If you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pollution can be very hazardous to your health. “COPD stands for two processes that almost always occur together: chronic bronchitis, which is inflammation of the airways, and emphysema, which is destruction of the fine substance of the lung,” says Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. The air inside of our homes can be irritants as well. So take the following steps to keep it free from irritants.
1. Keep Away From Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Wood-burning fireplaces create matter that can get into our lungs and make it difficult for us to breathe. “Wood-burning fireplaces put out soot and carbon,” says Len Horovitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.“There’s nothing in there that’s a good thing for a patient. There’s no inhalant that’s worse than smoke.”
2. Stay Away From Smokers
No matter how you look at it, smoking is terrible for your health. It causes diseases, makes it harder to breathe and causes your breath to reek. Second-hand smoke is awful for you, too. Smoking is the cause of about 85 percent of COPD cases in the United States, says Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. “Smoking and secondhand smoke are absolutely to be avoided,” Dr.Horovitz says.
3. Keep Dust Mites At Bay
Dust mites love to nestle into our mattresses and bedding, which can harm our health. “Dust mites are a trigger for asthmatics and people with COPD and should be kept to a minimum,” Dr. Horovitz says. He suggests investing in mattress covers and pillowcases that repel bugs and dust mites. These can be pretty inexpensive and can do wonders to keep irritants from entering our system. It’s also a good idea to purchase pillows that are made of foam rubber, instead of feathers or goose-down. Wash your linens in hot water at least once a week to keep dust mites away, Dr. Edelman suggests.
4. Don’t Clean With Harsh Chemicals
We need to clean and dust our homes to get rid of pet dander, but we need to do it in a healthy way that won’t irritate our lungs. Strong smelling products can often be irritants. You should use, “things that don’t have a fragrance,” says Dr. Horovitz. You can use vinegar or good old fashion soap and water.
Remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.
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