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Are you breathing right? Here’s how to find out

Here are some questions to ask yourself to know whether or not you are breathing right.

levoit air purifier on shelf
Image: Jake Vander Ende / KnowTechie

Breathing is a simple, regular task that our body carries out, after all; we put little to no effort in it, so why should we think about it going wrong? And what could possibly go wrong with a task as simple as that?

You’ll be further shocked to find out that a lot can, and most probably is, going wrong with our breathing. How we breathe has a lot to do with where we live and how we lead our lives. In simple words, our area of residence and our lifestyle are major contributors.

Here’s what a report from May 1, 2002 says:

If you’re an American, you’re probably breathing bad air. For the third straight year, more than half of U.S. residents live in areas with dangerous smog.

The finding comes from the 2002 edition of the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report. The bottom line: of the 678 U.S. counties monitoring air, nearly 400 get an “F” grade from the ALA. The failing grade means that these areas had levels of ozone — a major ingredient in smog — that made the air unhealthy to breathe for at least nine days.

This is 2019, and it has only gotten worse. With pollution on the rise and a very slow increase in paying required attention to environmental neglect, most of us are breathing wrong regardless of whether we are indoors or outdoors.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to know whether or not you are breathing right:

What is the air quality in your area?

Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number that indicates Air Quality after taking into account 5 pollutants: 

  1. Ozone
  2. Nitrogen Dioxide
  3. Sulphur Dioxide
  4. PM2.5 particles
  5. PM 10 particles

It is essential to be aware of your area’s air quality as the air you breathe in is a major determining factor of your health. There are many applications and widgets that can help you monitor the air quality of your area live if you are keen to know it. 

In fact, not just your area the air quality inside your house is also important, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the air in homes and other buildings can be even more seriously polluted than the outdoor air. Most indoor air pollution enters your house from sources that release gases or particles into the air, like building materials and air fresheners. 

Other sources of indoor pollution can be tobacco smoke and wood-burning stoves. More energy-efficient homes don’t let as much outdoor air get inside. A good way to keep your home’s air clean is to use a home air purifier. According to AirHonest.com, when choosing an air purifier for your home; keep the following questions in mind:

What kind of allergens are you susceptible to in your home?

Most people with asthma or hay fever or other outdoor allergies think of their home as a haven where they can escape their allergies. Unfortunately, houses and apartment buildings harbor their own allergens (agents that cause allergy symptoms). The inside of your home actually traps allergens, making them impossible to avoid.

Do you have pets running around leaving a trail of fur and dander? 

Pet Allergy Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • -Runny or stuffy nose
  • -Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
  • -Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing
  • -Watery, red or itchy eyes
  • -Skin rash or hives

If your nose runs and your eyes water or you start sneezing and wheezing after petting or playing with your pet, you likely have a pet allergy. A pet allergy can contribute to constant allergy symptoms, as exposure can occur at work, school, and daycare or in other indoor environments, even if the pet is not present.

Do you live in a dry, dusty landscape? 

Dust is made up of all kinds of particles including plant pollen, dead skin cells, and fibers from clothing and paper.  When it accumulates, it’s annoying and can wreak havoc on asthma and allergy sufferers. To make matters worse, with dust come dust mites.

Is your home prone to dampness and mold? 

Your walls, floors, appliances, carpet, or furniture – they can all provide the food mold needs to grow. But the thing all molds need most is moisture, so you’re most likely to see mold in damp places such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces.

Are you a smoker or a second-hand smoker? 

When non-smokers are exposed to SHS it’s called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and toxic chemicals the same way smokers do. The more SHS you breathe, the higher the levels of these harmful chemicals in your body.

What is your lung quality?

We neglect our lungs just like we treat the idea of our breathing: we barely ever think about these things when they are literally the most essential to living healthy. 

If your lungs are unhealthy, it will not matter how great the air around you is. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on the quality of your lungs. Here are some warning signs to look out for in order to make sure they are in good health:

  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath, labored or difficulty breathing
  • Chronic mucus production (if your mucus production has lasted a month or longer)
  • Wheezing(Noisy breathing)
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chronic chest pain

Are you eating well?

Your food choices tell a lot about your lifestyle and can have serious effects on your breathing. 

If large meals and foods that cause bloating are a major part of the food you consume on a daily basis, they can prevent the abdomen from pushing up and subsequently the diaphragm’s movement can be limited.

If your food choices have led you to obesity, it can significantly interfere with the effectiveness, strength, and resistance of the respiratory muscles. All these factors lead to inspiratory overload, which increases respiratory effort, oxygen consumption, and respiratory energy expenditure.

Now that you know the questions you must keep in mind to know whether or not you are breathing right, try and keep a constant check on your lifestyle and your environment and make improvements as and when necessary.

What kind of allergens are you susceptible to in your home?

Most people with asthma or hay fever or other outdoor allergies think of their home like heaven where they can escape their allergies. Unfortunately, houses and apartment buildings harbor their own allergens (agents that cause allergy symptoms). The inside of your home actually traps allergens, making them impossible to avoid.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Just another guy who likes to write about tech and gadgets.

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