Cold dry air can lead to a host of respiratory problems. This is further worsened by forced air heating systems that further remove moisture from the air. The winter season is often a problematic period for individuals that suffer from allergies. This is because dry air tends to irritate the sinuses and air passage wage and can leave you prone to a broad range of infections. In a bid to find a solution to issues caused by dry air, it is common to wonder if adding moisture to the air by using a humidifier help to prevent allergies. In this article, you will find the answer to this question and others like “Does a humidifier help allergies” and how best to use a humidifier to prevent and relieve your air humidity issues.
Dry air can lead to respiratory issues like nasal irritation and sinus infections. It also increases the production of mucus in the nasal cavity all of which can increase the risk of allergies or an asthma attack in asthmatic individuals. In addition to these, individuals with sensitive skin are also prone to allergic reactions and discomfort due to exposure to air with low moisture content. Keeping your interior space at the proper humidity level is one of the ways to alleviate these issues and using a humidifier is one of the recommended ways for managing allergies.
Humidifiers Reduce The Risk Of Respiratory Allergies
One of the most prominent reasons to use a humidifier is to prevent the effects of dry air on the nasal passageway. This includes keeping your nasal passage free of mucus. All around us (even in the cleanest rooms), microscopic allergens are floating in the air. Having excessive mucus in the nose (triggered by dry air) can increase the risk of these allergens getting trapped in your nostrils as it makes it harder for your body to purge itself of allergens.
This is why it’s always recommended to have a humidifier in your home especially during cold and flu season. This is particularly important when you have kids in your home. Using a humidifier may potentially reduce the need to use over-the-counter medication for cold and cough during flu season as keeping the humidifier running helps to relieve runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and other respiratory issue caused by dry air.
The following are some of the respiratory issues that you can avoid by simply humidifying the air in your home:
- Sinusitis: Maintaining a balanced humidity level (between 30 -50% humidity) is also an excellent way to reduce the risk of both chronic and mild respiratory problems and prevent them from occurring in the first place. One of such respiratory issues is sinusitis (sinus inflammation). Humidifying the air reduces the risk of sinus flare-ups and you will find humidifiers quite helpful for this.
- Asthma: Using a humidifier helps to moisten the air and makes it a lot easier to breathe. This reduces the risk of infection. Humidifiers also make the air safer for asthmatic individuals to breathe in by reducing the number of airborne pollutants suspended in the air.
- Allergies: by adding moisture to dry air, you reduce allergens and make the air easier to breathe. It also reduces the risks of sinus inflammation and allergic reaction. Using a humidifier will also help relieve the existing symptoms of allergies and colds such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
Humidifiers Reduce the Risk of Skin Allergies
Most of the time when the benefits of using a humidifier are being discussed, it is usually in connection with how it helps with respiratory issues. However, there are other types of allergic reactions that are caused by dry air that using a humidifier can help with. Some of these skin allergies include:
- Eczema: this is a type of inflammation that is often characterized by redness, itching, and swelling of the skin
- Dermatitis: this is a type of allergic reaction characterized by flare-ups on the skin due to overreactions to allergies. They are of two types i.e. Atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis relates to allergic reactions that occur when the skin comes in direct contact with allergens like latex or nickel
So how does using a humidifier help with these conditions? Dry air irritates sensitive skin and can make you prone to allergies and irritations. Humidifying the air reduces the allergen load in the air thus eliminating one of the factors that may contribute to skin allergies.
Humidifiers Help To Relieve Symptoms Of Colds, Flu, And Other Allergic Reactions
Asides from preventing allergic reactions, humidifying the air also reduce the symptoms of such reactions if they do occur. For most families, it is almost impossible to entirely avoid an incidence of flu or cold during flu season. However, when the symptoms do appear, using a humidifier is a simple but effective way to naturally ease the symptoms. It can ease nasal congestion and reduce the symptoms of cold and cough. Humidifying the air can also help to soothe sore throats and ease irritated nasal passages.
Everyone breathes a little easier when the humidity level is under control and using humidification is an essential way to ensure this. If the air in your home is too dry (less than 30% relative humidity) you should consider buying a good quality humidifier that is properly sized for your space. This can potentially help reduce the risk of allergic reactions and relieve symptoms of ongoing respiratory problems. Humidifying your home also makes space a lot more comfortable for everyone.