How Indoor Pollution Can Worsen Asthma?


Asthma is a chronic disease wherein the airways that help in transporting air to and from your lungs get blocked. This disease is incurable and all that one can do is to take precautionary measures from worsening. So what is it that a person goes through while suffering from asthma?

Well, the disease causes inflammation in your lungs, thereby restricting the flow of air. Most of the symptoms of asthma take place on an episodic basis, such that, it can happen anytime to a person suffering from it. The airways that carry air and enable you to breath begin to swell and as a result, the person can develop severe sensitivity towards anything that he/she inhales.

How Indoor Pollution Can Worsen Asthma

On the contrary, the person muscles of the airways tighten such that it begins to excessively produce mucus that tightens airways that carry air from your lungs to other parts of your body. The worst thing for any person suffering from this disease is that there is no cure for the disease but it is manageable. People suffering from asthma can be highly allergic to what air they inhale. This sort of problem can make the muscles of the airways swell and tighten up.

Indoor Pollutants and Asthma:

So the main cause of trigger for asthma is when a person’s airways are blocked thus causing lack of smooth breath. These airways begin to swell due to air pollutants and as a result, the tightened airways begin to excessively produce mucus. The result of such an occurrence is a severe cough, wheezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and chest congestion.

Indoor Pollution

So now that you know what causes asthma, there is one less known fact by everyone that indoor pollutants cause asthma. So what are these indoor pollutants? Well, it can be tobacco, dust, pests, chemical odours and dust mites etc. These indoor pollutants can worsen your problem. Here is what you need to know about these indoor triggers and how they can turn your problem into something worse.

1. Tobacco Smoking:

Smoking is associated with loads of health problems and one among the many is that this can easily trigger asthma and worsen your problem. Of course, a person suffering from asthma won’t smoke, but passage smoking can trigger a major problem. Well, if there is a person who smokes inside the house, it is recommended that you stay out for some time and tell the person your problem. Smoke particles remain in the air for too long even though the cigarette has been put off.

2. Pests:

You must be wondering how can pests in your home trigger asthma. Well, the rotting bodies of cockroaches and other pests are the cause of many allergens and this can accumulate with household dust if left uncleaned. Moreover, this can worsen asthma symptoms among children. The combination of dead cockroach bodies along with dust can trigger asthma and other diseases. Keeping your indoor surroundings clean must be the utmost priority.

3. Household Moulds:

Moulds are fungi that develop in places where it is moist. Moisture causes moulds that have fungi on it and when you make contact with these moulds this can trigger your asthmatic problem. These moulds are made up of spores, mycotoxins and other components that can lead to other types of respiratory diseases too.

4. Chemical Odours:

From your bathroom air freshener to the deodorizer you use, chemical odours can also trigger asthma. Even the paint odour, solvents, pesticides, adhesives, tile flooring and dry washed clothes can worsen your problem. This can immediately trigger an asthmatic attack. The chemical allergens produced by some of these chemical substances can make your condition worse than you can ever think of.

5. Pets:

If you are an animal lover and that you have pets in the house, then you may have to deal with a lot of allergens that can trigger an asthmatic attack. Especially, warm-blooded pets such as cats, dogs, birds and rodents can make your condition worse. Pet urine and saliva can be very dangerous if you are suffering from asthma.

6. Dust Mites:

Dust mites are microscopic household spiders usually found in pillows, mattresses including carpets. These can trigger an asthmatic attack if it is not cleaned on a regular basis. Dust mites are usually found in humid places wherein thousands of spiders can be found in just a pinch of dust.

7. Nitrogen Dioxide:

This refers to the chemical gas emitted from gas stoves and hobs. This can also trigger an asthma attack. Always make it a point to turn off the gas when you are not using it. Also, called NO2, its presence indoors can also increase your risk of developing a respiratory infection.

Home Remedies For Improving Indoor Air Quality:

If you are suffering from asthma, then the very first thing you need to do is to make certain lifestyle changes. One thing that you need to keep in mind is to improve your indoor air quality. So how do you do it?

Firstly, you need to identify the affected areas in your home that causes allergens and this will help you solve the problem. Here are simple ways in which you can improve the indoor air quality and breath better.

  • If there is anyone who smokes, then make it a point to tell the person not to as this will complicate your problem.
  • Do not use air fresheners or deodorizers that have the tendency to worsen your problem.
  • If there is a strong odour coming out of your cooking, then simply open the windows so that the smell goes away. Sometimes cooking odours can also trigger asthma attacks.
  • When painting your home, make sure that you open all the windows and keep it open. Paint has chemicals that can definitely trigger an asthma attack and so by simply opening the windows, you can prevent yourself from the risk of triggering an asthma attack.
  • Also, keep a watch over signs of any water leakage that can cause house moulds that come filled with allergens. Make sure that you fix moisture problems as soon as possible as this can cause moulds that may result in many respiratory diseases. One way you can reduce moisture problems in bathrooms is by fixing an exhaust fan that will drain the moisture out and keep your bathroom dry.
  • Dust can be a major cause for allergens that trigger an asthmatic attack. All you need to do is to simply dust weekly. However, this does not mean that you will have to do it, you could always get the help of someone else to get it done.
  • Wash bed covers and clothes in hot water and this will remove all the germs.
  • You can also use a dehumidifier in order to remove the humidity in your home.
  • One of the major causes of asthma indoors is dead cockroaches. Dead cockroach bodies accumulate with dust and together can trigger an asthmatic outbreak.
  • Make sure that you mop floors often and keep your home dust free.
  • If you have pets at home such as a dog, cat or a bird, you need to keep away from them as this will easily trigger asthma.


Since asthma is a disease that is directly linked to the sort of air we breathe, it is recommended that you follow the above-listed home remedies and take preventive measures. Also, here are some frequently asked questions that will shed some more insight on the topic.

1. Can smog cause asthma?

Well, if you are hearing this term for the first time then you need to understand what is smog. The combination of smoke with fog is called smog. Smoke pollution is something that the world is facing currently. Smog can definitely trigger an asthmatic outbreak. Moreover, this differs from individual to individual.

2. What are foods that asthmatics must avoid?

There are certain foods that can trigger an asthma attack. These foods are dried fruits, prepared potatoes, wine, lemon juice, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish. However, it is recommended that you consult a doctor regarding your diet before opting for any. This is because the symptoms of asthma vary from person to person.

3. What are the home remedies to treat asthma?

Asthma is a disease that cannot be cured, but instead, it can be treated with manageable home remedies. Here are some home remedies that will help you treat this chronic disease.

      • Consume green tea.
      • Inhale Eucalyptus oil.
      • Massage some mustard oil with some salt on your chest and this will reduce inflammation.
      • Sitting upright straight can help you breathe better.
      • Try taking slow deep breaths.

Asthma is a chronic disease that can leave you fighting with a terrible breathing disorder for life. However, taking preventive measures will help you fight some of its horrible symptoms. You will have to see a doctor in times when you are facing shortness in breath, wheezing in the morning or night and if in case none of the above-listed home remedies are working out. You need to understand that quick medical help can save you from medical complications that could have been the case of you delaying going to the hospital.

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