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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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Whats the best natural way to deal with dusty living environments

Customer Question

Whats the best natural way to deal with dusty living environments with high Co2?

Sneezing, watery eyes, coughing has become a daily routine.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

And thanks for using JustAnswer. I am sorry no one was available to help you earlier today.

There are several things you can do to help tolerate living in a dusty environment.

If the dust is coming from outside of the house, then of course keeping doors and window secure will be important (Conversely, depending on the situation, opening windows at times to provide ventilation can be helpful from time to time). If the living area needs to be closed off to environmental dust coming from the outside, then an air purification system, such as a High Efficiency Particulate Air (or HEPA) filter can be effective. A good resource to learn about the different types of air filtration systems, can be found HERE.

For CO2, using plants in the home is one natural way to reduce CO2. Of course this depends on the severity of CO2 in your environment. The link provided above also discusses the use of Activated Charcoal filtration devices for removal of chemicals in the air, including CO2.

In a dusty, pollen, or pet dander filled environment it can also help to launder bed linens frequently (especially pillow cases).

Self measures that are simple but amazingly effective are the use of a saline nasal irrigation (neti pot, or other forms) for the sinuses, and saline irrigation for the eyes daily. Most drug and some grocery stores carry 'Saline Eye Wash' (not the type used for storing contacts). These two measures rinse away the dust and chemicals from the sinuses and eyes, thus the body does not have too form excess secretions, tears, nor require frequent sneezing and coughing to remove these particles. For information on the neti pot click HERE.

Natural antihistamines include Vitamin C (consuming via food is always the best) and flavanoids such as quercetin (also found in foods - highly colored vegetables, for example). Additionally, Omega 3 Fatty Acids are known to reduce allergic reactions (over time).

These steps should help decrease your symptoms. Let me know though, if you have additional questions about this topic. I'll be standing by to assist you.

When you are satisfied with your answer, please do rate me positively, as this is the only way I receive compensation for my time. But again, if you have further questions about this topic, please reply first so that I can assist you until you feel you have received excellent service.

Thank you!


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks!

Would a humidifier work if the humidity is also low? (25%)

My only concern is they might blow the dust into the air and make it worse.

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome.

A humidifier is only needed if you have a problem with your airways and mucous membranes (such as eyes) drying out. If you buy a high quality humidifier, and keep it clean as instructed, it will not blow anything around. The HEPA air filters also do not blow the dust around.

Does that make sense? Please write back if you still need to discuss this.
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 6 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hello!

Did I understand your last question correctly?

A humidifier help to keep airway passages moist, as well as the eyes, and can be helpful if the humidity is low and you are noticing that your eyes and mucous membranes are dry. It would not remove dust, although the dust might tend to collect more quickly on surfaces due to the increased moisture in the air with the use of a humidifier.

Air filtration will remove dust and any other particles in the air. To specifically remove CO2, filter with activated charcoal is needed. IF the CO2 is not at unusual levels, then the use of plants spread through out the house should be adequate. Sometimes you can find nice large house plants for good prices at moving sales, etc., if cost is prohibitive.

I hope that helps to clarify things a bit more.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Perfect. Thanks. I now have a nice big plant in the bedroom and a humidifier. I also have monitoring equipment on my iPad which records humidity and Co2 through the night. I'm all set up. Lets see how I feel in the morning.

Someone told me that dust clumps together with low humidity environments as its positivity charged. Higher humidity and moisture stops the bonding.

Lets see.

I use this for monitoring: www.netatmo.com
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
That is an interesting app, I look at it more indepth. Thanks for sharing!

As a health care professional, we typically start with the physical problem reported (signs and symptoms, or patient complaint), and then recommend solution or treatment based on clinical guidelines that have proved to help with those problems.

Symptoms of sneezing, watery eyes and coughing, if not related to a short term virus such as a cold virus, typically result from irritants in the air and/or allergies. And you mentioned that your environment is dusty and I am assuming, dry (low humidity). Dry air (especially common in the home and office enviroments in the winter when the heating systems are on) can make it harder for our bodies defense system - the mucous membranes of the nasal passage ways to 'rinse away' these irritants (our bodies sneeze, cough and produce secretions to remove dust and other irritants. The secretions of our nasal passageways 'capture' the dust or irritants - indeed this is the major function or purpose of the nose and sinuses: to filter the air so that we do not breathe in excessive particles from the environment. If there are excessive particles in the air, then we will secrete more mucous, sneeze more, cough more, and tear more. The secretions which have captured the dust/and irritants are then swallowed and pass to the stomach and are removed via our alimentary canal).

So, yes, a humidifier will increase the humidity in the air, and make it easier for your passageways to remain moist and more easily remove the dust and irritants in the air. It sounds logical as well that the humidifier can cause the dust to 'clump' together and settle onto surfaces rather than remain in the air to be breathed in.

If you find that the humidifier is not enough to assist you, you will at least have some other measures to try (HEPA filter to remove the dust; saline rinses so that your body does not have to work as hard at removing the dust/irritants to which you are exposed via secretions). Oh, frequent vacuuming can help too. It is also a good idea to drink more fluid (plain water or dilute fruit juices are best for simple hydration) to assist your system (if you are not already) when you are living in a dry environment.

Let me know how it works out for you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again. With the monitor I was able to see that got humidty to 40% last night. Co2 was around 800ppm although plants only release o2 in the daylight. But room feels much better.

I'll try the saline as well.

Fascinating subject. Modern buildings are so problematic with feeling natural.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Great! Thanks for the update!

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