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Asthma is a serious respiratory illness affecting as many as 17 million Americans. Asthma attacks occur in response to triggers like allergens, cold air, exercise or stress. Some of the allergens & irritants that are present in indoor air pollution can also act as asthma triggers. By improving the air in your home, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of asthma attacks at home.

Environmental tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke) is released from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, or is exhaled by a smoker. Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma episode. Choose not to smoke in your home and don't allow others to do so either.

Dust mites are not visible to the naked eye, but are found in every home. They live and breed in mattresses, pillows, carpets, stuffed toys and similar items. Wash your sheets and blankets regularly. Wash stuffed toys often. Dust-proof mattress and pillow covers are accessable. Use them.

Skin flakes, urine and saliva from your pets can trigger asthma attacks. Consider keeping your pets outdoors. Keep them out of bedrooms and away from fabric covered furniture, stuffed toys, and carpets.

Mold is an asthma trigger for some. To control mold, you have to control moisture. Lower moisture levels will also help control dust mites and cockroaches. Remove existing mold completely. Fix leaky plumbing. Vent clothes dryers to the outside.

The droppings or body pats of pests like cockroaches or rodents can trigger asthma attacks. Never leave food or garbage out. Food should be stored in airtight containers. Clean up food crumbs or spills as soon as possible. Try using baits and traps to control pests before resorting to pesticide sprays.

If you or someone in your household suffers from asthma, taking these steps may reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.