A humidifier is a type of home appliance that emits water vapor into the air to adjust humidity levels. Most people use humidifiers as they suffer from either a cold or flu, as the excess humidity helps keep mucus thin and easier to expel through coughing.
Others use it for an upper respiratory illness, as breathing can become difficult with all of the congestion. Some humidifiers are even used for skin protection, as those with severely dry skin may find relief by using them.
Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean that a humidifier is useless to you. In fact, many people who suffer from allergies use humidifiers daily in order to help support their bodies and protect them from more serious conditions.
This article explains in detail whether or not a humidifier is helpful in reducing the discomfort experienced by those who suffer from allergies.
Does A Humidifier Help With Allergies?
A humidifier is an electrical appliance that utilizes water and electricity to release mist that adds more moisture to the air.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “By adding humidity back into your home environment, you make it more comfortable for household members who suffer from allergies.” They say that a humidifier is an inexpensive way for people to improve their homes, which is typically the place where they spend most of their time.
The AAFA says that humidifiers also help with dry skin, as the moisturizing ingredients added to the device keep skin from cracking and bleeding. People can use a humidifier during cold months when their skin suffers most from being too dry.
Just like plants, humans also need a certain minimum amount of water vapor in the air they breathe for easier, more comfortable breathing.
At the same time, being around dry air for a long time is the root cause of problems like eye irritation. Plus, breathing dry air often leads to respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis. In fact, it may even cause nose bleeding without any known cause if there is no water in the air that you are inhaling.
But do you know that these diseases do not cultivate overnight? The mechanism behind their development is directly associated with minor allergies that most people ignore in the initial stage.
So, using a humidifier is a good solution for places with air containing little to no moisture. Henceforth, the most straightforward answer to the question of ‘Does a humidifier help with allergies’ is – Yes, it does. Very well, in fact.
How Does A Humidifier Help With Allergies?
In the above section, we have explained that the primary function of a humidifier is to increase the water content in the air. But what is its actual use? And how does adding moisture to the atmosphere really help in the healing and treatment of allergies? Let me give you a quick science lesson.
There are many types of humidifiers. The air washer humidifiers, for example, not only humidify your home but also clean the air for dust, pollen, and other polluting agents.
However, because they entrap harmful material constantly, they have higher maintenance needs as they need to be cleaned very often. Nonetheless, if you are prone to dust and pollen grains allergies, they are the best solution.
Another example is concerning Allergic rhinitis. In allergic rhinitis, the tissues of the nasal mucosa undergo swelling. It ultimately makes the patient deal with issues like nasal congestion, and irritation and causes a lot of discomfort in the respiratory tract.
In such situations, the complications can worsen if you keep on breathing dry, unfiltered air that carries on to take allergens like pollen and dust to your nasal passage.
To summarise, the simplest answer for how does a humidifier help with dust allergies is by filtering the air, making it more breathable, relieving discomfort, and opening up the airways. Hence, it allows a fresher and larger quantity of air to go inside your lungs to finally provide relief from all kinds of allergies.
Does Sleeping With A Humidifier Help Allergies?
Are you still wondering how does sleeping with humidifier help allergies? Basically, what a humidifier does is add more water vapor to the air. When this water vapor is inhaled through the nose, it settles down on the tissues of the nasal mucosa.
Thus, it provides comfort from the problems of inflammation, dryness, nasal irritation and makes room for effortless breathing. Especially for people with allergies, it is very important to have an undisturbed sleep during the night.
By making the air more humid and contamination-free, a humidifier can readily help you achieve this goal. So, using a humidifier around your sleeping space can positively help you deal with allergies to a large extent.
Does A Humidifier Help With Pollen Allergies?
Before explaining how a humidifier can help you deal with pollen allergies, let me first give you a brief introduction about what exactly the term ‘pollen allergy’ means.
As the name suggests, pollen allergy is produced when you inhale pollen. Pollen is a fine, dust-like powder usually contained in flowers that facilitates reproduction in plants. The powder is light enough to be carried away by blowing winds.
When on the one hand, inhaling this pollen may not produce any adverse effects on some people. On the other hand, it tends to develop as a moderate to severe illness in the case of people who do not have enough immunity against it. [Fact: Pollen is not an injurious substance for the human body.] As a result, the body starts its defensive mechanism, which results in symptoms like:
- Stuffy Nose
- Watery Eyes
Other broad medical terms used for Pollen allergy are hay fever and allergic rhinitis.
Coming back to the question of does a humidifier help with pollen allergies. Yes, a humidifier can help deal with pollen allergies by absorbing this pollen from the air and making it free from other such foreign materials.
Does A Humidifier Help With Seasonal Allergies?
First of all, what are seasonal allergies, and how are they different from Pollen allergies. Pollen allergy is an umbrella term that contains a lot of different types of allergies under it. Seasonal allergy is one such subtype commonly known by the name hay fever.
The dried parts of grass and plants usually used to feed the animals are called hay. Hay fever is caused when you inhale the pollens of this dried plant content. It usually occurs during the hay-cutting season when the air has the maximum amount of this specific category of pollen. And because hay fever only happens during a particular time of the year, that is why it is called a seasonal allergy.
The mechanism by which a humidifier facilitates the treatment of seasonal allergy is not very different from how it helps deal with pollen allergies. Moisturizing the air, making it more breathable, and removing additional agents from it is the basic process involved.
Does A Humidifier Help With Pet Allergies?
Pet allergies, especially in the case of dogs, show symptoms much similar to those seen in humans having seasonal allergies.
So, if you see your pet struggling with sleep or is not behaving normally, it could be a sign that they may have clogged nasal passages.
These prevent them from breathing properly, ultimately influencing their overall life quality by producing additional adverse effects like watery eyes and itching in the nose.
This could be because of the low moisture content in the air. Using a humidifier provides them relief from such symptoms and is a beneficial way to deal with pet allergies.
Henceforth, you must install a humidifier at your home to keep your cute, little furry friend away from such allergies and expose them to a better quality of breathable air.
When should you not use a humidifier?
The first step in managing home humidity is being aware of what quantity of moisture does your indoor air truly contains. You can use a hygrometer to measure it.
Likewise, if this number exceeds more than 60%, it indicates high humidity. In such a condition, it is advised to NOT use a humidifier as it will: Increase mold growth, Produce unpleasant smells, and make the environment more uncomfortable to live in by increasing the humidity even more.
Also, it is always better to buy humidification units that come with a humidistat that allows pre-setting of the target humidity range. This way, you can monitor the humidity more accurately and prevent over-building up moisture in the air around your house.
Does humidifier help with stuffy nose?
Yes, a humidifier not only helps to treat a stuffy nose but also breaks down the mucus to let you cough it out more comfortably. In fact, apart from a stuffy nose, humidifiers are also a solution to other related problems like flu, nasal congestion, pneumonia, and the common cold.
What type of humidifier is best for allergies?
Warm mist humidifiers are considered the best for allergies. The main reason is their ability to heat the water first before releasing it out in the form of mist. The warm mist so released provides a soothing effect on your respiratory tract.
Thus, they help you deal with allergies in a good way. However, make sure not to use them around kids as they heat up while operating. It may cause moderate injuries and burns that may take a while to heal completely if they are accidentally touched.
Further, you can also opt for Air washer humidifiers. These contain rotating filter discs that trap the bacteria and viruses from the air to help you breathe contaminant-free air to avoid all allergies.
The only problem with them is that they need more frequent cleaning and have a costly maintenance system both money-wise and effort-wise. Yet, they are best in dealing with pollen, dust, and seasonal allergies.
What is better for allergies humidifier or an air purifier?
Air purifiers are better for allergies because they filter out all kinds of allergy-causing agents like pollen grains, dust, and other allergens to provide quicker, more effective relief from them.