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Home Can Be Hospitable to Triggers of Allergies

June 19, 1997|KARIN PETERSEN HSIAO

For common triggers of allergies and asthma, there's no place like home.

"Your home should be a safe place, but for sufferers of allergies and asthma, it can be a source for triggers that set off a reaction," says Dr. Robert Moore, a pediatric pulmonologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In fact, one of the best ways to control allergies and asthma is to do a thorough inventory of possible household triggers. If you don't know what brings on your attacks, you may need to keep an allergy or asthma diary--or have skin testing done to narrow down the suspects.

Moore says common household allergy and asthma triggers include overstuffed furniture, shelves and other dusty surfaces; excessive humidity, which spurs dust mite growth; rugs, another dust mite source; pet dander; tobacco smoke; poor household ventilation; infrequently changed heater or air conditioner filters; improperly stored clothes; bedding (use washable synthetic blankets and pillows, and cover mattress with aired-out plastic); household cleaners; live plants; bathrooms; garbage pails; basements; and other potential sources of mold.

"Of course, there is no such thing as a completely allergy- and asthma-free house," Moore says. "But by taking steps to control possible triggers, the potential for attacks can be greatly reduced."

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