As our bodies age, we become more susceptible to the effects of environmental exposures that can aid in creating or worsening chronic health conditions. It is important to be aware of and minimize or eliminate these exposures.
Please note the following:
1. Extreme temperatures in the home can lead to dehydration. Warm humid air can also be a breeding ground for germs. Try to dress in lighter clothing that’s breathable. Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to stay hydrated. See Try to open a window for a little bit to bring in fresh air periodically or keep the air moving with a fan.
2. Cleaning agents can cause skin irritation, headaches, trouble breathing, or red itchy eyes. Ventilate when possible, wear a mask and gloves when cleaning. Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar are great alternative options.
3. Smoking can be dangerous to your health as well as a fire hazard. It can aggravate asthma or cause coughing and can increase one’s risk of cancer, heart disease, or stroke. If you smoke, make sure the area is well ventilated and put the cigarette out in the proper place. Also, be sure to have working smoke alarms on every floor.
4. Mold and mildew can be hard on the respiratory system. Look for signs of mold and mildew and pay attention to damp areas where mold and mildew can grow. Allergic reactions, ear, nose and throat irritation, and asthma may be the result of such exposures.
Information obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.