Controlling your environment

Things around you every day can affect your symptoms if you are living with a long-term chest condition. Environmental factors such as dust, smoke or humidity can cause irritation to your lungs and increase the chance of your condition worsening. Controlling your environment can help decrease the number of exacerbations you experience and help prevent the worsening of chronic conditions.

The weather

Picture of different seasons

You may find the adverse weather conditions or poor air quality affect your breathing so it can be helpful to keep an eye on the weather forecast so you know what to expect. If you have a mobile phone you can sign up to our free Air Quality and Weather Text Alert Service. This will alert you to cold weather and a significant temperature drop, high pollen count, poor air quality or high winds.

To find out more about the free Air Quality and Weather Text Alert Service call the Advice Line Nurses on 0808 801 0899.

Your house

Try to keep your house a smoke-free zone in order to protect your lungs as much as possible and avoid irritants that can affect your chest such as:

  • Animal hair
  • House dust
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Strong odours or perfumes
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Paints and solvents

The temperature of your house is also important as being cold can make your symptoms worse so it can help to try to keep the rooms of your house a constant, similar temperature. Dry air and central heating can make the air very day so you may find using a humidifier might help you. If you are affected by damp air then good ventilation and using a dehumidifier might help.

Your job

If you think your job is affecting your symptoms you should ask your doctor or nurse for advice. If your work has an occupational health department they may be able to offer additional advice and support.