Your Dorm Room and Asthma

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Are you going to college and wondering how your asthma will fare in a dorm room? Indeed, dorm rooms often pose threats to your asthma by presenting triggers like mold, dust mites, and bad air quality. Small spaces like dorm rooms can intensify the presence of irritants like hair sprays, perfumes, and smoke. Most universities in the US, however, offer housing accommodations for serious allergies and asthma. An accommodation as simple as hardwood flooring can prevent asthma flare-ups.

Many doctors suggest getting to school a few days before move-in day in order to adjust to the air quality. When moving in, buy allergen-proof bedding, and make sure that you wash it weekly. Store extra items in bins under your bed to prevent dust from collecting. Additionally, investing in an air-purifier, and a high quality HEPA air purifier can also help remove allergens from the air, and purchasing a quality vacuum, and using it frequently, will help temper your asthma. With the huge transition to living on your own, it is nice to know that your new home is comfortable and accommodates your health.

It is a good idea to have a conversation with your roommates that helps them understand that you have a serious condition, and explain to them how best they can help you avoid your triggers. Create a cleaning schedule during the first week of school, so there is no room for your triggers to build up.

In addition, map out your protocols for an emergency situation, including the telephone numbers of the health services available on campus, and the nearest urgent care or hospital. Visit these places before or shortly after move-in to ensure that you know exactly where to go if you suffer an asthma attack, and how to get there. Lastly, schedule an appointment with a local allergist to discuss environmental triggers and how best to manage them in your new surroundings.