For seniors and those with lung conditions such as COPD, maintaining the ideal air quality in the home is extremely important. Air that is too dry, for example, can cause or exacerbate health issues such as:
- Itchy, dry, or chapped skin
- Nose bleeds
- A scratchy throat
- Dry eyes
- Aggravated asthma, allergy, and cold/flu symptoms such as congestion
- And much more
However, air that’s too humid can cause mildew and mold to grow, which can cause a host of health problems along with damage to the house.
Humidifiers, when used properly, can help maintain the perfect level of moisture in the air (between 30 – 50%), and particularly for anyone with a chronic lung disease, can foster eased breathing, reduced irritation of nasal passages, as well as the ability to more efficiently expel phlegm in coughing.
Also, using a humidifier at night can reduce congestion and snoring, help reduce the level of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, even soothe a scratchy scalp. Again, use caution to ensure the amount of humidity doesn’t exceed the ideal range, which could bring about disrupted sleep patterns.
There are a number of different types of humidifiers to choose from:
- Central humidifiers, which are built into the house’s central air conditioning/heating unit; the most expensive option, but one that will benefit the whole home rather than just one room
- Impeller humidifiers, using a cool mist, which is a safer option since it can’t cause burns; it may, however, trigger allergic or asthmatic problems if overused
- Evaporators, blowing air through a dampened filter; a cost-effective choice, but can be problematic if allowed to add too much moisture into the air
- Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to produce mist in either a cool or warm option; offered in a range of sizes
- Steam vaporizers, which are typically the most affordable and most portable option; water is heated and then cooled prior to being expelled into the air
Check with a doctor about the benefits of a humidifier in your loved one’s particular circumstances, and which kind is preferred.
Seniorcorp is here to help COPD patients and those diagnosed with chronic health problems, or just the problems inherent in normal aging, through a wide range of home care services. Call us at 757-640-0557 to find out how we can help COPD patients breathe easier with trusted home are in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.