If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you need to take steps to ensure that the air around you is fresh and healthy and free of irritants that can cause your condition to worsen. Here are some tips that will help you maintain fresh and healthy air at home.
1. Reduce Pet Dander
Although pet dander is a bigger threat to people with asthma, COPD patients that have allergies should reduce their contact with it as well. For those who can’t imagine life without pets, wash your hands after you’ve played with them and try not to allow them inside your bedroom.
2. Stay Away from Wood-burning Fireplaces
They may look quaint and romantic and bring in an old world charm to your home, but wood-burning fireplaces produce carbon and soot that make their way into your lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. Go in for electrical fireplaces that give you the same feel of original fireplaces but are less harmless.
3. Avoid Strong Cleaning Chemicals
Although you need to be a stickler about cleanliness, you will have to stop using cleaning products that have a strong smell. These can irritate your lungs in a big way. Choose cleaning agents that have no fragrance and stay away from strong smelling products like perfumes, air fresheners, and hair spray.
4. Reduce Presence of Dust Mites
Dust mites are a leading trigger for people suffering from COPD. Switch to foam rubber pillows instead of feather or goose-down ones. Look for pillowcases and mattress covers that claim to be bed-bug proof. Finally, make it a point to wash your linen in water above 130°F once every week. All this will reduce the occurrence of dust mites.
5. Inspect Your Stove Periodically
It might come as a surprise but gas stoves can create problems for people who have COPD. Gas escaping from the stove can exacerbate the condition. Choose a gas stove with automatic igniters since the amount of gas that escapes from these appliances are visibly less.In addition, if you have wood-burning stoves they can be dangerous too unless they are fitted with a good ventilation system and have an enclosed design. For winters, it’s best to stick to use conventional radiators to keep yourself warm.
6. Invest in Air-filters
Air-filters are a must for any home that has a person suffering from COPD living in it. It helps filter all the fine particles in the air, ensuring that as few irritants as possible find their way into your lung. Invest in a ventilation system that has an air filter and make sure you change the filters regularly.
7. Get Yourself a Dehumidifier
Mold and mildew thrive in an environment that has high content of moisture. And we both know what kind of damage mold can cause to our respiratory system. For this reason, keep moisture levels in the house below 40% with the help of a dehumidifier.
8. Keep the Windows Closed
Outdoor allergens and particles of air pollution can affect the health of your lungs significantly. If you live in a city prone to dust accumulation, it’s best to keep the windows closed on days when air pollution is exceptionally high. You can easily check air quality in all cities of the U.S. at AirNow. However, if you’ve just finished cleaning your rooms, leave the windows open to clear out the smell of cleaning agents.
COPD is a pretty serious medical condition; but it can be dealt with, provided you take the above mentioned precautions. What tips do you have to keep the air in your home fresh and healthy?
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