If you are one of the millions of people suffering from chronic asthma or allergies, then you know exactly how terrifying an attack can be, and just how important it is to avoid triggers. Something as small as grains of pollen, carpet, dust and even dry air could pose a serious hazard to your health.
Fortunately, there are a myriad of different medications to keep asthma in check. But even with an inhaler and doctor prescribed medication for asthma, there are several steps that you could personally take to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your respiratory systems.
A lot has been said about humidifiers and their role towards asthma patients. While humidifiers are champions for relieving colds, inflamed sinuses and rejuvenating the skin, are air humidifiers good for asthma and allergies?
How Air Humidifiers Alleviate Asthma Symptoms
Asthma is a common disorder that affects several aspects of a person’s respiratory system. When an attack occurs, it can be very devastating because the breathing muscles constrict uncontrollably and cause sudden inflammation of the air passages. This causes the asthmatic individual to experience a constricting, suffocating feeling and literally become unable to breathe.
Medication keeps the condition in check, but there are factors that contribute to increased frequencies. For example, breathing dry and harsh air can sometimes irritate the sensitive nerves in the lungs and cause the airways to constrict.
Humidifiers come in to keep all the harmful effects at bay by increasing the content of vapour in the atmosphere. Typically, you want your air to retain about 30 to 50 percent moisture content; anything above or below that poses its own unique hazards.
With a good air humidifier, asthmatic individuals can rest easy knowing that flare-ups are less likely to occur. This is because moist air is not only easier for the lungs, it also holds a bit more heat, making breathing very natural and comfortable for people with asthma.
More moisture in the air also makes it much harder for dust, pollen or any allergens to float around the atmosphere, making it cleaner and very conducive for anyone with respiratory issues. Thanks to humidifiers, many asthma patients no longer depend on their inhaler when at home or in the office.
Tips For Maintaining Asthma Humidifiers
Air humidifiers meant for asthmatic individuals needs a little more care and maintenance than the average unit. Detailed attention must be paid from the cleaning method used to the kind of water in the tank.
Without proper care, your humidifier could turn into a breeding ground for viruses, mould, mildew and an array of deadly bacteria. Here are some insightful tips that will help you breathe easier and live better.
1. Use Only Distilled Water
The water is the easiest way to introduce a plethora of pollutants and impurities into the atmosphere. Tap water is usually tainted with two or three contaminants and may not be as clean as you think. Once the water vaporises, the tank is left with deposits that promote the development of deadly bacteria. Always make sure you use either purified or distilled water in the tank if you are using it to treat asthma symptoms.
2. Clean Regularly
When not in use, humidifiers meant for asthmatic individuals should never contain water. Once you are done using it, always empty immediately, then clean the unit thoroughly with soap and disinfectant. You could also use alcohol or chlorine once in a while to wipe out any traces of hidden bacteria and germs.
After cleaning, make sure you meticulously dry the unit since bacteria thrives in damp environments. If your particular unit has a filter, always change it sooner than the recommended period to safeguard the integrity of the water.
3. Safety Features
In addition to the usual automatic off switch and the like, people with asthma need to be careful in the features they pick out. The timer and humidistat are by far the most important features that will come in handy. You want to have a precise idea of how much moisture is in the air before you turn the unit on. For those who like to sleep with the unit on, a timer will ensure that you do not introduce too much water in the air.
4. Remember – Don’t Overdo It
While the excitement and benefits of a brand new air humidifier is enough to make you crank your unit to max for hours on end, it is also important to remember that too much humidity in the air is just as dangerous and unhealthy as dry air. Try and keep the moisture between 30 to 50 percent to get the most out of your humidifier.