Home Environment

Current research studies indicate that the prevalence of asthma is fairly similar across New Zealand. People have different, individual responses to their environment, so it is very difficult to predict how visiting or living in certain regions will affect your asthma.

Some people find that their asthma improves for some months or longer after a move, though their asthma symptoms may then return to the previous level of severity. This may be to do with the person’s sensitisation to the environment but it is hard to determine, as it takes some time to become sensitised to a new environment and to develop an allergic response.

If you are thinking of moving to a new place, it is worth investigating the presence of any known triggers. You need to consider the outdoor environment (what plants are growing locally, locations of factories or sources of smoke or pollutants) as well as the house itself. You will want to check ventilation, heating and insulation in your new home, as well as the building products used.

Unflued gas heaters and open fires produce air pollution which can significantly affect the lungs and worsen asthma symptoms. We recommend replacing these heating options with flued gas heaters or electric heaters.

If there have been family pets in the home, bear in mind that allergens from these animals may remain in the house for up to six months.

Moving to a new area or home can also be stressful, and this may have an impact on your symptoms too.

Our advice is to keep monitoring your asthma after you move and make any necessary adjustments in line with your asthma action plan.

If your asthma changes significantly, see your healthcare practitioner.

You may also wish to make contact with an asthma educator in your area, as they can provide you with free advice and information about local services.

For more information on allergies or to learn about some common asthma triggers visit the Allergy NZ website.

Click here for more information on creating a healthy, home environment.