Have you ever briefly felt ill, but couldn’t figure out why? It’s possible you may have run into a batch of bad air.
We often take air quality for granted, assuming that our air must be safe and healthy for us if we can’t see or smell anything indicating otherwise. Truth is, there are a lot of hidden factors affecting the quality of our air, and indoor air can be 5x more polluted than outdoors.
Being exposed to poor air quality may be affecting you more than you realize, and if you have poor air quality in your home, you could be putting your health at risk daily. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re being affected by bad air quality, we’ve laid out some common symptoms to look out for:
Short term symptoms
You can start experiencing symptoms of poor air quality within hours of being home. Short term symptoms are similar to how we feel when we’re coming down from a cold:
Coughing and sneezing
Dryness and irritation of your eyes, nose, throat and skin
Shortness of breath
Asthma is aggravated or worsened
Long term symptoms
Years of exposure to poor air quality can lead to more severe health effects:
Since these symptoms can easily be mistaken for other health problems (like the common cold, allergies, or stress), how can you be sure they’re being caused by the air in your home?
The best way to figure out if you’re being affected by poor air quality in your home is to step outside for a bit. The short-term symptoms will noticeably disappear within hours of you leaving an area of bad air quality; if you feel physically better after leaving for work or vacation, you may have an issue with the air quality in your home. If you want to figure out which specific factors are affecting your health, an air quality monitor can be extremely helpful.
Don’t become paranoid, though! The list of symptoms above isn’t meant to scare you, but to help you take control of your health and be better informed of how your air could be affecting you.
Do you have any experiences with poor air quality? Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org — we’d love to hear!