If you are starting college this fall, congratulations! This is an exciting time with your future ahead of you. But as you enroll in classes, learn your way around campus and make new friends, have you stopped to plan to make your dorm room ready for your asthma or allergies?
1. Dust Mites
Dust mites make terrible roommates. They like to make you itch, sniffle and sneeze, and maybe even wheeze if you have allergic asthma. You probably have a lot of these tiny, yet pesky, creatures in a dorm room. They are probably hanging out in the carpets, mattresses, curtains and under furniture.
There a few ways to keep dust mites under control. First, cover your mattress and pillow in protective covers and use washable bedding. You’ll want to wash your linens once a week in water that is 130F or hotter. Second, ask your resident advisor if you can have the carpet cleaned by a Certified asthma and allergy friendly® company.
If you have a sink in your room or an adjoining bathroom, look for leaks. If there is a leak, find out how to submit a maintenance request to have it fixed. If you see mold, use appropriate cleaners to remove it. Have someone else do it for you, if possible.
You’re living in a building with a lot of different people bringing items (including food) in and out. Cockroaches love those conditions. But their bodies and droppings may cause you problems. Keep your room as clean as possible by keeping food in sealed containers and taking out the trash often. Use roach baits to keep these pests under control as much as possible.
4. Bad Air Quality
Are you moving away from home to go to college? You may be moving into an area with worse air quality. When air quality is bad, your asthma could flare. AirNow.gov gives you daily air quality alerts so you know when to watch your asthma symptoms.
Pollen might be an issue too in the fall and spring if your school is in area with higher pollen counts. Watch the pollen for your area from the National Allergy Bureau or Pollen.com.
And even though the outdoor air is, well, outdoors, it can still affect your indoor air quality. Plus, strong scents from other rooms can filter into your room through the hall or through air vents. A Certified portable air cleaner can clear the air in your dorm room to help you breathe easier.
5. Your Roommate
Obviously, your roommate is not an asthma trigger or an allergen. But they can be the source of them. If your roommate wears a lot of strong scents (heavy cologne or perfume), burns scented candles or leaves food out, talk to them. Explain why these things can trigger your symptoms. Hopefully, they will be willing to help you out.
If not, don’t be afraid to ask to change roommates. College is an investment, and you want to feel your best as you start working toward your future.
Keep Your Asthma and Allergies in Mind During Your Move to College
If you’re doing last minute shopping to stock your dorm room with bedding and supplies, be sure to look for our mark which helps you identify products that are Certified asthma and allergy friendly®.