Unexpected asthma triggers that you could find in your home – expert warning

Asthma: St John Ambulance explain how to help during attack

Asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing and chest tightness, and certain factors could be exacerbating the condition.

McDougall warned that “your sofa could be an asthma trigger hotspot” – and here’s why.

He elaborated: “One UNICEF study found the average sofa could be harbouring 12 times the amount of bacteria as a toilet seat.

“Sofas also collect lots of dust, both in the cushions and the area underneath.”

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed dust “can be an asthma trigger”.

Another unexpected asthma culprit pointed out by McDougall is the carpet and rugs in your home.

Describing them as “hidden dust traps”, McDougall explained: “Invisible allergens and dust particles stay hidden deep into the fibres of a carpet”.

He added that this can make your “living room a thriving environment for dust mites”.

Dust mites are “tiny creatures that can trigger asthma symptoms”, which can also settle on TV screens, ceilings and walls.

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McDougall stated that “animal dander is a typical allergen, so your beloved family pet might be triggering an allergic reaction that exacerbates your asthma symptoms”.

House plants could also be another unexpected asthma trigger as they too can collect dust. Moreover, mould can develop if the plants are overwatered.

However, some plants – such as peace lilies – “can help your asthma by filtering toxins from the air”.

Moving from the living room to the kitchen, McDougall pointed out other possible asthma triggers.

“Gas stoves are a likely culprit for worsening asthma symptoms,” said McDougall. “Nitrogen dioxide is an irritant that can affect your eyes, nose, and throat.”

He added: “Many common cleaning products can exacerbate asthma symptoms, including bleach, detergents and air fresheners.”

Moreover, he said: “Dust is rife in the kitchen, with the tops of kitchen cabinets, fridges, and light fixtures being key areas where dust can gather.”

Scott McDougall is the co-founder and registered manager of The Independent Pharmacy.

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