I have been managing my asthma my entire life. As a child, I spent many nights in the ER. Gasping for air in the middle of the night has become a consistent experience. The most alarming aspect of having an asthma attack is that it can be almost impossible to predict. I’ve learned to anticipate the awful dread that comes over me, while asleep, when I wake up in a panic as my body alerts me to the fact that I must do something because I am not able to inhale enough oxygen.
After many years of regular ER visits well into my adulthood, I’ve had to accept how serious my asthma is and the risk it poses to my life. The scariest asthma attack I’ve ever had was so intense that I thought I was not going to come back from it. My lungs were so inflamed that I was unable to inhale any oxygen at all, which basically left my rescue inhaler obsolete. Thankfully, my lungs eventually started to slowly open up before I blacked out.
I am now on a daily routine of medications to help me in managing my asthma. I have a morning and an evening routine. If I miss even one day of my regular medications, I will feel the impact almost immediately. It’s a constant battle of understanding that being anxious about my asthma can and has caused an asthma attack. On the other hand, I have to take my condition very seriously. I have to stay consistent. I have to make healthy decisions and ensure that my body is always fully supported in the event that an asthma attack hits.
When I was first introduced to Awair, I did not fully understand what the product was, or the mission of Awair. I actually thought Awair was another air purifying system, when in actuality Awair monitors the quality of indoor air quality. As I started to learn about Awair, I became more and more intrigued. Then I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, I was offered the role of Head of People Operations at Awair to help build and scale the business. This was a company whose mission I could truly get behind, and a product that had the potential to change my struggle with asthma.
Part of the new hire onboarding process at Awair includes giving an Awair Element to every employee for their own home. I can tell you that I now have three units in my 600 square feet apartment in San Francisco. I have become obsessed with monitoring my air quality and it’s completely changed my life. The amount of data that I have been able to gain access to, with regard to my indoor air quality, has been a complete game changer.
I live in an apartment building that was constructed in 1901. There is no HVAC system. We have radiators as our main source of heat. I purchased a high-quality air purifier a few years ago due to the increase in air quality issues from the many California wildfires. In order to keep myself safe, I had to invest in products that would provide me with some level of protection in my own home despite the limitations of being a renter in an older building. Having the air purifier gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel that I was taking care of my health and my indoor air quality. Then I installed three Elements in my apartment and realized that I had been misled into believing that just having a high-quality air purifier would make my indoor air quality healthier.
When you install an Awair Element in your home, you gain access to our Awair Home App. The app provides you with a number of data points with regard to your indoor air quality. In addition to letting you know the quality of your air, there are a ton of tips on how to improve your air quality with the data you now have. Based on the data provided to me by Awair about my indoor air quality, one of the changes I’ve made is I now leave a few of my windows cracked open at all times, especially in my bedroom. I don’t think that I ever realized how important air circulation was for air quality, until I started digging into the data and information that Awair provided to me.
It’s been about 10 weeks since I first installed an Awair Element in my apartment. I have gone from 2-4 asthma attacks a week (mostly in the middle of the night) to almost none. My use of my rescue inhaler has gone down dramatically. I also have become obsessed with monitoring my indoor air quality. It’s interesting to see how quickly my air quality changes when I’m cooking, using hairspray or when I need to use the radiator (hint: my indoor air quality goes down). To say that Awair has changed my life, is an understatement.
Having a very serious condition, like asthma, can be daunting and anxiety inducing. The worst feeling is waking up at 3:00 am, unable to breathe, in your apartment hoping that you don’t have to make a 911 call. The fact that these middle of the night asthma attacks have almost completely stopped since installing my Awair Element has given me so much peace of mind. I know that there are small actions I can take, in my everyday life, that will keep me healthy and give my body a fighting chance.
Are you one of those people that can’t stand being in cold weather? Or maybe you find it difficult to focus and be productive if your home or office is too hot. Whatever your preferences may be, your response to certain temperatures actually goes beyond wanting to be comfortable.
If there’s one lesson that employees and employers have learned over the last year, it’s to never take health for granted. One factor that continuously contributes to individuals' daily health and wellness is indoor air quality (IAQ). Whether at work or at home, IAQ can impact sleep patterns, productivity levels, and overall comfort.