Exploring Humidifiers as an Option to Reduce COPD Exacerbation

smart home with humidifier
Many seniors with COPD find relief from a simple humidifier to improve air quality at home.

For senior loved ones and those with lung conditions such as COPD, maintaining the best possible air quality in the house is essential. Air that is too dry, for instance, may induce COPD exacerbation or trigger other health problems such as:

  • Dry, itchy, or chapped skin
  • Nose bleeds
  • A scratchy throat
  • Dry eyes
  • Aggravated asthma, allergy, and cold/flu symptoms
  • Congestion
  • And more

However, air that’s too humid can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to a variety of health issues as well as damage to the home.

Humidifiers, when used correctly, can help maintain the ideal level of moisture in the air (between 30 – 50%). For those with a chronic lung disease, effective management of moisture in the home can foster eased breathing, reduced irritation of nasal passages, and the ability to more effectively expel phlegm in coughing.

Furthermore, using a humidifier overnight can reduce congestion and snoring, help decrease the level of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, and can even relieve a scratchy scalp. Again, use caution to ensure the amount of humidity doesn’t surpass the ideal range, which can result in disrupted sleep patterns.

There are various types of humidifiers available for use in the home, including:

  • Central humidifiers, which are built within the home’s central air conditioning/heating unit; the most expensive option, but one that benefits the entire house rather than only 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; an affordable choice, but can be problematic if allowed to add an excessive amount of moisture into the air
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to create mist either in a warm or cool option; available in many different sizes
  • Steam vaporizers, which are typically the least expensive and most portable option; water is heated and then cooled prior to being discharged into the air

Check with a physician about the benefits of a humidifier to determine if implementing this solution would benefit you senior loved one’s particular condition, and which type is recommended.

Sage Home Care is here to help individuals with chronic medical conditions like COPD, or just the issues inherent in normal aging, through a wide range of home care services. As a leading provider of Carmel senior services, including surrounding areas, our high-qualified caregivers are trained to assist with the many daily challenges of aging. Reach out to us at 203-300-5070 to find out how we can help you breathe easier with reliable in-home support.

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