For seniors with COPD and other lung conditions, maintaining the ideal air quality in the house is extremely important. Air that is too dry, for instance, might cause or exacerbate health issues such as:
- Dry, itchy, or chapped skin
- Nose bleeds
- Sore throat
- Dry eyes
- Aggravated allergy, asthma, and flu/cold symptoms such as congestion
- And much more
However, air that is too humid can cause mildew and mold to grow, which can result in a number of health issues as well as causing damage to the home.
Humidifiers, when used correctly, can help maintain an ideal degree of moisture in the air (between 30 – 50%), and especially for people with a chronic lung disease, can foster reduced irritation of nasal passages, eased breathing, and the ability to more successfully expel phlegm in coughing.
Not only that, but using a humidifier during the night can minimize snoring and congestion, help decrease the amount of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, and even relieve a dry scalp. Again, be careful to ensure the amount of humidity doesn’t exceed the ideal range, which could result in disrupted sleep patterns.
There are many different types of humidifiers available for seniors with COPD:
- Central humidifiers, which are built within the house’s central heating/air conditioning unit; the most costly option, but one that benefits the whole house rather than only one room
- Impeller humidifiers, utilizing a cool mist, which is a safer alternative since it cannot cause burns; it can, however, trigger allergic or asthmatic problems if overused
- Evaporators, blowing air through a dampened filter; an inexpensive choice, but can be troublesome if allowed to add too much moisture into the air
- Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to produce mist either in a warm or cool option; available in a range 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 recommended.
JFS Care is here to help individuals with chronic health issues like COPD, or just the challenges inherent in normal aging, through a wide range of home care services . Call us at (213) 383-2273 to learn more about our senior care in Burbank and other surrounding areas. For more information on all of the areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page.