Definitions & Treatment

Definition of Asthma | Exercise-Induced Asthma | Diagnosing Children | Pulmonary Function Tests | Allergy Testing | Treating Allergies & Asthma | Environmental Controls | Allergy Injections | Medications Conclusions

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Office: 440-333-2003

Answering machine:

20455 Lorain Road, Suite T3
Fairview Park, Ohio 44126

Treating Asthma

The three basic ways of treating allergies and asthma are (1) Environmental Controls; (2) Allergy Injections; and (3) Medication.

Environmental Controls

The attempt to decrease the exposure to potential inhaled allergens in the homes of patients with asthma and/or allergies is frequently quite rewarding. Of necessity, particular emphasis is placed in the room where the patient sleeps. Our goal is to provide an environment in which a minimum of potential allergens are present.

  1. Pillows should be made of dacron. If not, they must be encased in an impermeable encasing. Do not use kapok, feathers, down or foamy rubber pillows.
  2. All mattresses and box springs must be covered with an impermeable casing. The zipper ends of the casing should be sealed with wide adhesive tape.
  3. A thin synthetic or cotton mattress pad is acceptable.
  4. If the room contains more than one bed it should be similarly prepared.
  5. Bed sheets should be of smooth cotton or linen.
  6. Blankets should be made of cotton or synthetic fibers.
  7. Quilts are acceptable provided that they are only stuffed with synthetic material.
  8. Carpeting in general is not recommended; because of the difficulty in keeping shag carpets clean, their use is particularly discouraged. A flat synthetic carpet is acceptable if easily cleaned. Rug underpads should not be used.
  9. Window curtains should have a smooth surface and be washable.
  10. Furniture should be made of wood, plastic or metal. All upholstered furniture should be permanently removed.
  11. The closet should contain only clothing and should be as free of dust as the rest of the room. Do not use the closet for storage.
  12. Since forced air heating stirs up and recirculates dust and other potential allergens, the heating outlets should be closed off and sealed permanently.
  13. Air conditioning is frequently quite helpful. If cooled air happens to precipitate asthma attacks or increase other symptoms, the cooling component can be turned off and the air conditioner can be used as a filter.
  14. Toys which are stuffed with plant or animal products should be eliminated. Toys which are stuffed with synthetic material are acceptable.
  15. Since plants alone or in an aquarium frequently harbor mold, they too should be eliminated from the bedroom.
  16. The entire bedroom should be thoroughly cleaned at least one time per week and dusted daily.
  17. Pets, i.e., dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils frequently cause allergic symptoms. If one is not allergic to a pet and has an allergic predisposition, the chances are unfortunately quite high that he will develop sensitivity in the future. Thus, the pet may have to be removed from the house. After a pet is removed, the dander may be present for many months.
  18. If one has allergies, one should stay out of unfinished or damp basements as well as attics.
  19. When you travel, take your pillow with you.
  20. Strong odors such as paint, turpentine, perfume or odors from cooking can frequently aggravate allergic symptoms and thus should be avoided.
  21. People are rarely allergic to pine pollen. However, almost all Christmas trees have molds on them; thus, artificial trees are preferable.
  22. Smoking should not be permitted at home or in the car.
  23. Bounce™ (the fabric softener) has been shown to exacerbate asthma and other allergic conditions at times; thus, this in general should not be used.
  24. Those with allergies should not be around if any remodeling or redecorating of the house is going to be done such as painting, tearing down a wall, or even putting up new wallpaper.

Please understand that frequently environmental controls are not an all or none phenomenon; a variety of potential allergens may have a synergistic effect, i.e. one alone may not cause an asthma attack, however, several added together may precipitate one; thus, we attempt to decrease the so-called "allergic load."