I was listening to the news and a reporter was chatting about what a dangerous flu season we’re in the midst of. Catching the flu or any other type of respiratory disease can be scary, especially as we grow older. It may start with an itchy throat or a little cough, and eventually work its way into something worse, like bronchitis or pneumonia. Although they are both viruses, living in a polluted environment can cause your immune system to become weakened and make you more susceptible to illness.
It’s important to improve your personal environment, to prevent getting a respiratory disease that could become life-threatening or debilitating.
Below are 16 Tips for Baby Boomers to avoid respiratory disease and live longer:
- Don’t allow smoking (of any kind) inside your home. 2nd hand smoke causes cancer and makes your environment smell.
- Don’t pile up firewood indoors. Instead, bring in only a few pieces at a time because the wood may breed mold.
- Take your recyclables outside to store such as newspapers, cleaning rags, empty bottles, etc. Some of these items cause toxic fumes even when you can’t smell them.
- Be careful with humidity levels in your home that may encourage mold growth. A humidifier is wonderful to ease congestion but make sure to clean it out frequently.
- Change the air filter in your air conditioner and heater every 2-3 months.
- Clean out your vacuum filter bag to avoid getting dust particles in your lungs.
- If possible, remove your carpets. If you’ve ever ripped out an old carpet, you’ve seen the insane amount of dirt, grime, and who knows what else underneath. You may want to replace the carpet with wood or tile instead.
- Make sure you have a carbon monoxide monitor installed in your home that’s working. Test it regularly.
- Don’t cook with charcoal indoors.
- Don’t forget to turn off the stove or oven, especially if you’re using gas and check for leaks.
- Have your home tested for radon.
- Use cleaning products that are biodegradable, fragrance-free and safe for the environment as they will be much safer for your lungs and the rest of you.
- Rinse off completely immediately after swimming in a chlorinated pool.
- Check your personal products (makeup, deodorant, soaps, etc.) and make an effort to use “natural” products if possible. (Note: Some natural ingredients may cause allergic reactions, so test first to be sure the product will work for you.)
- Close the windows if you smell the exhaust from nearby cars or garden blowers.
- Use natural room deodorants rather than highly perfumed and toxic room, carpet or upholstery fresheners. (open the window, air out in the sun, remove the source, use vinegar)
Interesting note: A few years back I thought it may be wise to purchase a fancy air purifier. We spent over $500 on the thing. The ozone that came out of it made me wheeze. It was actually hurting rather than helping.
What tips do you have to prevent respiratory disease? Please leave a comment below.