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Asthma/Asthma-air purifier


Mr. Rubin,

I will be brief, I am certain you are busy.  My question is about equipment however, I will add some m.d information that might clear up things a bit more for you.  
My mom lives in the Co. Springs area with is terrible for breathing.  She has never ever had any breathing issues until she got here.  I will bullet point somethings to make things a bit for fluid for you

--70 urs old
--non smoker
-- was of good health until two significant health events that set her back physically.  By that I mean day to day endurance that one does.  Errands, house cleaning etc.
--Tried to get her back into the pool,but the chlorine is to much.
-- Her dr. Has her on the circle purple inhaler and the machine that plugs into an outlet amd little clear plastic tubes are poured in to an inhaler that she breathes through until the liquid is gone.

I hope that pints a fairly good picture of the situation.  I would add that in the next 4 months she is moving to OK where the alt. is much more conducive to her situation.

My question.  I am considering an air purifier that is large/strong enough to keep her bedroom clear.

There in lies my question. Can you recommend an air purifier that will do what I am hoping for.

I hope I was clear enough and concisely explained my situation.

In today litigious society I would stay one more time I am not looking for medical advice rather information and your thoughts on a potential air purifier.

Thank you very much,
Christopher A Smith

Hi Chris,
  This is an easy one! You want to get a HEPA room air filter. Home Depot and others carry these. I'd check Consumer Reports on the latest testing reviews.
   What you do NOT want is an ionic air purifier. These emit ozone, a known lung irritant. While the air smells fresh from what is being emitted, its the same smell you sense when a line of thunderstorms is approaching...that too is the smell of ozone, and the trigger point of getting sports team off the field, both for the players that may have asthma, but also for the safety of leaving before lightning starts to hit (approximately 10 miles out).
    Also, if her heating/air conditioning system is forced air, she should be replacing her furnace filters monthly. Many brands have different levels of filtration. I find the ones with maximum filtration also cut air flow, so I use the medium efficacy one. And, if you do get the HEPA unit, that will keep things very clean.
    Final location is generally in the bedroom, since lung function goes down at night, and you want to keep the dust and pollen to an absolute minimum. If she spends a lot of time in one room during the day, and she is capable of moving the unit, I'd have it in that room during the day, but shift it to the bedroom after dinner to insure maximum benefit.

   Hope this helps!

Best wishes,



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Marc Rubin, RPh Asthma Educator


I have worked directly with patients as well as caregivers for over 30 years. Have made presentations throughout Illinois educating school nurses as well as the teaching and coaching staff of public schools about asthma, and how they should respond to these students needs. Presented a public education program on asthma through the US Department of Public Health. Specialize in helping guide asthmatic patients to take control of their disease in order to live a near-normal, fully active life.


Practicing pharmacist for 40 years, specializing in asthma and COPD for 12 years. Developed nationwide education to nurses, teachers and athletic coaches regarding asthma and exercise induced bronchospasm. In addition, and closer to home. my daughter has asthma, and my son has exercise induced bronchospasm. In addition, I serve on the boards and committees of a number of asthma organizations: Sports, Exercise and Fitness Committee of AAAAI, Population Health Committee and Sports Medicine Committee of ACAAI, Sports Medicine Committee of the World Allergy Association. Board of Directors of the Chicago Asthma Consortium, Board of Directors of the Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation, as well as the advisory board of a medical education company, Emmi Solutions. Directly involved in the creation of public education programs for asthma, COPD and diabetes.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology / Sports Medicine Committee, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology / Population Health Committee and Sports Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society. World Allergy Association, Chicago Asthma Consortium / Professional Development Committee, Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation, and Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago: Development Committee for AE-C prep class, and presenter.

AAAAI PowerPoint on the new guidelines for EIB (Exercise Induced Bronchospasm), AAAAI Powerpoint on Asthma in School Setting for Teachers and Coaches, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Transition guide for teens with food allergies or asthma going out of the home to live independantly.

BScPharm, RPh, (NAECB Certified asthma educator in 2002), NIPCO Certified Respiratory Care Pharmacist

Past/Present Clients
Emmi Solutions, Chicago Next Level Health, Chicago

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