Infants Allergy Due to Mold and Dampness in Homes & Measure to be Taken to Eleminate
Maintaining good indoor air quality in your home is an important aspect of asthma management.If your child has asthma, you want to create the best home environment possible.By triggers we mean those things (such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and cigarette smoke) that can make your asthma worse. Someone who has asthma always has some swelling or irritation in the airways.
Exposure to triggers can make this problem worse. Triggers are usually harmless to most people, but if you have asthma, triggers can cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.Irritants in the air such as tobacco or woodsmoke, perfumes, aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and fumes from paint or cooking gas can all trigger asthma flare-ups. Even scented candles or fresh newsprint are triggers for some people with asthma.
Recently a new study suggest that mold and dampness in homes are significant risk factors for recurrent wheezing in infants at high risk of allergic disorders, whereas house dust mite exposure does not significantly increase the risk.
"In most studies that investigate the association of mold or water damage and respiratory disorders in infants, the analysis is not adjusted for exposure to house dust mite, which is also a known cause of respiratory illnesses," Dr. Tiina Reponen, of the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and colleagues write in the latest issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
As part of a study in infants of parents with allergies, the researchers performed on-site home visits when the infants were 8 months old to assess visible mold or water damage and levels of house dust mite allergen.
The 640 infants in the study had a first clinic visit at an average age of 13 months. During this visit, the team took medical histories, including parent-reported wheezing episodes, and performed skin prick tests for exposure to food allergens, substances known to trigger allergic responses in susceptible individuals, and 15 common airborne allergens.
The team found that 51 percent of homes had minor water damage or mold problems and 5 percent had major conditions. Only 16 percent of homes had house dust mite allergen levels high enough to cause an allergic response.
House dust mite exposure was not a significant risk factor for wheezing, the investigators report.
On the other hand, the risk of recurrent wheezing was increased nearly two-fold in infants who lived in homes with major mold or water damage.
The risk was five times greater in infants with reactions to food or airborne allergens and six times greater in infants with reactions to airborne allergens.
To make your home good air quality inside :
- Run the air conditioning, especially on days when the pollen or mold counts are high or when there are ozone or pollution warnings and change your air conditioning filter regularly.
- When purchasing a home, consider buying one with baseboard or radiant heating. Forced-air systems can foster mold and dust mites. If you live in a home with a forced-air system, you might want to seal off the vents in your child's bedroom with aluminum covers and tape. You'll also want to have the other air ducts in the house cleaned and change the air filter in your furnace regularly.
- If you must open up your house on days when the pollen count is high, do so after midmorning, because counts are usually highest between 5 AM and 10 AM. If air quality is the problem, open doors and windows in the early morning hours before pollution has had a chance to build up.
- Ask your folks to make sure that your bathrooms and basement are well ventilated.
- If you have any damp closets, clean them thoroughly and leave a 100-watt bulb on all the time to increase the temperature and dry out the air.
- Get rid of houseplants, which may have mold in the soil.
- Clean mold or mildew you can see with a solution that is one part chlorine bleach to ten parts water.
- Replace or wash moldy shower curtains.
However, neither mold nor water damage correlated with reactions to mold or airborne allergens, Reponen and colleagues report.
"It remains to be determined how environmental exposure affects the development of sensitization and wheezing," they conclude, "and what relationship exists between the early onset of wheezing and the development of asthma in these infants as they age."