- With Mayo Clinic asthma and allergy specialist
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.James Li, M.D.
"People with allergy or asthma can lead full and healthy lives." — Dr. James Li
Dr. James Li is chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine and a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist. He hopes his expertise and the information on the site educates health care consumers in an area of rapid change both in medications and diagnoses.
"There are a lot of misperceptions about allergy and asthma," says Dr. Li, a New York City native who has been with Mayo since 1985 and works with a group of subspecialists in allergy, asthma and immunology. "I believe it's important to provide truthful, accurate information about allergy and asthma to the public. The more people know, the better they can take care of these conditions."
Dr. Li is a professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He's a past director of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He's a fellow in the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology honored him with the Distinguished Service Award, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology with its Special Recognition Award.
Risk factors (2)
- Starting solids: When is the right time?
- Infant swimming: Do indoor pools increase asthma risk?
- Wheezing in children: Could it be asthma?
Tests and diagnosis (1)
- Will my child outgrow asthma?
Treatments and drugs (2)
- LABAs for asthma — Should I stop taking them?
- Albuterol side effects: What's normal?
Lifestyle and home remedies (1)
- Asthma triggers: Are hard flooring surfaces better than carpet?
- Hygiene hypothesis: Early germ exposure prevents asthma?
Asthma triggers: Are hard flooring surfaces better than carpet?
My daughter has asthma. Should we replace the carpeting in our home with vinyl or wood flooring?
from James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Reducing exposure to asthma triggers is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent asthma flare-ups.
Carpeting can be a reservoir for allergy-causing substances (allergens) that trigger asthma. Carpeting in the bedroom can be especially problematic because it exposes you to carpet dust throughout the night. Hard-surface flooring such as vinyl, tile or wood is much easier to keep free of dust mites, pollen, pet dander and other allergens.
Steam cleaning carpet on a regular basis can help reduce the presence of dust mites and other allergens in your home. If that isn't enough, replacing carpeting with hard flooring may be a good idea.
If you do put in hard flooring, keep in mind that all synthetic flooring initially releases gasses known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can worsen asthma. In most cases, products stop releasing VOCs after several days. However, some release more VOCs than others. You may want to look into low-VOC flooring if this is a concern.
It might be worthwhile having your daughter see an allergist for allergy skin testing. There may be individualized steps you can take to reduce allergen exposure once you know exactly what your daughter is allergic to.Next question
Hygiene hypothesis: Early germ exposure prevents asthma?
- Adkinson M, et al. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05659-5..00033-4--cesec40&isbn=978-0-323-05659-5&sid=1414865115&uniqId=404610789-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05659-5..00033-4--cesec40. Accessed Mar. 5, 2013.
- Mangan JM, et al. Trigger control to enhance asthma management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Mar. 5, 2013.
- Platts-Mills TAE. Allergen avoidance in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Mar. 5, 2013.
- Volatile organic compounds in your home. Minnesota Department of Health. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/voc/. Accessed Mar. 5, 2013.
- Care for your air: A guide to indoor air Quality. United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/careforyourair.html. Accessed Mar. 5, 2013.