For seniors and those with lung conditions such as COPD, maintaining the best possible air quality in the house is a must. Air that is too dry, for instance, might cause or exacerbate health problems such as:
- Itchy, dry, or chapped skin
- Nose bleeds
- Sore throat
- Dry eyes
- Aggravated allergy, asthma, and flu/cold symptoms such as congestion
- And more
Yet air that is too humid can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to a variety of health issues along with causing damage to the home.
Humidifiers, when used correctly, can help maintain an ideal 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, and the ability to more effectively expel phlegm in coughing.
Also, using a humidifier during the night can ease congestion and snoring, help reduce the level of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, even relieve an itchy scalp. Again, use caution to be sure the amount of humidity doesn’t surpass the optimal range, which can bring about disrupted sleep patterns.
There are many different types of humidifiers to choose from:
- Central humidifiers, which are built into the house’s central heating/air conditioning unit; the most costly option, but one that will benefit the entire house rather than only one room
- Impeller humidifiers, utilizing a cool mist, which is a safer option because it cannot cause burns; it may, however, trigger allergic or asthmatic problems if overused
- Evaporators, blowing air through a dampened filter; a budget friendly 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 warm or cool option; offered in an assortment of sizes
- Steam vaporizers, which are typically the least expensive and most portable option; water is heated and then cooled before being discharged into the air
Speak to a physician about the benefits of a humidifier in your loved one’s particular circumstances, and which type is preferred.
Generations at Home is here to assist those diagnosed with chronic medical conditions like COPD, or simply just the challenges inherent in normal aging, through a variety of home care services. Call us at 727-940-3414 to discover how we can help you breathe easier with reliable in-home support.