The Importance of Air Filtration on Allergic Respiratory Disease
An allergic reaction involves a reaction by the immune system to a specific substance, known as allergens. These allergens may be airborne and inhaled into the lungs, or even contained in food or in items touched by or applied to the skin. An allergic reaction may involve the sinus membranes, thus impacting the nose, eyes, ears, and throat. A reaction could even cause trouble breathing and asthmatic symptoms or result in skin rashes. Statistics indicate that 7.4 million children in the United States reported respiratory allergies in 2015, and about 6.1 million kids experienced hay fever symptoms this year. Studies show that asthma impacts more than 7 million children in the United States, and the number of those suffering from allergic respiratory disease is rising every year. Alarmingly, childhood asthma is increasing disproportionally to general rates of the disease.
What Is Allergic Respiratory Disease?
Allergic respiratory disease includes both rhinitis and asthma resulting from allergen exposure. Typical symptoms include nasal and sinus irritation, itching, congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulty. Some people may exhibit rhinitis symptoms, while others might only have asthmatic symptoms, and some may have both. These symptoms may occur persistently or only intermittently depending on the allergen and the control measures used. Eliminating allergens from the home, performing deep cleaning, and using an air filtration system can be helpful for people with this disease.
- Allergic respiratory disease includes symptoms associated with bronchial asthma and/or rhinoconjunctivitis.
- A person with a chronic cough may be experiencing allergic rhinitis or asthma, and the cough can be a symptom of allergic respiratory disease.
- Asthma is an obstructive lung disease that occurs from a hyper-reaction to some sort of stimulus, such as dust or pet dander.
- Indoor and outdoor pollutants in the air are a significant cause of respiratory problems, and these irritants can cause lung inflammation and damage.
How Allergies Affect Children
Children suffering from allergies may experience uncomfortable sinus symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Some kids also experience asthmatic symptoms including wheezing and difficulty breathing. Excess fluid in the sinuses may lead to ear infections and hearing issues, which could even have an impact on developing speech. Participation in school and sports activities may be affected by allergies, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Installing an air filtration system in a child’s living areas may help reduce and manage symptoms.
- Anyone with a sensitivity to an allergen such as dust or chemicals may develop an acute allergic reaction with exposure, which could cause permanent lung damage.
- Risk factors for developing asthma include a genetic history of the disease, respiratory infections occurring during childhood, being overweight, and sensitization to irritants.
- A child with asthma may have difficulty sleeping, may miss school due to illness, and could miss out on participation in physical activities.
- Common allergies may result in sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, loss of smell and taste, coughing, wheezing, and repeated ear or sinus infections.
- Someone with sensitivities to indoor allergens may notice that they feel healthier when they are outside of the home than inside of it.
How Air Filters Work
Controlling exposure to allergens is the first line of defense against allergies. Installing an air filtration system with a heating and cooling system can help clean the air and remove allergens from the indoor environment. Mechanical filters trap particles in filter screens. Electronic filters have special plates to capture particles with electrical charges. Another type of system produces ozone, which may help reduce indoor contaminants.
- An air filtration system may be connected to a home's heating and cooling system, or it could be portable.
- Air-cleaning devices may be mechanical or electronic, and these devices are designed to eliminate particulate or gaseous pollutants.
- Air cleaners may be more effective at removing animal allergens in the air than removing dust mites.
- A mechanical air cleaner catches and collects airborne particles by means of a filter with closely spaced fibers.
- An electrostatic precipitator is a type of air cleaner that uses an electrical charge to trap particles as they move through the unit. After trapping the particles, they are collected in a filter.
- Biological contaminants such as animal dander, dust mites, mildew, and pollen are common irritants for people. Regular and deep cleaning is an important defense that can enhance the effectiveness of an air cleaner.
- Air cleaners with high-efficiency particulate absorption filters can trap small particles to remove them from the air. This type of filtration can be present in both HVAC units and portable air cleaners.
- Newer air cleaner technology moves air over a photoactivatable catalyst, creating chemicals that can actually neutralize allergens, microbes, and VOCs in the air.
Types of Allergies That Air Filters Will Help
Contaminants and allergens that enter the air are targets of air filtration systems. Anyone with a sensitivity to pet hair or dander might find relief with an air cleaner installed in the home. Mold spores in the air can also cause an allergic reaction in many people, and an air filter can capture these spores. People who suffer from seasonal allergies and/or pollen might also reduce the amount of allergens in their indoor environment by keeping their house sealed off from outdoor air and filtering the interior air.
- Use of a HEPA air cleaner in a child's bedroom can help with asthma symptoms, as shown by participants in an asthma study group.
- A pet allergy may be managed with the use of air filtration, bare flooring, and thorough cleaning.
- Air filtration may help eliminate some adverse health effects that occur from air pollutants, such as respiratory illnesses, coughing, wheezing, and irritation of mucous membranes.
- Allergies to dust, mold, and pollen may be alleviated by the use of an air filtration system with a HEPA filter.
- Seasonal allergies and asthma symptoms make people sensitive to environmental contaminants. Air cleaners may help reduce these contaminants.
- People with mold sensitivities may benefit from a heating and cooling system with an electrostatic filter, which can trap and remove mold spores in the air.