Lots of people who have asthma say that it gets worse in the winter. You may already be wondering if a humidifier is good for asthma if you have realized that cold weather is a trigger for you, or the chest infections that can come alongside common colds and flus.
This doesn’t happen to everyone, notes Dr Andy Whittamore, a GP with Asthma UK. Your asthma can be triggered by different things—you may find symptoms are no worse in the winter.
However, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that almost 50% of children aged under 18 had an attack in 2017, and almost 8% of adults have the condition. That is a lot of people who might potentially be affected by winter drawing in, and who need to find the best way to manage their symptoms.
Read on to learn more about using a humidifier for asthma, including where to find the best humidifier for asthma relief.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a disease that affects the respiratory system, particularly the lungs. The muscles you use for breathing constrict while your phlegm thickens, with an inflammation of your breathing tubes.
You might feel breathless, or like your chest is tight, and not enough air can get to your lungs. This will make you cough and can cause serious issues from a lack of oxygen flow.
It is a long-term condition, but if you have asthma as a child, it can sometimes ease during your teenage years before coming back later in life.
When this gets worse, it causes an Asthma attack. These attacks include other symptoms like faster breathing and a faster heartbeat. Sometimes, these attacks can cause fainting. Unfortunately, without the right treatment, they can also cause death.
Asthma is a relatively common condition that affects almost 1 in 13 US Americans. Almost 10 million doctor’s office appointments and almost 2 million emergency room visits are said to be caused by the condition each year in the USA. In 2015, this meant that the annual medical cost of asthma was around $3,300 per person.
Children are greatly affected by the condition, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that cases are declining since 2001. This doesn’t stop it being one of the highest causes of sick days for young students.
Is Asthma Curable?
Asthma is not curable, but it is manageable. For instance, most people are aware that inhalers relieve symptoms by sending medicine that you need straight to your lungs. If you are on the right asthma treatment, you can even reduce your higher risk of associated causes of death, like heart attacks.
Common Triggers of Asthma
There are many common Asthma triggers, which present themselves in different ways through the year.
- Allergies: Sadly, your furry friend might cause you harm on accident if you are allergic to them and have asthma.
- Upper respiratory infections: Sinusitis, influenza, common colds, and other forms of virus that endanger your respiratory system (including, of course, COVID-19) can potentially trigger asthma symptoms. Interestingly, acid reflux can also trigger symptoms.
- Exposure to irritants: Tobacco smoke, dust mites, pollution, mold… anything that will irritate your lungs and breathing tubes can potentially cause your asthma to flare up.
- Cold air: Cold weather can cause airways to spasm. Often, this cold weather is accompanied by worse pollution and a higher chance of respiratory infection, combining lots of different irritants.
- Unexpected changes in temperature and humidity: It isn’t just cold air—hot air can trigger your asthma. Thunderstorms can also set it off, due to the change in humidity and often temperature during, and after, the storm. Similarly, sudden changes in weather can make your chest feel tight.
Is a Humidifier Good for Asthma Symptoms?
We can’t get you an inhaler. However, we can provide something useful for you to buy: A humidifier for asthma symptom reduction. Humidifiers are a great tool for asthma sufferers because they:
- Regulate the air temperature.
- Regulate the humidity.
- Improve air quality.
The warm, moist air can help relax your lungs and airways when they are tight. This means the air can flow more easily to your lungs, helping you get your breath back.
Humidifiers for asthma also work by reducing triggers, so a humidifier can help you breathe easier in your home. It isn’t a cure or a guarantee—you always need your inhaler, in case. But it makes sense to do what you can to reduce the risk of an attack this winter. If you find the cold, changes in humidity, and irritants are your key triggers, it’s worth trying out one of the best humidifiers for asthma.
You also need to figure out what works for you. Discover more about the difference between Humidifiers vs Dehumidifiers vs Air Purifiers at our blog.
What Should Asthmatic Patients Pay Attention to When Using Humidifier?
Only use distilled water + Change the water daily
Our number one tip is to use distilled water with your humidifier. While this is recommended every time, it is even more important for people who have respiratory problems.
Distilled water has been stripped of its minerals and purified. This means it shouldn’t have mold and bacteria living in it, as some water might. You should also make sure that you never use stagnant water (water that has been sat around). This means you should change the water regularly, if you aren’t using your humidifier every day.
Clean the tank
One way to make sure your humidifier is expelling clean air is to make sure you regularly clean your device. This is pretty self-explanatory but can be tricky if you haven’t owned a humidifier before. If this is you, we talked in detail about how to clean your humidifier in a previous blog.
Clean the filters if it is equipped
If your humidifier has filters, you will need to clean or replace them regularly. Again, if you have read so far then you will sense a theme: Keep your humidifier clean to make sure the humidifier steam is healthier.
Tips for Choose a RIGHT Humidifier for Asthma?
Now, there are a lot of humidifiers out there. But which is the right one for you? Our short guide will give you the key points to look out for before your purchase.
- Temperature: When you choose your humidifier, you should pick one that includes warm mist. A cool mist humidifier won’t be as effective at easing your symptoms.
- Humidity control: Having a high or low humidity, or a humidity that is always changing, is also bad for people with asthma. You will want to find a humidifier that has humidity control.
- Easy to clean: There’s no point spending more time than you need to cleaning your humidifier. If you put off cleaning, your humidifier can become a breeding ground for mold, viruses, and other bacteria.
If you cover these three things, it will probably come down to looks and price. We can’t help with this—you need to set a budget and choose a humidifier that will fit with your décor. There are plenty to choose from, and plenty of colors. Check out some of our favorites from the TaoTronics site below.
- Automatic humidity monitor
- Easy to clean—top fill
- Can be used with essential oils
- 3 temperature levels
- Sleep mode
- Easy to clean—top refill
While a humidifier isn’t a cure for your asthma, we hope this blog has shown that it might help you ease your symptoms as we go into a cold winter. If you are out and about and struggle with pollution as a trigger, then a humidifier when you get home, again, can help ease your symptoms.
If you’re considering buying a humidifier, check out the TaoTronics website. There are a huge range of warm mist humidifiers to choose from this winter, which might even make the perfect present for a loved one this Christmas.
Discover more at the TaoTronics website.