The official blog of the Lung Institute.
When diagnosed with a lung condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, having clean air is important for healthy living. Let’s take a look at how you can have cleaner air in 5 easy steps.
What’s in the Air Indoors?
Outdoor pollution typically comes to mind when thinking about air quality. However, did you know that the air in your home could actually be more polluted than the air outdoors? Keeping a high air quality in your home can help support your lungs, reducing your risk of flare-ups and helping you to breathe more easily.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America claims that there are three major airborne threats in your home: allergens, irritants and dangerous chemicals.
Allergens are things that cause allergies to flare up, and come from pets, pollen and dust mites.
Irritants won’t necessarily affect your immune system, but can make breathing more difficult. Irritants include things like paint chemicals, pesticides, tobacco smoke and cleaning chemicals.
Dangerous chemicals can come in the form of cleaning supplies or paint products. It is important to be especially mindful of dangerous chemicals, because while sometimes they have odors that our bodies can detect, sometimes they don’t.
Review your Toiletries and Cleaning Supplies
Believe it or not, scented soaps, hairsprays, perfumes and cosmetics can be enough to cause a COPD flare-up. Review the products that you and any other household members are using, and take note of how you feel when you’re around those products. Sometimes, we get so used to flare-ups caused by common household products that we don’t even realize that we’re experiencing symptoms. Practice being mindful of how household products, such as toiletries and cleaning supplies, make you feel and affect your breathing.
Natural and odorless products, and those designed for sensitive skin, are typically a great alternative. Once you have gone through your personal items, switch out what you can for more natural options.
Knick knacks, decorations and curtains, while nice to look at, are also great for collecting dust, irritants and allergens that are not good for your lungs. Go room by room and decide which dust collectors you can get rid of. If you’re able to, consider donating them to a local Goodwill or similar store. Oftentimes, helping lift others can take the focus off of our problems and remind us of the things that we are fortunate to have. An attitude of gratitude can be transformative.
Additionally, the art of decluttering can be mentally satisfying as well. Most importantly, however, is the fact that you will be removing places for dust to hide in your home, making your home’s air cleaner and more breathable in the process.
Dust and Vacuum
Once you have eliminated the clutter from your home, go through and give everything a thorough cleaning. Three things you can do that will have a big, immediate impact are dusting, vacuuming and washing your sheets. It might help to keep a weekly cleaning schedule to ensure that you stay ahead of the dust bunnies.
Because chemicals can be harmful for your lungs, opt for “green” or natural chemicals, which are less likely to cause symptom flare-ups. Keeping a clean home is an important step in maintaining cleaner air indoors.
Invest in an Air Purifier for Cleaner Air
Air purifiers filter out air particles, producing cleaner air. We recommend a HEPA purifier, which filters ultrafine particles, as opposed to non-HEPA filters, which don’t always catch small particles. Removing small particles from the air means you aren’t breathing them into your lungs. An air purifier can be a game changer in your quest for a cleaner home.
Open your Windows – Sometimes
Opening your windows can help ventilate the air in your home, allowing fresh air to flow freely throughout your home. However, be mindful of the pollen levels based on the time of year. The last thing you want to do is open the floodgates, allowing an overload of pollen into your home. After checking the local pollen count, consider opening your windows for a few hours to take advantage of the fresh, outdoor air. You can check the air quality report for your local area at Air Now.
We hope that you find these tips for cleaner air in 5 easy steps to be helpful. How else do you keep clean air in your home? Please share your comments below.
If you are still experiencing symptoms and would like to try an innovative treatment that has helped many patients with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and other lung conditions, cellular therapy from the Lung Institute may be a great choice. Contact us today to learn more.