For people trying to manage the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), spring and summer sun can trigger painful flare-ups and skin reactions. For a lot of sufferers, that means spending more time indoors than out—so it becomes incredibly important to make your home as lupus-friendly and comfortable as possible. Here are some adaptive measures you can take.

Install air conditioning with a dehumidifier.

Shortness of breath and wheezing are common problems for SLE sufferers. Excessive summer heat and humidity can be oppressive and make it difficult to function. If you don't have whole-house air conditioning, investing in the installation of a unit with a central dehumidifier could go a long way toward easing some of the breathing difficulties associated with the disease. 

A dehumidifier is particularly useful at times when the air is more moist than hot. For southern states and along the coasts, those periods can last from the time that leaves start falling in October to the early buds of spring in April. For the northern and central states, that time starts in late spring, around May, and lasts until around October. Contact an air conditioning installation service for more information about an AC with a dehumidifier.

Invest in adaptive equipment.

Since stiff, swollen joints are another common symptom of SLE, take a look at the some of the small issues in your home that can cause you difficulty and make some changes:

  • Replace round doorknobs, which can be difficult to grasp, with lever-style handles instead.
  • Do the same for cabinet doors in both kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Install slide-style switches on lights, instead of toggle switches, which are small and hard to grip.
  • Replace double-knob faucets with single lever faucets instead that can be manipulated with a nudge.
  • Add drapery pulls or window-blind batons to windows and blinds so that it is easier to close curtains and blinds.
  • If you have a bathtub, consider adding grab bars to make it easier (and safer) to get in and out.

Change your lighting.

Finally, many people with SLE find that their troubles with light aren't confined entirely to sunlight. Full spectrum and fluorescent lights emit UV light the same way that sunlight does, so some people with the disease try to limit their indoor exposure to that kind of lighting. Consider updating the lights in your home to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), halogen, or light-emitting diodes (LED) with less UV radiation.

Another smart idea is to use shaded lamps or lamps with filtered glass and make sure that you avoid sitting directly in the light.