How negatively ionised air helps with allergies and breathing problems.

Air is crucial to our survival. Without it we could hardly survive more than a few minutes. Most of the time our breathing is automatic - we just get on with our lives and forget about it - until something goes wrong.

Each day we take around 25,000 breaths of air and some 14,000 litres (3,000 gallons) of air passes in and out of our lungs.

But floating in that air are absolutely billions of microscopic particles - dust, soot, pollen, viruses and bacteria.  And that's outdoor "fresh air".  Inside the home it gets even worse!  Indoors there are also particles of fabric, paper, hair and skin from people and pets, not to mention the old favourite, dust mites and their droppings.

pollen being released from poplar tree

Every year, in August, this tree releases masses of pollen making it look like it's on fire. (watch video)

Naturally, we have evolved to cope with much of it - but even so, our immune system has an awfully big job to do. And sometimes it gets things wrong, provoking the body into a violent response that we call an allergy. Unfortunately, allergies to airborne pollution seem to be on the increase.

Luckily, using a good quality ioniser can help in several ways. First we'll look at the allergies and their symptoms, then see how the ioniser is able to help.

Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for symptoms which occur when the body's immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance. When an allergen is breathed in, the body releases histamine and other chemicals as part of its immune response. Usually in the face - eyes, nose, throat and sinuses. This causes itching and swelling, mucus production, and in serious cases, hives and rashes. Symptoms vary in severity from person to person.

Hay fever is a particular type of  allergic rhinitis caused by pollen or spores. It affects around 20% of people in the UK.  Trees, grass and plants release pollen in various seasons as part of their reproductive process. Similarly, moulds and fungi release tiny particles called spores. So people with hay fever can experience their symptoms at different times of the year, depending on which pollens or spores they are allergic to.

Common triggers of allergic rhinitis are often  found inside the home:

Mould -- Mould spores are carried in the air and may be present all year long. Mould is most common indoors in damp locations such as basements. Fabrics, rugs, books, or wallpaper can contain mould spores if stored in a damp place.

Animals -- People who are allergic to certain animals are rarely allergic to its fur or feathers. They are actually allergic to the small scales of skin (dander as they say in US) that the animal sheds.

Dust -- House dust contains tiny particles of pollen, mould, fibres from clothing and fabrics, detergents, and microscopic insects (mites). Dust mites, including small fragments of dead mites and their droppings, are the primary cause of dust allergy and are found in the highest numbers in bedding and mattresses.

Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways. This inflammation irritates the muscles around the airways, causing them to squeeze (constrict) and narrow. It is then more difficult for air to get in and out of the lungs leading to wheezing and breathlessness. The inflammation also causes the lining of the airways to make extra mucus which causes a cough and further obstruction to the airflow.

Emphysema is not actually an allergy itself. It is a lung condition, caused by long-term exposure to air pollution, that primarily causes shortness of breath. Continual inflammation over a period of time damages the delicate walls of the alveoli (or air sacs, where oxygen passes into the blood) and they lose their normal elasticity. The walls of the airways thicken, more mucus is produced and it becomes much harder to breathe, especially during physical activity. Less oxygen gets into the blood so there is a reduced supply to the vital organs. Emphysema is one of a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD

How the ioniser helps.

Very important - Use only a good quality ioniser that produces lots of negative ions but no ozone. The eyes, lungs and airways are already stressed or damaged and contact with ozone will irritate them even more.

Removes the cause of the allergy - Air ionisers are extremely efficient at removing those very fine particles of dust, pollen and spores the body is particularly sensitive to. (for these tiny particles, ionisers work much better than standard "fan and filter" air cleaners. more details.. ) They also remove and destroy airborne viruses and bacteria. ionisers-in-hospitals

Reduces the symptoms - Studies have shown negative ions can help to lower the body's histamine levels.

Helps clear the lungs - As a natural process, to prevent them clogging with debris, the lungs produce a sticky protective mucus which traps any breathed-in particles and irritants. Cilia, which are tiny hair-like structures on the lung's lining, propel mucus up and out of the lung using a synchronised back-and-forth, wave-like motion. Breathing negative ions invigorates these cilia and they speed up their activity.

On the other hand, Positive ions actually slow the cilia down, making them less effective. Most buildings and homes without an ionser installed tend to have higher levels of positive ions. A good quality ioniser will both neutralise the positive ions and enrich the air with negative ones.

Easier breathing - When air is negatively ionised, the oxygen it carries is much more readily absorbed by body - which helps breathing and relaxation.

Restful sleep - Many people find using an ioniser in the bedroom, as well as protecting them from the pollution, helps them sleep more comfortably. And it's during sleep that our bodies repair themselves.

No side-effects - Ionisers make no chemical or physical changes to the air, apart from altering its electrical balance. So you can use an ioniser along with any medication you are taking without fear of side effects or interactions.

Summary - Negative ions have a "normalising" effect on our bodies. Using an ioniser to bring the levels back to those we find in healthy outdoor places, provides the ideal conditions for the body to function better and heal itself.

We've carefully designed our Astrid Ionisers to generate the maximum amount of Negative Ions without any toxic ozone. See more or buy one here...