Allergies are a difficult health condition. They can rarely be cured completely. At most, you can control their frequency and intensity while hoping that they do not flare up suddenly. They greatly impact the quality of life you lead. If you are allergic to pollen, dust mites, dust and other similar things, you will have to pay attention to the air quality that you breathe in. Humidifiers can be of help in these situations.
Are Humidifiers Good For Allergies?
The short answer is yes. Humidifiers can certainly make it easier for you if you are prone to allergies. Humidity can play a major role in the treatment and even the development of allergies. The proper humidity level can be of considerable help with your allergies.
Dry Air and Allergies
You will have surely noticed that your allergies act up when the air around you is dry. This is because dry air can irritate the nasal passages. The irritation and the dry air can even lead to sinus infections. In a bid to overcome the dryness in the air, the body may start producing more mucous. However, excessive mucous can be quite dangerous especially if you suffer from asthma along with allergies.
How Humidifiers Help?
Humidifiers can help you with your allergies in several ways. It can reduce the number of dust mites that you are exposed to. Dust mites are responsible for causing allergies because of the enzymes that they produced. These enzymes are transported via air, resulting in the flaring up of allergies. One of the most effective ways of reducing dust mite levels is by maintaining a relative humidity level below 50%.
An example of a humidifier that measures the relative humidity automatically is the HoMedics UHE-WM85. This model comes with a huge variety of other options as well. Another option would be to use a hygrometer like the one pictured here to ensure that your home has proper humidity levels. These devices are rather small and easy to move around to check different rooms in your home.
Ensuring the right level of humidity in your home keeps your nasal passages free from mucus as well. Clear nasal passages ensure that your body can get rid of any allergens that you are exposed to as quickly as possible. The humidity of the air can also reduce the irritation caused by particulates thanks to the extra moisture.
How to Use the Humidifier Correctly?
While humidifiers can be quite helpful with your allergies, they need to be used in the right manner. For starters, they are not devices that you can forget about once turned on. You need them to work in an effective and efficient manner. As such, you need to check on a few things.
One of the first things you need to do is to keep the humidifiers out of the reach of children, especially if they operate using heat. Such devices can cause burns if not handled correctly.
It is important to ensure that the device does not increase the humidity too much. The moisture level in the indoor environment should be somewhere between 30% and 50% for the best effects on your allergies. Excessive humidity can be a problem as we shall see later.
You must always ensure that the water being used by the humidifier is clean. In fact, it will be preferable to use distilled water. After all, the water is going to be dispelled across the entire room.
You should not let water remain stagnant in the humidifier’s reservoir or else it might become the breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. These are major allergens and they will be spread around the room as soon as the humidifier is turned on. To be on the safe side, always change the water every day. Drain the water that remains before replacing it.
Cleaning the Humidifier
Humidifiers must be cleaned regularly to avoid compounding the issues faced by those with allergies or asthma.
- Always wash and dry the humidifier’s reservoir after each use.
- You should use a disinfectant to clean the device once a week at the very least. Choose a disinfectant that has been recommended by the device’s manufacturer.
- Vinegar can be used for cleaning hard water residue.
- If your humidifier was in storage, clean it once before use.
- Always follow the guidelines of the manufacturer with respect to cleaning.
- Make sure that the water is changed every day.
Precautions with Humidifier Use
There are a few things you must note when using the humidifier. First of all, you must understand that the humidity levels indoors should not be too high. High humidity can end up triggering allergies instead of providing relief.
Dust mite problems can be exacerbated if the humidity levels are high. These pests tend to thrive at high humidity of 70% to 80%. Another result of high humidity is the proliferation of mildew and mold. These are also major allergens. If you use your humidifier too much, it can result in an increase of these allergens, causing your symptoms to flare up.
As a result, it is vital to keep the humidity at the ideal level. This way, you can get relief from your allergy symptoms and even asthma. At the same time, issues such as mold, dust mites and dryness will not be a problem.
Humidifiers are excellent options for those suffering from allergies. Apart from reducing the symptoms, they can improve the health of nasal passages. However, the devices need to be maintained properly and used correctly to get the most benefits out of them.