Humidity: Your Natural Respiratory Relief
With temperatures dropping, the presence of dry air is at an all-time high. While your heating system is a welcoming and necessary part of battling this frigid season, it comes at a cost – it removes moisture from the air. The lack of humidity in your home can result in many unpleasant side effects. It can leave you with feelings of physical discomfort, can cause numerous health issues, and can be life altering for those with chronic respiratory issues or allergies.
If you’re one of the 50 million Americans that are affected by allergies, you’ll be relieved to know that humidifiers have been proven to calm them. The soothing mist released by a humidifier works to hydrate not only the air around you, but also your nose and throat. The moisture in the air acts as a lubricant and results in the thinning of mucus, which prevents inflammation of the nasal passageways and greatly reduces the risk of an allergy flare up.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 25 million people suffer from asthma in the United States. While asthma is treated medically, monitoring your indoor humidity plays a significant role in controlling it. Mayo Clinic explains that “Increased humidity may ease breathing in children and adults who have asthma or allergies, especially during a respiratory infection such as a cold.” Humidity can aide in easing asthmatic discomfort and can also offset triggers of asthma.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is another leading respiratory disease in the United States. According to the COPD Foundation, an estimated 30 million Americans are victim to this serious respiratory ailment. Like Asthma, humidity levels contribute to aggravating the breathing of COPD patients. COPD News Today states that “Humidifiers can be extremely helpful in eliminating the dryness in the air which can dry out the tissues in the bronchial. Moist air will help to loosen mucus making it easier to cough up.” The presence of moist air further benefits those with COPD by fostering eased breathing and reduced irritation of the nasal passage.
According to the CDC, 2021 brought a surge of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity. RSV is a ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus that causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the United States. In relieving symptoms of RSV, Mayo Clinic recommends creating moist air to breathe. They state a cool-mist humidifier can moisten the air and help ease congestion and coughing.
Proper humidity is an essential aspect of our health and wellbeing. Humidifiers, when used correctly, can reduce the symptoms of these health ailments and help maintain a healthier breathing environment for all.
*A humidifier is not a cure for allergies or chronic respiratory issues. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice.