watervole: (Toothache)
Judith Proctor ([personal profile] watervole) wrote2008-11-27 09:41 am
Entry tags:

Improving asthma

I had a very bad asthma attack a few weeks ago, and in the light of that, we decided to get a full set of dust-mite proof bed covers.  We'd had a mattress and pillow cover in the past, but this time we went the whole hog and bought mattress cover (the kind that you zip around the mattress as a giant bag, not the sort that just tuck over like a fitted sheet), pillow cover and duvet cover.

The results have been impressive. Firstly, my peak flow is now an average of 40 points higher every morning. Secondly, I've been able (well, for five days on the trot now), to halve my dosage of salmeterol.  This is doubly good as some of the side-effects of salmeterol include insomnia and increasing the sensitivity of your asthma.

It's also a source of great relief.  Salmeterol is the only asthma medication I can take that stops me waking in the night with asthma attacks, but I've been having to slowly increase the dosage over the last few years.  Being able to reduce the dosage makes me feel that I have a bigger safety margin in hand.

Meanwhile, we're doing serious dust reduction on the rest of the house, which is also helping. Richard's cleared masses of old paperwork from the office and it's noticeably easier for me in there.

I'm taking more ventolin than I was before, but that's largely due to a chance in perception.  When my morning peak flow was 450, I regarded that as normal.  Now my morning peak flow is closer to 500 and I'm taking a couple of puffs of ventolin a day to keep it at 500, rather than 450! (I don't think two puffs a day and one before exercise is a dose to worry about).

I'm hoping that the work we're doing around the house to reduce the dust levels even further will get things to where I can have the high peak flow without even needing the ventolin, but at the moment the dust gets into the air when the radiators come on in the mornings.  We're cleaning behind the radiators and between the panels, but it's hard to get everthing there.

[identity profile] rgemini.livejournal.com 2008-11-27 01:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I had absolutely no idea that you had this problem when I met you at DWCon, given the way you were rushing around, organising, performing Poi and doing 101 other things. Good luck with reducing the dust levels!
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[identity profile] watervole.livejournal.com 2008-11-27 01:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Good hotels have very low dust levels, which is fortunate for me.

[identity profile] frostfox.livejournal.com 2008-11-27 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Well done you.
My chest has much improved since moving out of 3 York Street with it's dust and cold (no central heating).
I have the lungs of a 27 year old, according to the asthma nurse.
I only get wheezy now when my hayfever is bad and sometimes when I have been in a pet free enviroment then come home to a cat. I am slightly allergic, doesn't stop me having one though.

julesjones: (Default)

[personal profile] julesjones 2008-11-27 07:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Good to hear that it's worked.

[identity profile] vjezkova.livejournal.com 2008-11-27 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Good news! I still use ventolin but it is only in wet and chilly days.
I admire your campaign against dust!
kerravonsen: (shine-on)

[personal profile] kerravonsen 2008-11-27 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay! Go you!

[identity profile] jthijsen.livejournal.com 2008-11-27 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I hope the following won't sound like butting in, but whenever I hear a problem, I can't help spouting possible solutions. So here's my five cents worth:

Is there any way to close off those tight spaces? Closing off the space behind the radiators, especially if you stuff it up with old newspapers first, would also keep them from radiating a lot of their heat away through the wall. You could then close if off with wooden panels around that and seal it. No more dust can get in or out of there then! The rest you could just close off. You could even make it pretty if you paint it or something. This would make cleaning easier and eliminate a dust hiding space.

Also, have you ever considered getting a roomba? You will just not believe how much less dust flies around the house at any time if you let that little beauty do your vacuuming for you. I'm fairly sure it's even better than using a broom instead of a vacuum cleaner at reducing dust levels. I've got nine cats wandering around here (don't worry, my garden is enclosed now in such a way that even birds can't get in and the cats certainly can't get out) and thanks to the roomba doing it's thing every evening it now takes several weeks for the dust in my house to build up to the level where you start to notice it on the furniture just a little bit. Hairs are also not a problem. Trust me, you'll love this invention.

I can't tell you yet if adding a scooba will also be an improvement, since the one I ordered hasn't arrived yet. I'll let you know if you're interested.
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[identity profile] watervole.livejournal.com 2008-11-28 08:30 am (UTC)(link)
Closing off the radiators would seriously affect the way they work. they'd end up heating the box rather than the room, as you'd be losing both convection and radiation. (Metallic foil behind radiators is a better way of preventing heat loss through walls.

THe roomba sounds fun, but they don't work on deep-pile carpets such as we have in our lounge. (I'd like to change the carpet becasue of the dust issues, but Richard's not keen . But at least he's willing to shampoo it for me)

[identity profile] rockwell-666.livejournal.com 2008-12-02 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
Rather than closing off the radiators, you could try a compressed air spray.

There are pump up ones available, just compress the air, stick it under the radiator with the crevice extension tool on the vacuum cleaner at the top and you should be able to blow a lot of the dust away.