Discover how easy it is to gain control of your life again
1By submitting this information, I authorize Inogen to contact me including by phone.
An oxygen specialist will be contacting you shortly.
Air quality has a profound effect on the health of our lungs and our ability to breathe comfortably. For people with chronic lung conditions like COPD, air pollution causes more than slight discomfort and inconvenience. In fact, for someone with COPD, the effects of air pollution can actually cause a significant health risk.
If you have ever lived through wildfire season or been subjected to a significant amount of secondhand smoke, you are familiar with the uncomfortable lung burn that comes with exposure to that level of pollutant. However, what you might not know is how frequently we come into contact with pollution, both indoors and out, and how that pollution ultimately impacts our long-term lung health. This is essential information for those with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. Here are some of the more common air pollutants, how they affect your lungs and how you can avoid them.
Even when you are inside, you may be at risk of exacerbating your COPD with any number of pollutants that are produced or become trapped inside your home and other enclosed spaces. In developed countries, the risk of living with damaging indoor pollutants is less likely, but it is still helpful to be aware of what could harm your lungs and make your COPD worse. The following pollutants commonly concentrate indoors and could make the air you breathe inside even worse for your lungs than the air outdoors.
Because indoor pollutants tend to become concentrated without the ability to dissipate, people exposed to indoor air pollutants are at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with COPD. Avoid these pollutants whenever possible, but if you or a loved one has COPD, it is a good idea to have your air tested in addition to minimizing risk and exposure to indoor pollution. Keep your home clean and tidy, but ensure you don’t use cleaners that produce irritating or toxic fumes.
When we think of harmful air pollution, we typically think of outdoor pollutants. Particulate matter and ozone are the two most harmful pollutants outdoors, and they become particularly problematic in areas with significant population congestion, areas where the air does not move as freely and areas where there are frequent forest fires or field burning. For people with COPD or other chronic lung conditions, outdoor air pollution is a serious concern. In order to avoid air that could be unsafe for people with COPD, there are some important steps to take to protect your lungs.
If you or a loved one has COPD, outdoor pollution can be frightening and difficult to avoid. As such, it is ideal to live in a place with typically good air quality year round. When that is not possible, do what you can to avoid breathing the outdoor air when it is at its worse, and work to improve the quality of your air inside your home.
Overall, air pollution has serious consequences for anyone who is regularly exposed, and it has been linked to increased disease and even death. Depending on the kinds of air pollution you are exposed to, the impact on your health can vary, ranging from an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, bladder cancer, appendicitis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, neurodevelopmental disorders, leukemia and, of course, respiratory diseases and lung cancer. Air pollution can make its way into your blood, as well as into your organs and nervous system, and as such its impact can be widespread and devastating. It is clear that air pollution of all kinds is bad for your health, but for people with COPD and other chronic lung conditions, it is especially hazardous.
The best way to combat these health risks is to avoid exposure to air pollution whenever possible. If you or a loved one have COPD or any other breathing condition, it is critical to keep track of your local air quality so you can act accordingly, as people with lung conditions are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Monitor your indoor air whenever possible, and keep track of the local outdoor air quality index so you know when it is safe for you to participate in outdoor activities or go outside at all. Make sure that you do not smoke and avoid exposure to other pollutants wherever possible.
If you have COPD and live in an area with high levels of air pollution, or suspect that your indoor air is polluted or that you have been exposed to an airborne toxin that is affecting your breathing, talk to your health care provider about the right tests to help diagnose your level of exposure. Talk with your doctor about choosing the right treatments for your lung condition, and to learn more about how to take additional measures to minimize your exposure to air pollutants.
The air we breathe has a significant impact on everyone’s overall health, but for people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases, the quality of the air they breathe can mean the difference between being able to breathe comfortably and experiencing wheezing, bronchospasms, tightness in the chest and general shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, you may also want to talk to your doctor about the benefits of oxygen therapy and oxygen concentrators to minimize your symptoms.
At Inogen, we believe that improving the quality of your air can help improve your life. If your health care provider determines that oxygen therapy can help you breathe better, Inogen’s oxygen concentrators can make receiving oxygen therapy easier and more enjoyable. Inogen was founded on the belief that oxygen therapy should help improve your life, not hold you back, so we have developed oxygen concentrators that can help improve your breathing no matter where you are. Our Inogen At Home stationary oxygen concentrator helps improve your breathing at home, while our Inogen One G4 and G3 portable oxygen concentrators are lightweight enough to be used at home or on the go. If you have lung disease or another chronic breathing condition and you are struggling with polluted air, oxygen therapy can help minimize your symptoms and improve your breathing. Talk to your doctor to find out more today.