A study published by the Korgan Journal of Internal Medicine shows industrialized nations have seen an increase in allergic diseases, with a relationship shown between air pollutants and increased incidence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and other disorders. It’s likely if you live somewhere with heavy manufacturing, you could face more irritation for your respiratory system.
So what can you do about it?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America offers advice of steps you can take to improve indoor air quality in your home or workplace.
1. Smokeout: Smoking cigarettes or tobacco is clearly an activity to avoid if you suffer from any type of asthma or raspatory allergies. But it’s also best to avoid using a fireplace inside or to burn scented chemicals. Smoke is smoke, and a Cleveland Clinic study last year showed burning wood in a fireplace releases fine particles especially dangerous to the lungs. It’s the same reason smokestacks in town bring air quality down, except it’s pumping smoke into the place you live.
2. Install solid flooring: Replace the carpets in your home with wood, tile or some type of solid service with low VOC (volatile organic compound) counts. This will stop allergens and pollutants from tracking into and staying in your home. Irritants can stay in carpets for prolonged times and get kicked up again and again.
3. Clean the air: If the air in your community had pollutants and irritants, filter them out as much as possible. Use a certified asthma and allergy-friendly air cleaner and at least the air around you will be cleaner than what’s coming in from the world.
4. Furnish accordingly: Just as those with intense allergies may want to avoid carpets, they should also be mindful of what furniture fills their homes. Leather or vinyl upholstery won’t hold onto allergens the same as a woven fabric. Leave throw pillows out of your interior design because they tend to soak up the pollutants and allergens from all around. You should also choose blinds or washable curtains to dress your windows, especially if you frequently leave them open to a polluted environment outside.
5. Plan outings around ozone: Since you don’t want to be trapped in your home by pollution, plan outdoor adventures at times when ozone levels remain low. The worst ozone peaks come between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. each afternoon and evening. In densely populated areas, morning and afternoon rush hours also bring a boost in pollution. Plan any outings for mornings and evenings if you do them in areas with significant pollution, Atlanta Allergy & Asthma recommends.
6. Recycle your air flow: When driving in heavily polluted areas, keep internal air flow running on your air conditioner. This means less of the air outside will pumped in the small place where you have to breathe. And keep the windows closed.
7. Keep relief on hand: Especially if you find yourself running or exercising in an air climate more polluted than you are used to, make sure to keep your fast-acting inhaler and any quick-relief medication handy. And don’t be afraid to slow down and breathe a little easier.