COPD is a serious medical condition that can cause immense problems for many people, particularly seniors. Fortunately, improving your indoor air quality can make it easier to breathe and decrease the health problems faced by people with COPD. Take a look at some of the key ways you can reduce your and your senior loved one’s exposure to pollutants and maintain healthy air in the home.
COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, often occurs due to long-term exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, fumes, dust, and the like. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, wheezing, and chest tightness.
Who Is at Risk for COPD?
People who smoked for many years or faced a lot of exposure to secondhand smoke have the greatest risk of developing COPD. People who’ve been exposed to plenty of air pollutants for long periods of time are also vulnerable. Additionally, if you already have respiratory issues, you’re also at risk for developing COPD.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality at Home
There are several strategies you can use to improve your indoor air quality at home.
1. Clean Your Air Ducts
Air ducts can collect dust and other pollutants if they are not regularly cleaned. That’s why it’s important you schedule regular cleaning for it to clear it from dirt, debris, or other contaminants that could otherwise make their way into your lungs.
2. Avoid Chemical Cleaners
Cleaning with synthetic chemicals and products can introduce pollutants into your air. Try to minimize the use of chemical cleaners and opt for natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar or baking soda.
3. Change Air Filters Regularly
Air filters should be changed about every two to three months in order to keep the system running efficiently. Make sure you are replacing your air filter with one that has a high MERV rating, as these types of filters can trap most airborne particles, including mold spores and dust mites.
4. Use Air Purifiers
To further decrease airborne pollutants in your home, consider installing an air purifier. Choose one that is specifically designed to improve indoor air quality. Also, make sure it is equipped with HEPA filters to trap allergens and dust particles. Air purifiers can also help reduce the levels of ozone, which is a common component found in poor-quality indoor air.
5. Remove Mold
Mold is often present in humid and warm parts of the home. Be sure to inspect regularly for mold and have a professional remove it if any is found. Mold spores can aggravate respiratory illnesses, so this will be key in improving air quality levels at home.
6. Decrease Allergens
Keep tabs on any indoor allergens that could be present in your home, like dust mites or pet dander. Use allergen-proof fabrics and covers for furniture pieces, including your bed and couch. And vacuum regularly using a micro-filter bag.
7. Avoid Smoking Indoors
If anyone smokes in the home, have them do so outdoors or away from other people in the house. Smoke is a heavy contaminant that can cause a lot of problems for patients with COPD, so avoiding it is critical.
Contact Senior Helpers for More Assistance for Patients with COPD
Patients with COPD may need help, not only with keeping up with the regular cleaning tasks involved with maintaining a clean indoor environment but with tasks of daily living. Working with a qualified in-home senior care provider can go a long way toward helping those patients maintain a higher quality of life. At Senior Helpers Montclair, we can help provide essential services to patients in Fontana, Pomona, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair, and San Bernardino County. Contact us today to learn about the services we provide, including help with home cleaning, self-care, transportation, and more.