Air Purifiers for Respiratory Issues: An In-Depth Guide
While everyone reacts differently to air pollution, people with respiratory illnesses will often have more trouble dealing with the problem. It may cause significant coughing, breathing issues, or even a complete blockage of the windpipes.
Air purifiers are one tool used to clean indoor air. They can create a safer home and even help reduce symptoms of certain respiratory issues, including COPD, asthma, and allergies. Understanding air purifiers and how they clean the air could be your key to dealing with respiratory issues.
Is Air Quality Aggravating Your Issue?Air pollution is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous hazards to the human population. This might sound a little hyperbolic, but according to Lung India, air pollution is the “single biggest environmental health risk,” connected to seven million deaths every year.
Air pollution can be a significant problem for many people, but those of us afflicted by respiratory issues like COPD, allergies, and asthma are more vulnerable to the effects of contaminants in the air.
Asthma, for example, is often made worse by air pollution. In many cases, asthma attacks are triggered by poor air quality, both indoors and out. We may not think of it, but there are numerous air contaminants found in our home, and many of these can trigger asthma attacks. There are classic culprits like cigarette smoke, but many homes still use air fresheners or candles that might smell pleasant but can add pollutants to the air; pollutants that can trigger an asthma attack.
But how can you tell if the air quality in your home is affecting your respiratory condition? Perhaps the problems are caused by outside sources or perhaps the issue is aggravated by internal factors.
A better practice is to pay attention to when and where you experience symptoms. If your allergies are enhanced when you enter a certain house or room, there may be a specific airborne contaminant that is causing more problems.
If you notice enhanced symptoms near any particular substance or object, such as candles, traffic, animals, or particular plants, then it’s possible, in fact likely, that air quality is aggravating your issues.
How Can Air Purifiers Help with Respiratory Disease?Both indoor and outdoor pollution are serious problems in the United States and across the globe. On an individual basis, there’s not much you can do, at least directly, to prevent outdoor air pollution.
However, you can take control of the indoor air pollution in your home or office. If you have respiratory problems, taking intentional measures to improve air quality could result in improvements for your lung and breathing problems.
Air purifiers can remove a wide range of contaminants from the air, the exact same contaminants that are aggravating your respiratory issues. You’ll obviously want to identify which contaminants are aggravating your respiratory problem, but you can find air purifiers designed to eliminate airborne pollen, smoke, pet dander, volatile organic compounds, and mold spores.
Of course, most air cleaners serve multiple purposes, removing, for example, pet dander, smoke, and pollen at the same time with a HEPA filter.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. In other words, a high efficiency filer that captures 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in diameter.
By removing contaminants through various filtering processes, HEPA air purifiers create cleaner, healthier air.
While nothing can guarantee absolute health, having an air cleaner in the home can reduce pollution and lead to lighter symptoms and less aggravation. It could lead to better respiratory health and could even help you feel better, despite your respiratory condition.
Using Air Purifiers for the Most Common Respiratory Issues
AsthmaAccording to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, asthma is the most common form of respiratory disease, effecting roughly 25 million people in the United States, including seven million children.
This is because it causes breathing difficulties in different ways, including a squeezing from the outside of the windpipes and a narrowing of the airway’s interior. This disease often begins at childhood and is made worse by pollutants in the air, including smoke and pollen.
While there is no cure for it, modern inhalers and other medications have made living with asthma more manageable.
In-home air purification can be very effective for sufferers, creating a haven of clean air that is less likely to cause symptoms or asthma attacks. Home air purifiers that remove mold, pet dander, and smoke can improve indoor air quality and therefore help enhance the health of an asthma sufferer and reduce the frequencies of attacks.
COPDWhile asthma may affect more people, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) appears to be more dangerous.
So dangerous, in fact, that the American Lung Association says COPD is the third-largest killer in the United States. According to their numbers, 11 million people have been diagnosed with the disease, but “millions more may have the disease without even knowing it.”
Some numbers have suggested that there are about 11 to 12 million people who have COPD but don’t know it.
COPD is a broad term that is used to describe several different but related illnesses that cause breathing issues or the complete inability to inhale and exhale normally. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, as well as other conditions and can be especially dangerous for elderly, because it’s often mistaken for normal aging.
Exposure to air pollution can contribute to and aggravate COPD, and the use of air purifiers can remove airborne contaminants to provide relief from breathing troubles. An air cleaner with high filtration efficiency is necessary to remove the tiny airborne particles.
AllergiesAllergies occur when your body’s immune system overreacts to foreign substances, such as food, pollen, or chemicals. When the immune system attacks a substance needlessly or excessively, it can cause more problems than the substance itself, leading to irritated eyes, runny noses, problems breathing, rashes, and more.
When allergies are caused by airborne substances that are breathed into the windpipes and lungs, it is called “allergic rhinitis.” This can include typical hay fever, pet allergies, and allergies to dust, smoke or smog.
A great way to combat allergies is to avoid the source of irritation in the first place. Avoiding the allergen directly will help you maintain better respiratory health and give you a lower chance of reducing allergic reactions. Another measure you can take is to use an in-home air purifier that reduces the amount of allergens in the air.
Lung CancerWhile allergies may be more common, lung cancer is possibly the most frightening of all respiratory diseases. Anyone who has dealt with cancer, in any form, understands that this can be a challenging and life-threatening condition, and treatments alone can be extremely difficult to handle.
LungCancer.org, which was founded by CancerCare, describes lung cancer as the “uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs.” These cells interfere with the normal function of the lungs, disrupting the flow of oxygen throughout the body.
There is not a lot of research in the connection between air purifiers and lung cancer, at least from the perspective of treating the disease and reducing breathing issues. However, air purifiers are known to enhance lung function in general, so they may be beneficial for cancer patients as well.
While we don’t know precisely what air purifiers can do for lung cancer patients, we do know air purifiers can improve lung function in general and can lower the risk of developing lung cancer.
What Types of Air Purifiers Work Well for Respiratory Issues?Choosing the right room air purifier for respiratory issues will largely depend on the type of condition you have.
If you have allergies, you obviously want to choose one that actively removes your specific allergen. A recommended choice is HEPA filtration for airborne particulates and activated carbon filter for gases, smoke and odors.
The Max HEPA Air Purifier, for example, removes allergens large and small, including pollen and mold, and can eliminate 99% of airborne allergens and bacteria, creating a safe haven for most allergy sufferers.
Asthma, on the other hand, can be triggered by numerous contaminants, so having a room air purifier that eliminates as many pollutants as possible is important. The mod HEPA air purifier eliminates a wide range of airborne particles, including smoke and dust, making it a good option for any home.
Tips for Using an Air Purifier and HEPA Filters if You Have Respiratory IssuesOnce you’ve found the right air purifier for your specific condition, you need to make sure you are using it properly to ensure the proper performance for a healthy environment.
First, choose a good location for the air purifier. In most cases, the bedroom is a great place for the air purifier, as we spend about eight hours a day in this room. Other rooms like home offices, kitchens, and living rooms are also good areas, depending on where you spend your time.
Air purifiers need room to breathe, so make sure it’s in a spot where air is not obstructed. Keeping ceiling fans on low throughout the home can also help move more air to the purifiers, increasing its effectiveness.
To get the most from your purifier, it’s better to leave the machine on at all times. Most air purifiers, especially models built for homes, are energy-efficient, so you won’t be racking up a large utility bill by keeping the purifier turned on. When it stays on, the purifier continually cleans the air, whether you are home or not.
When using the air purifier, keep windows and doors closed. If you open the windows to let in a warm summer day, you might as well shut off the purifiers. Once you close the house again, you can restart the machine.
Most air purifiers use some form of filtration, so you’ll need to change the filters on a regular basis to get the desired results. If left unchanged, filters will become full of contaminants and lose their ability to grab and hold particles, so changing them on a regular basis is essential.
Some filters can be cleaned, but you should check them at least every other month to ensure they are working properly. If you purchase an Oransi air purifier, you can order filters through our online store.
Avoid Ozone Generators Especially with Respiratory Issues
Ozone generators can be used to “shock” a room for the sake of removing strong odors or large amounts of mold, but they need to be used carefully, usually by trained professionals.
Find Relief from Air Contaminants with Oransi Air PurifiersNeed help choosing the right air purifier for your respiratory issues? Contact us today and we’ll reach out to you with more information.
We are dedicated to helping people of all ages and all walks of life breathe easily, and we will be proud to improve the air in your home or business!