Do you suffer from allergies and have done all you can to reduce allergens in your home? An air filter might be the answer. Dr. Stacy Sampson, a board certified family medicine physician, explains that an air purifier can help reduce symptoms, but it is not a solution on its own. Ozone generators should be avoided as they can worsen allergy or asthma symptoms.
When looking for the right air filter to install, a knowledgeable associate at a home improvement store or HVAC company can provide helpful assistance. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters are designed to capture 99.7 percent of all particles 0.3 microns or smaller, which are too small to see but can penetrate the lungs. Studies have shown that multiple interventions, including air filtration, can improve outcomes in the treatment of allergic respiratory diseases. Air purifiers that use a filter to remove particles can have a significant impact on the number of pet allergens in the home.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association recommend air filtration for people with allergies and asthma, but it is important to note that the largest allergen particles are deposited on carpets, surfaces and bedding instead of circulating in the air. When an air purifier is used, it draws in air and releases it into the room with negatively charged particles that are attracted and adhere to positively charged air particles in the room. Smaller molecules are more likely to pass through a HEPA filter and return to the air. Reviewers have recommended that more rigorous study methods be applied to future research on air filtration and that studies be long enough to demonstrate their effectiveness.
The authors found a small statistically significant improvement in overall symptoms and sleep disturbances associated with the use of air purifiers, but there was no improvement in nasal symptoms, medication use, or peak expiratory flow (PEF) values.