The Best Air Purifiers for Asthma
Asthma is a severe respiratory condition caused by many things, including allergies, smoke, pets, and more. Air purifiers are a great way to reduce asthma symptoms and improve your quality of life. This guide will discuss asthma and air purifiers in detail and provide tips on choosing the right air purifier.
What is asthma, and what causes it?
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects around 5.4 million people in the UK alone (asthma.org.uk). It is caused by inflammation in the airways, which makes breathing difficult.
Asthma symptoms include:
- shortness of breath,
- and chest tightness.
Asthma causes and triggers
Many asthma sufferers developed asthma during their childhood or teenage years. However, adults without a history of having asthma can also develop this lung condition. Existing allergies such as pollen, dust, mould or pet hair may make some people more susceptible to asthma.
Asthma is triggered by something irritating the airways. Triggers can include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Pet hair
- Mould or damp
- Weather changes
- Colds or flu viruses
Health complications of asthma attacks
If asthma is left untreated, it can lead to some severe health complications, including:
A lung infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid breathing and sweating.
A severe asthma attack that doesn’t respond to standard asthma treatments. It can be life-threatening and requires hospital treatment.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
A serious condition occurs when fluid builds up in the lungs’ air sacs. This makes it difficult to breathe and can be life-threatening.
There is no cure for asthma, but many treatments available can help manage the symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. These include:
A device that delivers medication directly to the lungs. There are two main types of inhalers: reliever inhalers, which are used to relieve asthma symptoms, and preventer inhalers, which are used to prevent asthma attacks.
A machine that turns liquid asthma medication into a fine mist, which can be inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece. Nebulisers are usually only used in severe asthma attacks or if you have difficulty using an inhaler.
Asthma tablet medication that is swallowed whole with water. These are only used in some cases as they can have side effects.
A type of medication that can be used to reduce inflammation in the airways. Steroids can be taken as tablets, liquid or inhalers.
When choosing an air purifier, you should consider the size of the room, the type of filter and filtration technology, ionisation, portability, energy efficiency, noise levels and the price.
How can air purifiers help reduce asthma symptoms?
Air purifiers are a great way to reduce asthma symptoms, as they remove harmful airborne particles from the air. These particles can include:
- Dust mites
- Pet hair
- Mould spores
Air purifiers work by drawing in air, capturing and destroying microscopic contaminants using a 4 to 8-stage filtration process depending on the chosen air purifier. This filtered, clean air is then released back into the room.
Our RUHENS air purifiers all feature an H13 HEPA ultra-fine particle filter which is highly effective at removing asthma triggers like dust, pollen or pet hair from the air and can significantly improve asthma symptoms.
The different types of air purifiers for people with asthma
Portable air purifiers
Portable air purifiers like the RUHENS WHA 200 or the RUHENS WHA 500 make it easier to move the air purifier around a residential home or commercial space and clean the air in allergy-prone rooms. They are the kind of air purifiers that remove airborne viruses and allergens from small spaces such as bedrooms, cafes, practice rooms or small shops with a surface area of 35m2 to 45m2.
Central air purifiers
The RUHENS WHA 400 UVC is perfect for large spaces, up to 140m2. There are 8 filters in total, including a top-of-the-line HEPA H13 filter, making it the best choice for both large businesses and average households. This air purifier also has a remote that lets you easily alter the fan speed and direction.
Tower air purifiers
The RUHENS WHA 320 UVC can detect ultrafine particles up to PM 2.5. Due to their small footprint, tower air purifiers are an excellent choice for spaces which lack floor space, such as reception areas, gyms, bars or restaurants of up to 70m2.
Why use an air purifier and not a humidifier for asthma?
An air purifier can help to remove allergens, dust, and other particles from the air, which can trigger asthma symptoms.
A humidifier can also help to reduce asthma symptoms by adding moisture to the air; however, it is important to maintain a balanced humidity level — too much humidity can worsen asthma symptoms. Therefore, an air purifier may be a better option for asthmatics, as it can help to remove triggers from the air without creating the risk of excess humidity.
Alternative ways to help control your asthma
There is no single answer to controlling asthma, as the condition can vary considerably from person to person. However, there are a number of different options that may help to depend on the severity and triggers of your asthma.
Some basic steps that can be helpful for all asthmatics include:
- avoiding triggers that can provoke an attack (such as smoke, dust, pollen, cold air, and exercise),
- maintaining a healthy weight,
- and keeping up with vaccinations.
If you have allergies, treating them can also help reduce asthmatic symptoms.
If you experience occasional asthma attacks, your doctor may prescribe a quick-relief inhaler when symptoms start. For more persistent asthma, you may need a daily controller medication to prevent asthma attacks even when you’re feeling well.
Sometimes, your GP may recommend additional asthma treatments such as allergy shots (immunotherapy), oxygen therapy, or surgery.
Speak with your doctor to develop the asthma action plan that is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an air purifier safe for asthma patients?
Air purifiers are safe for asthma patients. They can be a great way to reduce asthma symptoms by cleaning the air of allergens and other pollutants that can trigger an asthma attack.
There are various air purifiers on the market, so it’s important to choose one that suits your specific needs. Some air purifiers are designed to remove particles from the air, while others are designed to remove chemicals and gases. Be sure to choose one that fits your needs and conforms to your doctor’s recommendations.
How do I know if my asthma symptoms are getting better?
One way to tell if your asthma symptoms are easing is to measure the number of air particles in your home. You can do this by using an air purifier.
If the number of air particles in your home decreases, your asthma symptoms may improve. You may also tell if your asthma symptoms are improving by measuring how often you need to use your inhaler. If you need to use your inhaler less frequently, this can indicate that your asthma symptoms are getting better.
However, never stop using your inhaler, even if your symptoms start to ease, without speaking with your GP first.
Is a HEPA filter good for asthma?
If you have asthma, a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can be an excellent way to remove potentially harmful particles from the air in your home.
HEPA filters are designed to trap and remove up to 99.9% of airborne contaminants including dust, pollen, and pet dander. Some studies have shown that using a HEPA filter in your home can help reduce asthma symptoms.
Additionally, because HEPA filters can improve indoor air quality, they may also help reduce your risk of triggering an asthma attack.
Should I sleep with air purifier on if I’ve got asthma?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people with asthma may find that sleeping with an air purifier helps them breathe easier, while others may find it uncomfortable to sleep with an air purifier due to noise or keeping an electric device running all night.