling of the inner lining
  • an increase in mucous production

What happens during an asthma attack?
  • You Tube video Asthma symptoms
  • http//

What does an asthma attack feel like?
  • Jog in place for about 30 seconds
  • Place a straw in your mouth and breathe only
    through the straw by pinching your nose closed
  • How do you feel?

Warning signs of asthma
  • Coughing (especially when it is not a cold)
  • Wheezing (a squeaking sound when breathing)
  • Fast breathing
  • Poor skin color
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hunched over posture
  • Restless during sleep
  • Vomiting

Warning signs of asthma
  • Strained breathing
  • Prominent neck muscles
  • Out of breath after physical activity
  • IMPORTANT These symptoms dont necessarily mean
    it is asthma

Asthma can be controlled in 2 ways
  • There are excellent medicines available now that
    can control asthma--some must be taken on a daily
  • Environmental triggers of asthma can be
    controlled to reduce asthma symptoms--which are
    different for everyone.

What can you do to manage asthma?
  • Everyone needs a written Asthma Action Plan.
    This plan includes
  • Medication
  • Identification and avoiding of asthma triggers
  • Peak flow monitoring (over age 5)
  • Emergency plan

What to do if a child has an asthma attack
  • Reassure the child with a calming manner
  • Review Action Plan
  • Use medication if necessary and available
  • Identify what triggered the symptoms and remove
    child from triggers
  • Inform parents/emergency contact if severe
  • Call 911 in emergency

Types of medications2 main types
  • Controller or everyday medications
  • Intal, Singulair
  • Pulmocort, Aerobid
  • Azmacort, Serevent
  • These control inflammation in the lungs on an
    everyday basis
  • Rescue or quick-relief medications
  • Albuterol, Serevent
  • Xopenex, Ventolin
  • These help to control broncospasms--release
    squeezing of the airways

Asthma medicines can be given in different forms
  • Metered-dose inhalers
  • Inhalers can be used with spacers
  • These are especially useful with young children
  • Nebulizers
  • Pills

Inhalers attached to spacers
Peak Flow Meters
  • A portable device that can help measure air flow
    in and out of the lungs
  • May not be useful for children under the age of 5
  • Can be a good indicator of air flow in and out of
    the lungs in those over age 5

Types of inhalers
  • You Tube videos
  • http//
    (Types of Asthma Medications)
  • http//
    edvNUob1sfL3Ig (American Lung Association
    Quick Relief Medicines)

When emergency treatment is needed for asthma
  • Wheezing or coughing that does not get better
    after giving quick-relief medicines
  • Peak flow is less than 80 of best
  • Difficulty breathing that does not get better
    after asthma medicines
  • Too weak or tired

Learning objective ComprehensionIdentify
asthma/allergy triggers in the home environment
  • Irritants
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Strong odors
  • Ozone
  • Chemicals/cleaning compounds
  • Allergens
  • Molds
  • Dust
  • Animals
  • Pollen
  • Food
  • Pests

Other asthma triggers
  • Respiratory infections
  • colds
  • flu
  • often worse at night after lying down
  • Exercise
  • Changes in weather
  • cold air
  • wind
  • humidity

Indoor Air Pollution A Major Health Concern
  • Most people spend 90 of their time indoors
  • Toxin levels indoors may be higher than outdoors
    because of energy tight buildings
  • Most of the common asthma triggers are found

Five Most Common Indoor Environmental Triggers
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Pets
  • Pests

Other Indoor TriggersHousehold Products
  • Vapors from cleaning solvents (non-water based),
    paint, liquid bleach, mothballs, glue
  • Spray deodorants, perfume
  • Bleach, pesticides, oven cleaners, drain openers,
    aerosol spray products

Recognize asthma triggers
  • Not all triggers affect every person
  • 3 Basic Strategies to improve indoor air quality
  • identify the problem
  • control the source
  • mitigation--get rid of the pollutant or
    triggering substance

  • Transported by wind
  • Grass, ragweed, pine, birch, oak trees
  • Can get indoors during pollen season
  • Close windows during pollen season
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows

Learning objective ComprehensionIdentify
asthma/allergy triggers in the home environment
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Pets
  • Pests
  • Five most common indoor environmental triggers

Secondhand Smoke
  • Contains more than 4,000 substances (over 40 are
  • Is particularly harmful to young children
  • Can trigger asthma attacks
  • Causes coughing, excess phlegm, reduced lung
    capacity, and other lung irritation

By-products of smoke
  • Particles such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur
    dioxide may cause decreased lung function
  • Increased risk of respiratory tract infections
    (bronchitis, pneumonia)
  • Not only tobacco smokeasthma triggers also
    include burning wood, candles, coal, kerosene,
    and natural gas

Avoiding Secondhand Smoke
  • Action Steps
  • Do not allow smoking indoors or in vehicles
  • Limit use of fireplaces and candles
  • Use exhaust fan over gas stoves
  • Smoke particles stick to clothing--can affect
    young child when held in arms

Please dont smoke around kids!
Learning objective ComprehensionIdentify
asthma/allergy triggers in the home environment
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Pets
  • Pests
  • Five most common indoor environmental triggers

Dust mites
  • Too small to be seen
  • Found almost everywhere!
  • Live in soft bedding
  • Feed on dead skin cells
  • Mites and mite droppings can be asthma triggers
  • Live in warm, humid places

Dust mite triggers
  • Action Steps
  • Wash sheets and blankets once a week in very HOT
    water (130 F) and dry in HOT dryer
  • Use air conditioner in summer to lower humidity
  • Best humidity levels are between 30-50
  • Remove carpets if possible
  • Use microfiber cloths
  • Vacuum often with HEPA vacuum or microfiltration

Dust mite triggers
  • Action Steps
  • Cover mattresses and pillows in dust-proof
    (allergen-impermeable) zippered covers
  • Vacuum mattress, chairs, and carpeting
  • Replace pillows every 5 years
  • Limit stuffed animals in bedrooms
  • Freezing also kills dust mites

Plastic Cover
CrCredit for picture National Center for
Healthy Housing
Learning objective ComprehensionIdentify
asthma/allergy triggers in the home environment
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Pets
  • Pests
  • Five most common indoor environmental triggers

  • A type of fungus
  • Grow on damp surfaces
  • Molds grow by releasing spores
  • Grow on organic materials wood, drywall,
    wallpaper, carpet, and foods

Avoiding Mold Triggers
  • Action Steps
  • Mold problems are caused by excess moisture
  • Correct the moisture problem first!
  • Maintain low indoor humidity (between 30-50)
  • Warm air holds more water than cold air
  • Fix leaky plumbing
  • Empty and regularly clean refrigerator drip pans

Avoiding Mold
  • Action Steps
  • Run a bathroom fan during bathingmake sure the
    fan works
  • Exhaust the dryer to the outdoors
  • Control moisture in the crawlspace
  • Replace carpet with hard-surface floors in
  • Use air conditioner to lower humidity

More on Mold
  • Dont need to test for mold--if you see it or
    smell it--then you have mold
  • Clean up small areas with a bleach solution
  • 1 part bleach to 10 parts water
  • BUTyou dont have to use bleach!
  • Limit houseplants--since soil/leaves contain
    mold--at least in bedrooms
  • Clean when children are not present

Learning objective ComprehensionIdentify
asthma/allergy triggers in the home environment
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Pets
  • Pests
  • Five most common indoor environmental triggers

  • Skin flakes, urine, and saliva of warm blooded
    animals can be asthma triggers
  • Triggers can remain inside for several months
    after an animal is removed, even with cleaning

Avoiding Pet Triggers
  • Action Steps
  • Try to keep pets outdoors onlyif possible
  • Keep pets off beds and out of bedrooms
  • Keep pets off fabric-covered furniture
  • Use a HEPA vacuum to vacuum up pet fur
  • Keep litter boxes, pet beds, and cages away from
    sleeping areas
  • IF pets get on beds, wash bedding in very HOT

Learning objective ComprehensionIdentify
asthma/allergy triggers in the home environment
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Pets
  • Pests
  • Five most common indoor environmental triggers

Pests (especially Cockroaches)
  • Many people are allergic to the body parts and
    droppings of cockroaches
  • People who have dust allergies frequently have
    cockroach allergies

Avoiding Pests
  • 3 steps to avoid pests indoors
  • Prevention
  • Identification
  • Control

Preventing Pests
  • Get rid of places for pests to hide and sources
    of food and water
  • reduce clutter (boxes, stacks of newspapers,
    grocery bags)
  • do not leave food or garbage out
  • clean up food spills and crumbs
  • caulk cracks and crevices
  • Pest-proof living space

Action StepsControlling Pests
  • Make sure you identify the pest before using
  • Use less toxic baits, boric acid, or traps
    first--before using toxic pesticides
  • If you use sprays
  • Limit spray to infested area
  • Ventilate room--sprays may be a trigger for
    asthma or cause lung irritation

  • Integrated
  • Pest
  • Management

credit for picture National Center for Healthy
Air Cleaners and Filters
  • Action Steps
  • Use air cleaners only as a last resort
  • HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air)
  • Do not use air cleaning devices that produce

Air Cleaners and Filters
  • Action Steps
  • Know the size of the room to be treated before
    purchasing the air conditioning/heater unit
  • Clean or change filters frequently
  • Some gases and very small particles are difficult
    to remove
  • If updating an old unit, get an energy efficient

Other Asthma Triggers
  • Exercise
  • People with asthma should be able to exercise
  • Sometimes, taking inhaler medicine before
    exercising may help
  • Colds/Flu/Respiratory infections
  • Often these illnesses will trigger asthma
    symptoms or make them worse--get a flu shot
  • Cold weather sometimes triggers asthma
  • Strong fragrances
  • Pollens

Lets reflect ApplicationAction Steps to
control asthma
  • Make sure everyone with asthma has an Asthma
    Action Plan
  • Be aware of medicines used to treat asthma and
    have emergency contact numbers in case of asthma
  • Control the environment to prevent triggers
    dust, pests, mold, secondhand smoke, strong
    odors, and cleaning solvents

Resources for Asthma Allergies
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
  • www.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • The American Lung Association
  • http//
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • http//
  • Asthma
  • Community Pharmacists,
  • Mold
  • Fire Water Cleanup and Restoration Service
  • Pests
  • Pest Control Companiesask if they use IPM
  • Secondhand Smoke

Thank you!
Good Health Starts at HomeAsthma Allergies
  • Questions? Comments?