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DSCENE HEALTH: Can Air Filters Ease Asthma Symptoms?

Air filters are great for filtering out dust and smoke from the air, but how effective are they at easing asthma symptoms?


If you’re an asthma sufferer you’ll know what a difference it makes to be in an area with clean, toxin-free air. The same can be said of allergy sufferers and those with COPD. This home air filter and air cleaners are great for filtering out dust and smoke from the air, but how effective are they at easing asthma symptoms?

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Read more after the jump:

Why Do Air Filters Ease Asthma?

Air filters remove small particles that are in the surrounding air, but not all filters remove microscopic allergen particles which are caused by local disturbances such as dust mite feces which can surround pillows on the bed. When someone with asthma breathes these in, they can be irritated which can lead to an asthma attack or difficulty breathing. While air filters aren’t a cure-all for asthma, however, they can certainly help to remove some of the irritants that are difficult for asthma sufferers to deal with.

The best air filters for asthma remove the allergens from the air which trigger symptoms. This might be toxins from candles or cleaning materials, furniture chemicals or pet dander if there are animals living in the home. By cleaning the air with a filter, you can reduce the airborne triggers which enter the lungs, which makes it a healthier space for both those with asthma and those without. Air purifiers and filters with True HEPA filtration are the best choice for asthmatics as they can remove 99.99% of particles, down to 0.3 microns, so they are incredibly efficient at filtering and cleaning the air. HEPA-type filters are also high-performance filters and are great if you’re on a budget but want a comparable filter.

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Types of Air Filters

Mechanical air filters use fans to force air through the filter, so that particles can be trapped, such as smoke, dust or pollen. HEPA filters are the best-known type of filter and in order for a filter to qualify as a HEPA filter, it has to capture at least 90% of particles of 0.3 microns or larger. The downside of these types of filters is that they can be costly to run the system they’re in and the noise of the fan can be loud. When you’re looking at air filtration, it’s also important to note the MERV rating – this stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and denotes how efficient the filter is at trapping particles.

Fiberglass filters are throwaway filters and are incredibly common in air filtration devices. They’re usually reinforced with metal grating which supports the layers of fiberglass to prevent collapse. Polyester or pleated filters are similar to fiberglass in their construction, but they offer a higher resistance of airflow and a superior level of dust-trapping ability. Finally, washable air filters are not as common, but they are a possibility if you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative. These filters rely on the build-up of dust along the cloth to improve the efficiency of the filter. They are more common in industrial facilities where the particles of dust and debris are coarser.

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