Airborne irritants can make it harder for you to breathe. Here are some things you can do to make your home a healthier place for you to live.

  • Deep clean regularly.
    Vacuum and dust weekly to minimize irritants. Air out bathrooms and make sure there is no mold or mildew. Get others to help you so that you don’t inhale the dust. If you have carpets or thick rugs, consider replacing them with hardwood to minimize hidden dust and dirt.

  • Clean ducts.
    If you have central air/heating, the ducts can be full of dust & mold, which can exacerbate COPD. Schedule a yearly professional air duct cleaning and a check for leaks in the system. Invest in high-efficiency particulate air filters to trap particles, and change the filters regularly (usually every 30 days to 3 months) to help keep them from worsening your COPD symptoms.

  • Stay away from aerosols.
    Aerosol and spray cleaners can contribute to airway irritation and exacerbate COPD symptoms. An aerosol can of deodorizing antibacterial spray could actually make you sicker. A better bet is to stick to simple cleaning products: bleach, vinegar, and water.

  • Don’t light the fireplace.
    The smoke from a wood burning fireplace or stove can exacerbate COPD. Gas or electric fireplaces are OK to use.

  • Give away your bird.
    Bird dander or bird dust can spread through the house and aggravate your COPD. Even if you keep your bird very clean, it is best not to have one in the house. If you have other pets, think about whether they could be making it harder to breathe. Be sure to keep them clean and way from your face.