November 19, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

A woman sleeps while using a humidifier in her room after reading up on information about air quality and COPD.

For older adults and those with lung conditions such as COPD, maintaining the best possible air quality in the home is crucial. Poor air quality and COPD management can become problematic. Air that is too dry, for instance, can cause or exacerbate health problems such as:

  • Dry, itchy, or chapped skin
  • Nose bleeds
  • Sore throat
  • Dry eyes
  • Aggravated asthma, allergy, and cold/flu symptoms such as congestion
  • And more

Yet air that’s too humid can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can cause a host of health problems as well as 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 those 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 overnight can alleviate snoring and congestion, help reduce the level of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, even soothe an itchy scalp. Again, use caution to ensure the level of humidity doesn’t exceed the ideal range, which can lead to disrupted sleep patterns.

There are several different types of humidifiers to choose from:

  • Central humidifiers, which are built into the home’s central heating/air conditioning unit; the most expensive option, but one that benefits the entire home rather than just one room
  • Impeller humidifiers, utilizing 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; an affordable choice, but can be problematic if allowed to add too much moisture to the air
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to produce mist in either a cool or warm option; available in a variety of sizes
  • Steam vaporizers, which are typically the least expensive 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 loved one’s particular circumstances, and which type is preferred.

At Home Independent Living’s industry leading senior home care in Syracuse, Camillus, Salina, and surrounding areas is here to help those with chronic health conditions like COPD, or simply the difficulties inherent in normal aging, through a wide range of home care services. Call At Home Independent Living at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to see how we can help you breathe easier with trusted home care for independent living.