Have you been waking up with a stuffy nose lately? Poor indoor air quality might be the cause. It is a key contributing factor to something called sick building syndrome, in which occupants of a building are made sick by the building itself. Specifically, it describes a situation where occupants experience symptoms while spending time in a building, and directly after leaving it, but those symptoms vanish after they spend some time away from the building in question.
A stuffy nose that is worse in the morning and gets better after you leave home for work may be a sign that something is wrong in your house. Your symptoms are worse in the morning because you just spent all night breathing in the house’s air. Other symptoms of sick building syndrome include cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and even miscarriages and cancer, depending on what is polluting your house’s air. Low air quality may also trigger allergies on those who have them, and long-time exposure can make people with allergies develop asthma.
If you’d like to ensure that the air inside your house is nice and clean, here’s what you should do.
1 – Keep your windows open
Proper ventilation is the single, most effective way to keep the air inside your house safe to breathe. Most of the severe cases of sick building syndrome happened in buildings that were built before the modern standards of ventilation were put in place. You should make sure the rooms in your house are ventilated, especially at night.
It might be tempting to close everything up as you go to sleep, but that could mean you’ll spend eight hours breathing in pollution. Sure, the worst symptom will be a stuffy nose at first, but the symptoms might get more severe over the years.
2 – Protect yourself from outside pollution
Depending on where you live, keeping your windows open might just be inviting pollution into your home. Windows that open towards a lot of car or foot traffic should be kept closed, lest they let dust and toxic fumes into your home. If you live somewhere where dust is a constant challenge, consider installing filters on your windows, so you can keep the air flowing without making your home dirty in the process.
3 – Have your home inspected
Many air pollutants are in the checklist of house inspectors, who know how to identify their presence. A complete inspection is the best way to make sure your house is free from lead, asbestos, and radon, among other dangers.
4 – Avoid VOCs
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in everything from cleaning supplies to carpet glue. They are a dangerous source of air pollution and should be avoided. If you’re using cleaning products, make sure to do it in well-ventilated areas and wear a mask if needed. If your carpet has been recently installed, keep the children away for it and keep the room ventilated. It might be weeks before it’s done releasing toxic fumes. If you can’t escape the air pollution in your house, you should use natural remedies to treat the symptoms. CBD, for example, might help with headaches. But before you buy it, you should read this Cibdol guide on how to store it.