This article originally appeared in the Saporta Report Thought Leaders section in April, 2016.
All of us know someone with a chronic respiratory illness like asthma, and we know how frustrating and sometimes debilitating it can be. While many of us know pollens, dust, pet dander and tobacco smoke are asthma triggers, most aren’t aware of lesser-known issues like changes in household air temperature, humidity and emotional anxiety. Nationally, building scientists and healthcare professionals are learning that both common and more obscure irritants can be addressed in environmental home assessments and interventions, improving both the comfort and health of our indoor environments.
When an asthma attack is severe enough to render an inhaler ineffective, patients may find it necessary to check into a hospital to receive treatment. The frequency of attacks experienced by an individual often increases over time and their symptoms worsen. Hospital visits become more common. Twenty years ago, a leading program in Kansas City, Missouri made progress in understanding why this pattern persists. As a result of environmental home assessments performed by Children’s Mercy Hospital in 1996, it was determined that much of the cause of the increase in attacks lay within the confines of the patients’ homes. Many homes contained unidentified triggers for asthmatics, especially for children.
Read the full story on The Saporta Report Thought Leaders section.