Asthma is a common respiratory condition causing an attack or spasm of the bronchioles or airways that carry air to the lungs. Asthma makes it difficult to breathe and in Australia affects one in nine people equivalent to 2.7 million Australians. In the period between 2017-2018, nearly 40,000 hospitalisations occurred. It's known that 80% of asthma hospitalisations are preventable.
Now it's not just the hospital costs - asthma affects the quality of life. Asthma sufferers self report their wellbeing as "fair" or "poor" compared with other people without asthma.
Some interesting research was recently published in the journal, Indoor Air in September 2021. It looked at what household features contribute to biocontamination and that is linked with asthma.
What are some of the typical biocontaminants that might cause asthma-type health effects? Most of us can recall images of pollution haze and coughing, but different types of microorganisms, dusts and pollens and household behaviours are also likely suspects.
The paper I'm highlighting is from Canada and the scientists collected dust from people's homes to determine the concentrations of: house dust mite allergens, cat allergens, cockroach allergen, beta-(1,3)-D-glucan and endotoxin levels. They also used a questionnaire as part of home inspections to ask about features and behaviours in the home.
What did they find?
They discovered that the age of the home and whether or not carpets were present along with the history of water damage and mould odour were all positively associated with the presence of multiple indoor contaminants linked to asthma.
They also found that high floor cleaning frequency and the use of dehumidifiers were negatively associated with the presence of multiple indoor contaminants.
This live stream will review this data and list the Top 8 asthma and allergy triggers. I've also created a free survey so you can measure your own home for risk factors linked to asthma and allergic disease. You can find the survey here: https://drcameronjones.checkboxau.com/asthma-and-allergy-triggers
Sun L, Miller JD, Van Ryswyk K, et al. Household determinants of biocontaminant exposures in Canadian homes. Indoor Air. 2021;00:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12933
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