We’ve mentioned how crucial it is to maintain and promote good indoor air quality in the past. We’ve even explained how to avoid polluting your indoor air quality. But have you ever asked yourself why the quality of the air around you is so crucial? Do you know how air quality can affect your health?
The consequences of poor air quality can be devastating, ranging from physical sickness to emotional downfall. This article will shine a light on the link between air quality and health: both physical and mental.
Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality — Sleep and Mental Health
Poor Air Quality and Sleep
We need sleep to function. Ask any parent to a newborn, and they’ll say that their brains feel like mush. Yes, part of that comes down to baby-brain, but it’s also likely that the lack of sleep has caused brain fog.
But this lack of sleep can be caused by more than just a crying baby.
In addition, studies have revealed that poor indoor air quality is linked to sleep apnea. While some may think sleep apnea is simply snoring too loud, it’s actually rooted in abnormal breathing patterns when asleep. It impacts the body’s oxygen supply and can lead to serious health concerns, like:
A spike in blood pressure levels
An increased risk of type 2 diabetes
An increased risk of heart problems
The participants in the study were exposed to fine particulate pollution and nitrogen dioxide, the findings show their chances of developing sleep apnea increased dramatically.
Poor Air Quality, Indoors or Outdoors, Can Worsen Mental Illness
Poisonous air isn’t just harmful to your body. It’s also harming your mind, too. As pollution levels worsen, there has been a large amount of research into how poor air quality correlates with poor mental health. The results are worrying, to say the least. It’s important to note that these specific studies focus on outdoor air pollution, not indoor air pollution.
The links between air quality and mental health are concerning and include the development of:
Poor air quality has also resulted in a surge of visits to mental health service centers. Unfortunately, the air surrounding us is deteriorating, so our increased need to seek help to manage our mental health is increasing, too.
With a range of studies investigating various areas of mental health and their correlation to air quality, the evidence is becoming hard to ignore. It’s clear that air quality, both indoors and outdoors, can have a direct effect on your health.
Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality — Allergies and Asthma
Indoor Air Pollutants Can Irritate Your Eyes and Nose.
When you hear the word “allergies,” you probably picture a field full of blooming flowers and yellow pollen in the middle of August.
The truth is, your indoor air could be causing your allergies, too. Irritated eyes and a runny nose are generally due to air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide. This chemical provokes the mucous membranes in your throat, nose, and eyes.
In extreme cases, it can cause severe shortness of breath. In people who struggle with anxiety, this can trigger a full-blown panic attack.
Plus, if you’ve noticed that you or a family member keeps getting respiratory infections, you can blame nitrogen dioxide. NO2, or Nitrogen Dioxide, is released into the air by burning fuel. It can cause repeated infections and chronic bronchitis.
Poor indoor air quality encourages your asthma to stay and causes difficulties. For children, side effects of asthma include eczema, chest infections, breathing problems, hyperactivity, and difficulty sleeping. It’s also dangerous to pregnant women, so it’s crucial to ensure the air quality inside your home is safe for the sake of your family.
Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Make Allergies Chronic
As we said, we often seek refuge from allergies inside the walls of our homes. It’s our safe haven, and if allergies are rocketing, we think we remove ourselves from the source by stepping inside.
Unfortunately, your allergies aren’t likely to subside if your indoor air quality is poor. In fact, they can be aggravated further. Consider that you’re fighting against dust mites, pet fur and dander, and — although we squeal when we think about it — cockroaches.
You can keep the cleanest home possible and still be exposed to dust mites. On average, eight in 10 people face this issue in their properties in the United States.
What Can I Do to Improve My Indoor Air Quality?
By now, you’ll have noticed that poor indoor air quality can have devastating consequences. So, to avoid them, you’ll need to learn how to improve the air quality circulating your home. Here are our top tips to improving the quality of air in your property:
Ensure that your vents are dust-free and clean. Spend time checking for any dust build-up and implement a clean-down into your routine.
Make use of your kitchen exhaust fan. Many people have a kitchen exhaust fan and don’t know what it’s for. Your kitchen exhaust fan can aid in reducing dangerous chemicals that harm the quality of your indoor air. So, whenever you’re using the stove, pop it on.
Open your windows to ensure fresh air is circulating your property. It’s likely you already do this, but it’s crucial to keep your windows open, even if only for 10 minutes a day in the winter, for better air quality. This can be tricky if you have pets that you don’t want to jump out the window but try to close them in another room while you open the windows for fresh air.
Keep up with routine HVAC maintenance. Schedule tune-ups regularly and change your air filter.