How polished wooden floors can help asthma sufferers
These days it seems that more and more people are suffering from allergies and respiratory problems such as asthma. While the allergies are undoubtedly unpleasant, respiratory issues such as asthma can be life threatening. So it’s obvious that anything you can do to minimise the chances of someone with asthma from suffering an attack will ultimately benefit their long-term health – and might even go some way to protecting their life.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a frightening condition that both adults and children can suffer from, and be in no doubt – asthma is a killer. In 2009 there were 1,131 deaths from asthma in the UK, and 12 of those deaths were children under the age of 14. Currently, 5.4 million people in the UK receive treatment for asthma, including 1.1 million children and 4.3 million adults.
Asthma can be triggered by a wide range of causes, from reactions to certain food stuffs and cigarette smoke through to stress. But the most common cause of asthma attacks is dust particles in the atmosphere that irritate the airways, causing them to constrict. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swells. This reduces the amount of air that can pass into the lungs, giving the sensation of not being able to breathe. If left untreated, asthma can kill.
So one of the best ways to reduce the chances of an asthma attack is to minimise the amount of dust particles in the atmosphere, particularly in the home. While carpets may feel softer and more luxurious underfoot, no matter how hard you try you cannot eliminate the dust that they produce completely. Even vacuuming every single day with a specially approved asthma-friendly vacuum cleaner will not remove all the dust and particulates. The structure of a carpet means that the fibres trap dust deep inside the weave, and this is constantly released into the atmosphere, causing irritation to anyone suffering from respiratory conditions.
Reducing the problem
So how do you minimise the problem of dust in the atmosphere? Simple – by getting rid of the source, namely the carpets. Replacing carpets with polished wooden floors practically eliminates the problem overnight. However, it’s wise to make sure that the job is carried out by professional floor sanding experts, to ensure that gaps and cracks are filled in to stop dust being trapped in between the boards. Once the gaps have been filled and the surfaced sanded, polished and varnished, it is then a simple matter of wiping the surface over with a damp mop every day to eliminate the possibility of any dust particles becoming airborne.
So by switching from carpets to polished wooden floors not only do you end up with one of the most desirable interior features there is, but you also improve the environment for anyone suffering from the misery of asthma. It’s particularly important in the bedroom, where we spend a disproportionate amount of our lives. If you are spending up to eight hours in one room, then it makes sense to ensure that the environment is not only pleasant and restful, but also healthy. Removing the carpets from a bedroom and replacing them with polished or waxed wooden floors means that the levels of particulates in the atmosphere is massively reduced. It also leaves fewer places for dust mites and even bed bugs to breed, again improving the overall quality of the room.
Asthma is usually controlled by the use of steroid-based inhalers that open up the airways, allowing the sufferer to breathe normally. But by simply changing your flooring from carpets to polished wooden floors, you can also dramatically improve the day to day health of an asthma sufferer, as well as creating a beautiful interior that the whole family can enjoy.