In case you didn’t know, there are many symptoms of dry air in house. People can get sick if their air is too dry. They can also suffer from various ailments. That is why the use of a humidifier can help relieve viruses such as those that trigger the cold or flu. When people experience symptoms from dry air, it is because the dryness affects the nose and throat. If your throat feels scratchy, you may simply need to add a humidifier to the room.
Understanding Humidity Levels
To understand how people can get sick or experience irritation from dry air, you need to know something about humidity levels or define humidity. Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is recorded in the air. In the home environment, humidity is termed as relative humidity and is expressed as a percent.
The standard advised relative humidity for a comfortable air quality is around 40%. Relative humidity below that translates into dry air. Any level over 50% means that mold and bacteria grow more easily. When scientists measure humidity, they use a device known as a hygrometer. Laypeople can also pick up this product at their local home centers or hardware retailers. By using a hygrometer and purchasing a humidifier, you can maintain the preferred moisture level in your home.
Types of Humidifiers: A Brief Overview
A humidifier comes in various types and ranges. Small humidifiers are usually called vaporizers and are best for limited use or for a small space. These types of devices are also known as impeller humidifiers. Cool mist humidifiers are highly popular and many use an ultrasonic mechanism that produces a cool mist of steam. If you want to humidify a large area, you should use an evaporator, which blows air over a water-soaked filter or pad. Whole-house humidifiers are built into duct-work through a forced-air heating system.
13 Symptoms Of Dry Air In House
Now that you know why humidification is important, you can learn why certain symptoms can be reduced by using a humidifying device. Mostly, dry air affects the nose and lungs, which can result in the following problems.
- Runny Nose
When you have a runny nose, it is because your nasal passages are irritated by dry air. When this happens, it triggers your nose to run. This type of health problem can become chronic and can lead you to believe that you have a cold or allergy. Once you install a humidifier, the problem usually resolves itself over time.
- Hay Fever Symptoms
The lack of moisture in the air can make a person feel miserable. His or her upper respiratory tract can become affected, which leads to sneezing and problems with breathing. By including a humidifier in the home, any dust stops settling where it is not wanted and the sneezing will eventually subside.
Dry air will cause the nose to bleed, sometimes profusely. If the nasal passages are irritated, the blood flow becomes disrupted as well. Another name for a nosebleed is epistaxis. Because the purpose of the nose is to humidify and warm the air that is breathed, dry and heated indoor air can cause the nasal lining to become cracked and crusted. When this occurs, any rubbing or blowing of the nose can lead to a nosebleed.
- Colds (Upper Respiratory Infections) or Sinusitis
Dry air can lead to repeated attacks of sneezing, nose blowing, and coughing. The dry air carries cold and flu viruses, which can be eliminated with the use of a warm air or cool mist humidifier.
- Allergic and Non-Allergic Rhinitis
This type of symptom results from inflammation of the nasal lining. The nasal lining can be greatly affected when the air does not hold enough moisture. Not only can it become inflamed but it is more susceptible to pollens and dust.
- Allergy Flare-ups
If you do not want your current allergy symptoms to worsen, you need to get rid of the dry air in your home. Use a hygrometer to determine the moisture quality, especially if you notice that you are suffering more from allergy symptoms. By taking this approach, you will be able to get rid of your suffering without resorting to pain or sinus medications that can have unwanted side effects.
- Congestion of the Sinuses
Dry air leads to congestion of the sinuses if the air lacks moisture. Any irritation along these lines needs to be addressed promptly. By adding a humidifier to your living space, your sinus condition can disappear almost overnight.
- A Dry Throat
When your throat becomes dry, you will often cough, which can also be another annoying symptom of dry air. If you want to obtain a “magic” cure, simply increase the moisture in your dwelling.
People who snore do so because their lungs and nasal passages do not contain adequate moisture. If you want to have better relations with your spouse, you should make it a priority to add a humidifier to your home. You do not need to see a sleep clinic about the disorder if you simply add a humidifier to your home.
- Sinus Headaches
Because of the lack of moisture in the air, people without humidifiers often suffer from sinus headaches. Get rid of the pain almost immediately by adding moisture and vapor to your living space.
Other Health Problems
Problems with the Eyes
While the above symptoms affect the lungs and nasal passages, dry air can also affect the skin and other parts of the body. If you are struggling with irritated and dry eyes, low humidity could be the causes. Dry air increases tear evaporation, which causes problems with moisture and the eyes. Add to that a cold outside environment and you can feel quite miserable.
Reduced humidity in the winter is often a problem that leads to a good deal of frustration as it affects the skin. Many people suffer from dry and itchy skin as well as problems such as eczema. If you have this type of issue now, you may want to check the humidity level in your house. That may be the reason why you suffer from what is known as “winter itch.” Instead of seeing a dermatologist, you may only need to install a humidifier in your dwelling.
Cracked skin can also be a problem of dry air. This can turn into a real health issue if an infectious agent from the nose or mouth is transferred into the crack. When humidity levels plunge below 10%, this can be a health consequence. Respiratory infections and allergies increase two-fold and three-fold when environments do not contain enough moisture.
Ways to Increase the Moisture
Besides using a humidifier, you can increase the moisture in a home by producing a steam bath or taking a hot shower. Fill your sink with hot water and place your head over the sink for relief. Breathing the steam from bowls of boiling water can bring relief as well.
Do Not Make the Air Too Humid
While you want to add water to the air, too much of a good thing is not good either. You want to make sure that the humidity level hovers around 40%. Use a hygrometer that you can buy at a hardware store to measure the moisture level in your home. Never let the moisture go above 50%. Otherwise, you will be faced with other difficulties.
When the moisture level is above 50%, your ceilings and walls may become susceptible to mold growth. Also, make sure that you regularly clean and maintain your humidifier. Research indicates that any dirty mist from a humidifier can lead to lung difficulties, including problems with breathing. Too much of this type of moisture can increase the risk of infection and enhance the chances of getting asthma, especially in young children.
If you use a humidifier, you need to use the device with caution. Make sure that you keep track of the moisture in the air with a hygrometer and keep the device regularly cleaned. To clean the device, wipe it down with hydrogen peroxide once every three days to remove any mineral deposits or film. Also, change the water in the device’s reservoirs each day. Keep the area around the machine dry as well. If your home features a central heating system, install a humidifier over the furnace and connect it with a water source and humidistat for easy automation.
You can suffer from a number of symptoms when your home is not adequately humidified. Most of the ailments involve the nasal lining and the lungs. By using a hygrometer and humidifier, you can keep your moisture level in check and live comfortably.
Get rid of some of the symptoms that have been plaguing you by checking the moisture level in your home and adding a humidifier to keep the environment comfortable and livable. Just make sure that you regularly maintain the appliance so you will not suffer from other breathing difficulties. You defeat the purpose of using the device if you do not clean it regularly.
To find relief from allergy and sinus difficulties and similar breathing problems, review the benefits of humidification and start getting some relief.