Can a Humidifier Help with Asthma?
Asthma and allergy is a pretty common illness affecting millions of Americans and the world at large. According to records, about 30,000 people experience an asthma attack daily. Among this, about 5000 people do require emergency care.
Asthma is a deadly illness that affects the path of air to the lungs. Asthma causes inflammation in the airways. It makes it sore and swollen. As a result, the airways become sensitive to irritations. The reaction of the airways causes them to shrink.
This makes the air passage becomes narrow, making them unable to suck in enough air to the lungs. This makes the victim cough, wheeze, and experience difficulty breathing in addition to the tightness of the chest. These symptoms are common in the morning and night.
Some circumstances trigger an asthma attack in people. Usually, the victim interprets the triggers as a real attack. The body, in reaction, triggers an asthma attack. At times when the attack is huge, the airway can close so much that essential body organs like the heart will not get enough oxygen. An asthma attack is so severe that about 4000 people die yearly.
Interestingly, a humidifier can help with relieving the symptoms of an attack. This is because controlling the level of humidity indoors can help manage asthma. When you breathe in cool and dry air, it can trigger an adverse reaction in the lung nerves, causing inflammation.
This leads to the shrinking and constriction of the airways, as explained above. Breathing in warm air that has been humidified, on the other hand, can help relax the lungs. This way, air flow freely and easier to the lungs. Besides, a humidifier introduces moisture into the air. This relaxes the airways and helps breathe easily.
How Can a Humidifier Help with Asthma attack?
The humidity level in a house is pretty significant. You need to monitor it, as it can determine whether investing in a humidifier is a good decision. Another factor that determines this is the weather and your location.
For people staying in a place where the humidity level does get below 30% in the winter, they need a humidifier.
In addition to investing in a humidifier, keeping tabs on the humidity level is a good idea. For instance, when the relative humidity rises above 50%, you need to keep your humidifier off. A humidity level above 50% could provide the perfect environment for mites, mold, and other microorganisms to thrive. This makes it necessary always to monitor your humidity levels.
Many health hazards arise due to low humidity levels. It causes itchy eyes, dry throat, and also affects the nasal passage. A high humidity level, on the other hand, comes with its health hazards as well. In addition to making the house stuffy, it triggers condensation on the walls and various surfaces in the house.
This provides the perfect ground for bacteria to thrive. These bacteria are pretty dangerous to asthmatic patients. This calls for maintaining an optimum humidity level, like 30 to 50%.
This is where a humidifier comes to play. The aim is to provide an optimum humidity level that will neither be too high or too low. In addition to helping with issues like dry lips, dry nose, and dry skin, the right humidifier can help you breathe comfortably. This provides optimum comfort for people with asthma.
One of the advantages of using a humidifier is that it helps lose the mucus in the throat and the chest. This is expected when you consider the working principle of a humidifier. It releases moist air into the atmosphere. This soothes the airway and keeps it free naturally, making breathing easy.
Even though many people resort to nasal sprays and over-the-counter medications as a treatment for asthma, it comes with a couple of side effects. At the same time, a humidifier provides purely natural relief.
Relieving Asthma Symptoms with a Humidifier
As established above, asthma is a breathing disorder that affects various channels that makes breathing possible. A sudden asthma attack can be pretty deadly. All the mechanism that makes breathing possible will suddenly go on a break. The breathing muscles that are to be open will close up, and phlegm will thicken up. This makes the victim feel like they cannot breathe, which does happen at times.
Thankfully, a humidifier can help alleviate these symptoms. You can also considerably reduce the number of asthma attacks when you invest in a humidifier. This puts the mind of the sufferer at ease since breathing is now possible, and there is free passage of moist air through the air canal. Even people with chronic breathing problems can find relief using a humidifier.
One of the ways to keep the airways free like a highway is via the introduction of moist air. As a result, before resorting to medications and other devices, investing in a humidifier can be a lifesaver.
The Right Humidifier for people with Asthma
Thanks to improvement in science and technology, there are various models of humidifiers available today for consumers to buy. If your aim for buying a humidifier is to relieve asthma symptoms, you have to know the exact type that takes care of this.
In addition, knowledge of their benefits, vapor delivery mechanism, and other issues will guide you towards the best humidifier that takes care of asthma.
If you are wondering: Can a humidifier help with asthma? The answer is yes, and we will consider the various kinds of humidifier that are suitable for people with asthma below
This is one of the most common types of humidifiers available. The unit works by heating water to boiling point. This produces steam, which is distributed to various parts of the room. For asthmatic patients that prefer a warm environment, these can be an effective choice.
You, however, need to be careful when cleaning due to the model of operation.
Warm Mist vaporizer
Like the steam vaporizer type discussed above, a warm mist humidifier brings out steam and reduces the temperature to a point where the water vapor is a little heavy. This creates a warm mist, which makes them useful for relieving asthmatic patients.
This is helpful for asthmatic patients that need precise humidity when combined with the central heating system.
Cool Mist Humidifier
This humidifier works uniquely, distinct from the two discussed above. Some types come with a rotating disk or a fan with a wick system that distributes mist into your house. Other models use ultrasonic frequencies to turn water into little molecules by vibrating.
Irrespective of the method of operation, you will get a cool mist from cool mist humidifiers. The absence of heating makes them use less energy to produce cooler air.
How effective a humidifier will be is not a factor of the final temperature or the relative humidity. Before selecting a humidifier, take into account the size of the room where you want to use it. If your sole aim of buying a humidifier is to ease asthma, be sure to read the manual well.
For economic purposes, we recommend installing your humidifier with your central furnace. When you use one humidifier to introduce moisture to the air exiting the furnace, it will save you the stress of maintaining multiple units of humidifiers.
Another consideration to bear in mind is that the position of your humidifier maters if you are using it majorly for asthma relief. As a result, we recommend placing it away from furniture and draperies. Besides, there should be no water (which might have settled on the carpet and floor) near the humidifier. If the humidity is too high, it could result in the growth of mold and bacteria, which will make asthma worse. This is, in addition to triggering other health issues in the house.
How to use Humidifier for Asthma
The primary purpose of this article is to answer the question: Can a humidifier help with asthma? And as evident from the preceding sections, we have established without a doubt that the answer is yes. The yes, however, is conditional. It is conditional in that you need a properly maintained humidifier before you can get relief from asthma.
Even though we establish that a humidifier will give relief for people with asthma, a humidifier that is not cared for will do more harm than good. It will expose you to breathing problems because of the introduction of mold, viruses, and other microorganisms into your space.
As a result, you need to care for your humidifier so that it will take care of you. Here are some maintenance precautions:
Use distilled Water
The main thing that compromises the integrity of the water in your humidifier is the kind of water you have inside. Some type of water provides a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which make asthma condition worsen. As a result, use only distilled water, water without minerals that have been purified.
Keep your unit Clean
If your humidifier is to help relieve asthma symptoms, there should not be stagnant water. As a result, make sure you empty the unit daily and rinse thoroughly. Also, when cleaning the humidifier, do not use any harsh chemicals. This could make asthma worse.
Avoid Overusing the Humidifier
Without a doubt, a humidifier will help relieve the symptoms of asthma. This, however, is not a license to keep the unit running for long. Excessive humidity, as well as excessively dry air, also is not good. Invest in a humidistat if your unit does not come with one to monitor the humidity levels of your room. Once the humidity level starts climbing 50% and above, it is considered too high.
Evidently, a humidifier can help relieve the symptoms of asthma. You, however, need to maintain your humidifier the right way before it can bring about many positive changes.