Breathe easy during your spring cleaning
(NC)—It's time to pack up sweaters, boots and mitts and begin your spring cleaning rituals. But as you start opening the windows and airing out the closets, be sure to keep your lung health in mind.
The air quality in your home can have a significant impact on your lung health. As we shake out the cobwebs, we can stir up household dust and allergens. Harsh cleaning products that give off fumes can be irritating to the lungs. If you have a lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, exposure to indoor allergens and irritants can aggravate your existing symptoms.
COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, causes permanent narrowing of the lung airways. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and coughing up phlegm. When symptoms get worse or a new, persistent symptom comes on, it could be the beginning of a lung attack, which can potentially lead to hospitalization, restricted mobility and can increase the risk of death.
To breathe easier during your annual spring cleaning, follow these steps:
Go natural. Harsh cleaning sprays can cause irritation to your lungs and trigger breathing problems. Instead, try natural cleaning solutions like vinegar.
Limit dust. Take steps to make your home as dust-free as possible. Minimize the amount of carpet and drapery in your home and wash bedding in hot water regularly to avoid the collection of dust mites.
Know the signs of a lung attack. If you have a lung disease like COPD and notice any significant change like increased coughing, wheezing or an unusual change in phlegm, contact your physician. Discuss your worsening symptoms and also ask if your medication dosages need an adjustment.
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