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  • Rural vs. City Living with PF

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on February 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I had a brief conversation with another member of the forums regarding rural vs. city living for people with pulmonary fibrosis. By desire, I would love to live by the ocean and away from the smog, congestion and pollution of the city as a preference. However, I have always wondered if this might be beneficial for my lungs as well. In theory, I think it makes sense that the fresh / salt air near the ocean would be better for my lungs, but I don’t know of any physicians or literature that supports this.

    Has anyone ever come across this same pondering? Or better yet, have you ever had a conversation with your Doctor(s) about this and whether they believe one geographical area might be better for our lungs than another (ie. rural vs. city living)? If so, I’d be really curious to hear from you.

    Thank you in advance for sharing.

    Charlene Marshall replied 5 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • gil

    March 8, 2018 at 5:22 am


    I live in an agricultural valley and there are many things that trigger allergies and aggravate my IPF.  I discussed with my doctor ideal places to live given one has IPF.   He suggested the desert during winter and coast during summer. Doc said weather that is too hot or too cold aggravates pulmonary issues.  Of the two, he did recommend the coast, especially towns like Ventura and Oaknard which have nice weather year round.  If I do move that way, it will probably be 15 minutes or more inland, weather is sunnier, no fog, and the coast is still close by.

    • Charlene Marshall

      March 11, 2018 at 1:21 am

      Hi Gil,

      Thanks so much for sharing, and for letting me know what your Doctor said about ideal locations to live for people who have pulmonary issues. I wish it was “easy” enough for me to live in one place during the winter months, then another during the summer months. I would do nearly anything to live by the coast where the weather is warm / sunny all year-round. It made sense to me that the coast was one of the most ideal places to live when you have a lung disease, so I’m glad to hear someone has discussed this with their Doctor, thanks again! The cold definitely aggravates my lungs, and the heat seems to as well but we get heat with very high humidity in the summer so that makes it difficult to breathe. Any more discussion or thoughts on moving for you Gil? I know you mentioned this, but didn’t know how pertinent this was for you or if it is was plans a little further into the future, and less immediate.

      Hope you’re doing well!

  • peppermom

    March 14, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Hello Charlene. I grew up on a farm in the 40 and 50’s. Then I moved to the city to work and have lived in that environment for several years, returning to the farm again in the mid 70’s. We lived on the farm for 35 years finally retiring into the city in 2001. I didn’t notice any environmental problems or have any breathing difficulties until about mid 2000s. Since 2001 we have lived in a city, on the Canadian prairies and there is very little air pollution in our area. Farmers surround the city, of course, and almost all of them use chemical sprays for their crops which no doubt pollutes the air, but it is not really noticeable to us unless we have allergies (which I don’t have). There is so little known about some of the causes of IPF that it is always good to think of all possibilities. I have no idea of my cause. Yes, I smoked for 20+ years but have been a non-smoker for 31 yrs so the Dr. feels my lungs would have recovered. Also just read this morning that dental workers/dentists have an above average for contracting the disease. That is scary. I have never seen one without a mask, so was surprised. Love the information that I find and thanks for all you do. Joyce D.

    • Charlene Marshall

      March 16, 2018 at 12:37 am

      Hi Joyce,

      It is wonderful to hear from you, and I am so glad you’re part of the forums. I am also so appreciative of your kind words, thank you 🙂

      Thank you for also sharing your story regarding the farm vs. city living. I always find people’s stories of their lives prior to their diagnosis, and even since then, so interesting because our lives were all so different and yet now, are intricately somewhat connected through our illness. Do you mind sharing when you were diagnosed Joyce? I’m glad you didn’t find any environmental or breathing issues when you retired in the city in 2001. I suspect maybe folks with PF might find it more difficult to breathe in city air during the humid months, when maybe pollution and smog are ever-more present? I’m not sure, but I suspect due to the decline in my lungs that I will find out this summer when I am in and out of Toronto. Although, Toronto is a big city with lots of congestion and traffic, it is also by the lake so maybe it won’t have such an effect on me, I’m not sure. Truth be told, I’m not sure what to expect of this upcoming summer…. hopefully it is okay for me – well, for all of us!

      Yes, I read the article about the dentists and find that very scary, I agree! I hope really all employers take the proper precautions that their health and safety rep associated with their workplace requires. Sometimes I see construction workers without masks and I just shake my head, wishing they knew the damage they are potentially doing to their lungs. I wonder what other professions could cause hazards to employee’s lungs? I think about this a lot, especially the careers/professions that the people I love work in.

      Thank you again for being part of the forums, and I am so glad you find the information within them helpful. We’re all in this together!

      Take care,

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