While most people think of factories spewing smoke when they think of air pollution, the truth is that some of the most dangerous sources of pollution are found in homes. From dust and pet dander to carbon monoxide and natural gas to mold and mildew, there are many sources of poor indoor air quality that can affect the way you feel. Here are some of the adverse health effects of poor indoor air quality in Alexandra, VA.
One of the most immediate health effects of poor indoor air quality is respiratory irritation. If you have asthma, you’ll notice this right away. People who suffer from asthma may experience breathing difficulty, coughing, wheezing or tightness in their chest. If the symptoms are bad enough, they can cause an asthma attack, which can be very dangerous.
Indoor air pollution doesn’t just affect your lungs. Another health effect of poor indoor air quality is damage to your cardiovascular system. Bad air can hinder the movement of your blood vessels, causing blood clots and increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke or heart attacks. This doesn’t happen overnight, but pollution will slowly add stress to your heart and lungs, since it makes it harder for them to supply the body with oxygen.
Headaches and worse
Certain airborne pollutants will make you feel bad even if you don’t have preexisting problems with allergies or asthma. Poor indoor air quality can cause symptoms that make you feel like you have a cold or the flu. You may get headaches or fatigue, or experience itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing fits. Usually these symptoms are short term, but they can be a good reason to get your indoor air quality checked. Some causes of these symptoms are dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses and mites, which thrive and spread rapidly in poor air conditions.
Some of the long-term negative health effects of poor indoor air quality are much more extreme than coughing. If you live with enough indoor pollutants long enough, it’s possible that you could develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or even lung cancer. COPD is a lung disease similar to asthma, and can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, chronic coughing, respiratory infections, fatigue, unintended weight loss and even swelling in the legs and feet.
How to improve your indoor air quality
The negative health effects of poor indoor air quality in Alexandria, VA are serious, but luckily there is a lot you can do to improve the air quality in your home. First, remove sources of pollution like cigarettes, asbestos, lead paint, certain kinds of furniture that release chemicals into the air and other things that damage your air quality. You should also keep your home clean, which will decrease the amount of dust and pet dander you breathe in. It’s important to make sure your home is properly ventilated and to change the filters and clean the ducts of your HVAC system regularly.
If you have questions about HVAC maintenance or cleaning, or if you’d like to learn more about air filtration systems that can improve the air quality of your home, contact the experts at A Action Home Services today!