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Can Indoor Air Quality Affect Your Health?

If you’re new here, you may not have heard us tell you how to avoid polluting your indoor air quality. Of course, we need the air around us to survive.

But can you honestly say you know whether the air inside your home is healthy? And if so, do you know what could happen if the air quality is toxic?

That’s why we’re outlining how indoor air quality can affect your health if you don’t intervene and make some changes.

Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality — Sleep and Mental Health

How Poor Air Quality Can Affect Sleep

Sleeping can be harmed by poor indoor air quality. You’ve likely experienced a stuffy, hot bedroom before and found it hard to sleep.

When sleeping with your windows and doors shut, the levels of carbon dioxide in the room can elevate to 2500 to 3000 parts per million (ppm). For reference, that’s roughly 3 times higher than the recommended levels. This steep increase in carbon dioxide can cause a lower sleep efficiency, which may lead to difficulties with cognitive function.

Plus, sleep apnea and poor indoor air quality are actually far closer related than you might think. Sleep apnea is more than just snoring. It can cause some serious conditions, like:

  • An increase in your blood pressure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Liver problems
  • A higher risk of type 2 diabetes
  • A higher risk of heart problems

Recent studies have found a link between poor air quality and the presence of sleep apnea. When the participants in this study were exposed to PM 2.5 and nitrogen dioxide, their odds of having sleep apnea increased significantly.

Let’s also consider the impact poor sleep has on mental health. We, as human beings, need rest to function. Without it, there’s a greater chance of a depressive spiral, which can provoke other mental illnesses we’re about to learn about.

Poor Air Quality, Outdoors Mostly, Can Worsen Mental Illness

Toxic air isn’t only harmful to your lungs. It’s actually hurting your brain, too. Over the past decade, there’s been a heavy amount of research surrounding the link between air quality and mental health. The findings are concerning, to say the least.

Air pollution can worsen existing mental health conditions.

In summary, there’s been a suggested link between poor air quality and mental illnesses, such as:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders

Poor air quality spreads toxicity. As pollution levels increase, there have been increased visits to mental health service centers. Plus, a range of studies revealed that suicides corresponded with higher sulfur dioxide, promethium, and nitrogen dioxide levels.

The evidence is overwhelming, and the conclusion is clear: there’s a direct correlation between poor air quality and mental health struggles.

Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality — Allergies and Asthma

Indoor Air Pollutants Can Irritate Your Eyes and Nose.

When indoor air quality is poor, you may not instantly blame it for irritated eyes and a runny nose. The truth is air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide irritate the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, and throat.

This can cause shortness of breath, which many people mistake for a panic or anxiety attack. Further, if you notice that you or a member of your family are continuously getting respiratory infections, be aware that nitrogen dioxide can cause chronic bronchitis.

Indoor Air Pollution Can Trigger Asthma Attacks

If you suffer from asthma or allergies, you should take steps to improve the overall air quality inside your home.

In fact, one in 12, which is roughly 6 million people in America suffer from asthma. With one in 13 adults suffering from asthma, it’s essential to understand the affect the air has on your symptoms.

Poor indoor air quality encourages asthma, and it can cause serious problems. For children, asthma can cause severe breathing problems, eczema, hyperactivity, difficulty sleeping, and chest infections, to name a few. It can also cause issues with pregnancy, so it’s fundamental that the air inside your home is safe to breathe for the whole family.

Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Make Allergies Chronic

When you consider the term “allergies,” you picture blooming flowers causing hay fever. You presume staying inside will limit the pollen and help with your allergies.

Unfortunately, you’re not safe inside. While pollen might be outdoors, you’re up against dust mites, pet fur and dander, and even cockroaches.

Considering that eight out of 10 people in the US are exposed to dust mites, this can be a problem for many.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?

It’s clear that having poor indoor air quality can lead to serious health problems. To avoid them, you’ll need to clean up your act. Don’t worry, though. The solutions are as easy as, well, breathing!

  • Keep all of your vents at home clean and free of dust. Try to clean them routinely, ensuring there’s no gradual build-up to provoke allergies and negatively impact the air quality in your property.
  • Use your kitchen exhaust fan. Many people forget to switch it on when they’re cooking, but it can really help reduce any harmful chemicals that are bringing down your air quality.
  • Open your windows for fresh air. You probably already do this from time to time, but it’s essential to allow outdoor air to circulate your home routinely.
  • Keep up with regular HVAC maintenance. Change your air filter and schedule tune-ups.

Want to learn more about your home’s air quality? Schedule an appointment with us here at Adeedo.

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