Locations:
Search IconSearch
October 28, 2020/Health Conditions/Lung

Can Air Purifiers Improve Your Lung and Heart Health?

Benefits may go beyond breathing

Air purifier in cozy white bedroom

There’s nothing like the feeling of being able to breathe easily, especially if you suffer from lung or heart problems. That’s where air purifiers come in. Installing an air purifier in your home or office might help you breathe better, but can it also improve your heart health?

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

It’s possible, says pulmonologist Rachel Taliercio, DO. Air pollution can either cause or worsen respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing, cough and upper airway congestion, but it has also been implicated in heart disease.

“Airborne toxins are irritants,” says Dr. Taliercio. “They have chemical compositions that lead to changes in your blood chemistry, which in turn causes adverse health effects.

For instance, one study found an association between air particulate pollution and carotid artery disease, a condition that can lead to stroke. Another study named pollution as one of the most important risk factors for chronic disease.

“To the extent that you could eliminate some of those particles in the air and reduce the exposure, you’re going to reduce effects on health,” she says.

How air purifiers can boost your health

Many of the potential benefits of using an air purifier are related to your lungs, particularly for conditions such as asthma.

“By filtering out fine particles, purifiers help clean the air you breathe and lessen the potential negative effects of pollution,” says Dr. Taliercio. “Purifiers have been shown to alter the blood chemistry in a way that may benefit heart health, too.”

Several studies have shown improvements in blood pressure and heart rate after the installation of air purifiers. For example, one small-scale study of 35 Chinese college students found that the devices improved air quality, reducing levels of fine particulate matter by 57%. Improvements were reported in both blood pressure levels and lung functions among the students. Another study found that indoor HEPA air filters improved respiratory health in those with asthma.

However, doctors don’t have any long-term data that points to air purifiers reducing strokes, heart attacks or death rates.

“These are all endpoints that look at changes in the blood chemistry that can be monitored, and presumably will have benefits for the heart,” she says. “But such studies have yet to be conducted.”

Who benefits from air purifiers?

Since air purifiers can be costly, it’s important to team up with your doctor to weigh in on who is most likely to benefit from them. Air purifier users are most likely to reap health benefits in areas with the greatest air pollution, and that could mean living in a city with poor air quality or near a major source of pollution.

“Benefits may also be higher in young children, elderly and people with heart and/or lung disease,” says Dr. Taliercio.

In particular, these devices may help people who already have diseases that affect the lungs like asthma, cystic fibrosis and conditions of the immune system. If you have difficulty fighting infections, getting an air purifier might be beneficial.

Advertisement

Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Smiling pregnant person speaking with healthcare provider in medical office
June 14, 2024/Heart Health
Why Your Heart Needs Special Attention When You’re Pregnant

Obesity, age and preexisting heart conditions can all raise your risk of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy

Hand holding cellphone with walking app, with feet walking and footprints
May 17, 2024/Exercise & Fitness
Should You Aim To Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

Walking is a great goal, but how many steps are best for you depends on factors like your fitness level and age

Heart-healthy foods in a heart-shaped dish on wooden table with other heart-shaped filled bowls
April 26, 2024/Nutrition
Heart-Healthy Foods To Add to Your Grocery List

Eating more natural, whole foods can lower your risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases

Person touching aching ear, with home remedies floating around
March 28, 2024/Ear, Nose & Throat
Home Remedies for an Ear Infection: What To Try and What To Avoid

Not all ear infections need antibiotics — cold and warm compresses and changing up your sleep position can help

Ingrown toenail on big toe
March 27, 2024/Orthopaedics
Ingrown Toenail? Try These Home Remedies

Pain meds, toenail protectors and petrolatum jelly may spare you a trip to a podiatrist

Jar of honey and fresh garlic on cutting board
Is Fermented Garlic Honey Good for Colds?

On their own, honey can help soothe a sore throat and garlic has immunity-boosting properties, but you don’t need to go the fermented route

people vaping and holding vap devices
Does Vaping Cause Lung Cancer?

Vaping exposes you to thousands of chemicals, including many that cause cancer and lung disease

Person with pink eye
March 22, 2024/Eye Care
Here’s How To Get Rid of Pink Eye Fast

Eye drops and cold water rinses can help speed up healing for viral and allergen-related conjunctivitis, but a bacterial infection will need antibiotics

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims

Ad