A humidifier is a device that releases steam or water vapor into the air to increase humidity. It is important to note that humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air. It has a role in both the development and treatment of allergies.
Inhaling air with higher humidity is one way to alleviate the discomfort and symptoms of allergies. It can be tricky to determine the right humidity level though. Take note that 2 common allergens such as dust mites and molds could not thrive in low humidity but higher humidity is more comfortable for the tissues of the nasal passages and throat. Indoor air that is neither too dry or damp is the best.
What are the types of humidifiers?
Various types of humidifiers are available in the market. It is important to note that a humidifier releases either cool or warm mist and available in the following models:
Warm and cool mist humidifiers
- A warm mist humidifier releases a warm mist into the air. This is somewhat quieter than the other forms of humidifiers and might be ideal in calming the sinuses and loosening the mucus secretions.
- A cool mist humidifier is quiet and easy to clean but require regular cleaning. They work better in wider environments and often used in areas with warmer climates.
- This type of humidifier is built with a fan that draws air from the surrounding area and pushes it through a moistened wick submerged in water. The water evaporates into the air to produce humidity. It also cools the air in the process making it ideal for warmer climates.
- Other types include the air washer, ultrasonic and steam vapor.
An indoor environment that is too humid can trigger allergies instead of relieving them. One common allergen is the house dust mite which thrive at humidity levels of 70-80 percent.
Both mold and mildew are also considered as common causes. Uncontrolled growth of mold increases in a high humidity level. It is vital to determine the suitable humidity level that relieves the symptoms, but it should not be too elevated that it incites dust mites and mold to thrive.