As a practicing cardiologist of more than 25 years, I have seen my share of patients with declining respiratory function. The heart, circulatory system, and pulmonary function are completely intertwined in achieving the goal of breathing well. My role has typically been to optimize cardiac function in such cases, but long ago I realized that this was a problem that could not be compartmentalized so easily. The heart and lungs work in unison, and the best outcome is to optimize both.
Focusing on the lungs in this process has often meant counseling the patient on smoking cessation and reducing exposure to environmental pollution. Practicing in a high allergy state [Michigan] further suggests the need to eliminate exposure to airborne allergens and pollutants and even second-hand smoke. Many people are confronted by life circumstances that put them in harm’s way by secondhand smoke, pet dander, and environmental pollutants in the air. Limiting exposure to these is especially necessary in those with cardiac issues as these factors can lead in destabilizing a tenuous cardiac patient.
One of the best advances for a home or office in such situations has been the use of a HEPA filtering process air purifier which can reduce exposure to more than 99% of airborne allergens and pollutant particular matter that can both aggravate the lung function and potentially destabilize a cardiac problem, such as congestive heart failure. A medical grade HEPA H13 filter can even improve this filtering process tenfold by trapping even the smallest pollutant’s particles.
This can be quite advantageous to a long suffering patient exposed to allergen/pollutant filled air that can result in asthma exacerbation or trigger oxygen desaturations in our body that can aggravate or destabilize a cardiac condition. Elimination of exposure to things like mold and animal dander/droppings might further reduce the development of many chronic lung infections.