Do Air Purifiers Make A Difference For Asthma?
Does Using an Air Purifier for Asthma Make a Difference? Air purifiers have proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that typically begins in childhood but affects people of all ages. It affects more than 25 million Americans, including 7 million children. There are several distinct symptoms of asthma. This includes wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness.
Asthma is caused when the tubes, or airways, that bring air in and out of your lungs becomes inflamed. This causes them to become sensitive and swollen. Those who suffer from asthma are likely to have bad reactions when being exposed to certain substances that are inhaled.
When the airways become inflamed, it causes the muscles that surround them to become tight. The airways then become narrow, making it more difficult to breathe. If the swelling continues, the airways become even more narrow. When this happens, more mucus is produced and this adds to the obstruction.
Asthma symptoms can be anywhere from mild to severe. In its mild form, the symptoms usually go away on their own. But when the symptoms are more serious it is likely you are having an asthma attack. This is also known as an exacerbation or flare up. It is important to be aware of the severity in the symptoms. If left untreated an asthma attack can quickly build up and even be fatal.
Those who suffer from health ailments, such as asthma, may find using air purifiers as a great treatment. The same can be said for those who suffer from COPD (chronic bronchitis) or hay fever. An air purifier for asthma may also be beneficial to those who live with smokers. Secondhand smoke worsens asthma symptoms and it causes nasal congestion in children. Since air purifiers are quite efficient at removing smoke from a room, it remains a good option for controlling asthma symptoms.
Air Purifiers for Asthma Symptoms
It's true that air purifiers are highly effective at treating asthma symptoms. However, it is hard to say if they are able to prevent asthma symptoms. Individual air purifiers remove tiny particles that are in the air near the device. They are not able to remove the small allergen particles that are caused by local disturbances, such as when your head hits a pillow and you inhale microscopic dust mite feces that surround it.
In addition, rooms that have wall-to-wall carpets are also big sources of allergens, which remain in the carpet until disturbed. The beater brush of a vacuum causes these allergens to be thrown into the room. In this case, an air purifier would be able to capture the allergens once their stirred into the air. However, they would not be able to capture allergens prior to this.
Air purifiers for asthma are the most useful in individual rooms they are placed in. Since the bedroom is where you spend at least 7-8 hours a night, it should be the first room to consider place to utilize air purifiers for asthma. Other frequently used rooms that should be considered are kitchens, home offices, and TV rooms.
Asthma sufferers should be aware that there are many types of air purifiers and each one is made to remove specific types of pollutants. One of the most popular and effective types of air purifiers for asthma is a mechanical air filter called a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for "high efficiency particulate air". It was originally introduced during the 1940s when people thought it could be used to prevent airborne radioactive contaminants from spreading. They are now used in a variety of settings from hospitals to personal residences.
Like any other household product, there are many different configurations and price points for air purifiers. Devices can range anywhere from economical portable air purifiers for asthma to heavy duty systems. For those who suffer from asthma it is recommended to get a HEPA filter, which is highly effective at removing even the smallest of pollutants.
HEPA filters are considered to be the gold standard in air filters and for good reason. They are able to capture particles that are as small as 0.3 microns all while retaining an efficiency rating of 99.97%. This essentially means that for every 10,000 particles that come in contact with the filter, only 3 are able to make it through.
When researching the different types of HEPA filters it is also important to be aware of the different terms that are marketed at consumers. For example, many marketers will use words like "sealed" to suggest that other brands are less effective and are likely to leak air out. "Hyper" is another term that is used to make a unit sound like it has the ability to get rid of germs and viruses. Another common marketing term that is used is "True HEPA". This term is used to imply that other competing brands are not truly authentic. When purchasing air purifiers for asthma it is important to understand these differences so you are able to find the right unit.
If you or your loved one suffers from asthma, an air purification system is very likely to improve your condition. Make sure you purchase from a trusted brand, as the quality of a unit can greatly impact its effectiveness.
Learn more about how air purifiers can help with emergency asthma action plans.