18 June 2020
Lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, but with weather forecasters predicting an extra wet winter, it’s important for the 2.7 million Australians with asthma to have a healthy home.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting July through to September are likely to be wetter than average for much of southern Australia. Higher indoor humidity levels make it easier for mould and dust mites to multiply.
When a mould source is present, tiny spores are released in the air, which can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. The symptoms can include nose, eye, and skin irritation, sneezing or wheezing, and severe breathing difficulties in some people.
National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice Program Manager Adele Taylor says mould is persistent and sneaky.
“It’s strange to think that it’s winter and it’s freezing outside, but inside we may have a problem with humidity – and that can mean mould,” Ms Taylor says.
“We all know what mould looks like on a loaf of bread or on the grout in the shower. But mould has a habit of hiding and it spreads to places you cannot see,” Ms Taylor says.
Mould can make itself at home anywhere there is low air flow or excess moisture, such as built-in wardrobes, and in bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Bookcases and compact laundries with their tight spaces and dark recesses are also a favourite home for mould.
Condensation on the inside of windows is a sure sign humidity is too high, and families living with asthma need to keep homes healthy by finding and combating mould.
Dust mites are another common asthma trigger, which thrive when indoor humidity is high.
They take up residence in pillows and mattresses, curtains, and furniture. The main culprit is their droppings, which are easily stirred up by movement.
Dust mites are nearly impossible to eradicate, but as with mould, reducing humidity in the home can help to keep them under control.
“People need to know what their asthma triggers are including seasonal changes and have an up-to-date action plan ready to deal with them,” Ms Taylor says.
For more information on managing your asthma and staying well visit www.sensitivechoice.com
— ENDS –
For further information or an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact: Lelde McCoy, The Reputation Group. Mobile: 0417 362 768 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org