For older adults and those with lung conditions such as COPD, maintaining the best possible air quality in the house is essential. COPD and humidifiers are often a good match, but there are some factors to consider first. Air that is too dry, for instance, can lead to or exacerbate health issues such as:
- Itchy, dry, or chapped skin
- Nose bleeds
- Throat pain
- Dry eyes
- Aggravated asthma, allergy, and flu/cold symptoms such as congestion
- And much more
And, air that’s too humid can cause mildew and mold to grow, which can lead to a host of health issues in addition to causing damage to the home.
Humidifiers, when used correctly, can help maintain the perfect degree of moisture in the air (between 30 – 50%), and especially for individuals with a chronic lung disease, can foster eased breathing, reduced irritation of nasal passages, and the ability to more effectively expel phlegm in coughing.
Not only that, but using a humidifier during the night can minimize snoring and congestion, help lessen the amount of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, even relieve an itchy scalp. Again, be careful to be sure the amount of humidity does not surpass the optimal range, which can bring about disrupted sleep patterns.
There are a number of different types of humidifiers to choose from:
- Central humidifiers, which are built within the house’s central heating/air conditioning unit; the most expensive option, but one that will benefit the entire house rather than just one room
- Impeller humidifiers, utilizing a cool mist, which is a safer alternative since it can’t cause burns; it could, however, trigger allergic or asthmatic problems if overused
- Evaporators, blowing air through a dampened filter; a budget friendly choice, but can be a problem if allowed to add too much moisture into the air
- Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to produce mist in either a warm or cool option; available in numerous sizes
- Steam vaporizers, which are typically the lowest priced and most portable option; water is heated and then cooled before being expelled into the air
Talk to a physician about the benefits of a humidifier in your senior loved one’s specific circumstances, and which type is preferred.
Atlanta Home Care Partners, experts in senior and Alzheimer’s care in Decatur, GA and surrounding areas, is here to help those diagnosed with chronic health issues like COPD, or just the problems inherent in normal aging, through an array of home care services. Reach out to us at (404) 228-0103 to find out how we can help you breathe easier with dependable in-home support.