Most asthma sufferers find their symptoms worsen when exposed to dust mites, which flourish in indoor environments. The best way to reduce their prevalence is by keeping your home as dust free as possible. This isn’t always easy but there are some changes you can make, such as by replacing your window treatments with those that resist dust build up or are easily cleaned. Here is a short list of alternatives to the most common window treatment, dry-clean only curtains.
Horizontal blinds often trap dust as it settles and is difficult to remove. The slats must be cleaned one by one or the entire blind taken down which can be a labour-intensive task to regularly carry out throughout the house. Vertical blinds allow the dust to fall to the floor, where it is easy to clean up. Many are also made of nonporous material that is quick and simple to wipe clean.
Many curtains are made of fabrics that have to be specialist cleaned. Although any curtains will require more maintenance, ones that can be washed at home are a more suitable alternative. Make sure you wash them in hot water to kill the dust mites and repeat on a regular basis. Dry clean only curtains are best avoided as it won’t kill dust mites and the chemicals used may aggravate chemical sensitivity in asthma sufferers. It is also best to choose shorter curtains that won’t drag on the ground and collect dust.
Solid Panel Shutters
Wooden or Vinyl shutters made from solid panels of wood can be easily dusted and wiped clean. But avoid louvered shutters as the dust will settle in the slats, making it more difficult to remove.
Wooden Box Valance
A piece of wood can be placed on top of a window frame to prevent dust from settling. However, make sure the valance isn’t covered or stuffed with fabric which will attract dust. To make it more attractive the valance can also be topped with wooden moulding.
For chronic asthma sufferers it may be too troublesome to keep window treatments clean. In this case window film is a great alternative. The film can be applied to the windows themselves to make them opaque. This works particularly well in rooms where having a view isn’t necessary, such as in a bathroom.
Stick to these window treatments to prevent dust and reduce the symptoms of asthma.