Use Kitchen Ventilation Fans
If billows of warm steam are a common stove top occurrence, then its time to investigate kitchen ventilation fans. They remove all the moisture created from home cooked mealstaking any risk of humidity with them. And at the very least, they will keep your fire alarm from crying out every time things heat up in the kitchen.
How To Protect Your Lungs On Hot And Humid Days
Heat and humidity can affect your breathing, especially if you have asthma or COPD.
On very hot, humid days, especially days that have high levels of air pollution or smog, stay indoors. Find an indoor place thats cool. Make sure the place you choose has clean air this means no tobacco smoke or harsh scents. If your home is not air conditioned, go to an air-conditioned public space, like a recreation centre, public library, or shopping mall.
Some things to remember when it is hot and humid:
What Does A Dehumidifier Do For Allergies And Asthma Attack
A dehumidifier is a machine that removes water vapour from the environment. They are used to reduce the humidity in your home. They are especially useful in areas and seasons with high humidity.
A dehumidifier can help alleviate the discomfort faced by asthmatic patients breathing in denser air. It can also reduce the feeling of congestion caused by high humidity. A dehumidifier can also reduce the growth of microorganisms and mould in the home.
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Humidity And Heat Are Just The Beginning
“When you have an increase in humidity, the humidity itself can trigger asthma,” says asthma expert Susan S. Laubach, MD, an associate physician at the Allergy & Asthma Medical Group and Research Center in San Diego.
Add some heat to that humidity and you have a fertile breeding ground for allergens such as dust mites, which thrive in humid air, and mold. “Mold thrives in moist, warm, dark environments,” says Dr. Laubach. “In the summer, we see an increase in mold.” These allergens also worsen the impact of environmental pollutants, such as exhaust fumes and ozone. A study published in the journal Asthma looked at hot temperatures and asthma exacerbations and found that when the temperature is about 86 degrees, pediatric hospital visits for asthma symptoms increase in proportion with the amount of elemental carbon in the air.
For some, summer heat and humidity may be complicated by seasonal irritants such as smoke from fires. Research published in Environmental Health Perspectives revealed an increase in doctor visits because of respiratory symptoms in a Canadian community surrounded by several forest fires.
What Are Some Resources To Help Me Track The Weather
Accuweather/AAFA personalized respiratory forecast Visit Accuweather.com for a personalized asthma forecast for your area. Enter your location. Then from the Personalized Forecasts drop-down menu, choose Respiratory. The Accuweather/AAFA forecast will show asthma alerts along with your forecast. The page also includes tips from AAFA on managing weather-related asthma issues.
AirNow The Environmental Protection Agencys site on air quality gives your areas Air Quality Index . Based on the AQI, you can tell if air quality could affect your asthma. An AQI of 101 or above is dangerous for those with asthma. You can also sign up to get daily email alerts.
National Allergy Bureau – Sign up to receive email alerts or download the app from the AAAAI to alert you of your area’s pollen counts.
Pollen.com Enter your zip code to get local pollen forecasts and pollen history.
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The Dangers Of High Indoor Humidity
Jul 17, 2016 | Articles
Humidity is an ever-present hazard in Boca Raton, Florida. There is no way to avoid the high humidity levels outside, so its important to understand what this excessive moisture means for your health and how you can handle it in your home. Managing indoor humidity properly will help you to stay comfortable and avoid many potentially serious health problems.
Can Weather Affect A Person’s Asthma
Yes. Weather conditions can bring on asthma symptoms. Some people’s asthma symptoms get worse at certain times of the year. For others, a severe storm or sudden weather change can trigger a flare-up.
- Cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can cause bad flare-ups. That’s especially true for people who play winter sports and have exercise-induced asthma.
- Hot, humid air also can be a problem. In some places, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone can be a strong asthma trigger.
- Wet weather and windy weather can cause problems, too. Wet weather encourages the growth of mold, and wind can blow mold and pollen through the air.
If you think weather may be triggering your asthma, work with your doctor to track your symptoms using an asthma symptoms trigger diary. Do you think that your asthma might be triggered by pollen, mold, or other allergens? Ask your doctor about allergy testing.
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Humidity And Cold Air
Humidity and cold air can be a problem when they occur together. Because both humidity and cold air improve the symptoms of croup, many parents have also thought the practices may also be good for asthma. However, both of these can be asthma triggers.
Humid air is more likely to harbor triggers such as fungus, molds, and dust mites that might worsen your asthma symptoms. When you inhale cold, dry air, it irritates and drys out the mucous membranes that line your lungs and respiratory system. This decreases the effectiveness of your body’s natural defense mechanisms against viruses and bacteria. As a result, you may have an increased risk of a respiratory infection that can worsen your asthma. Similarly, this can worsen allergy symptoms that are another common trigger for asthma .
Why Is It Hard To Breathe In Hot Air
The main reason is that hotter air can hold more water vapor than cold air. Of course, relative humidity gets its definition from the amount of water vapor that air can hold at a given temperature.
For instance, if your indoor temperature is 28°C and the air holds 50 percent of the maximum water vapor that it can hold at that temperature, then we say that the relative humidity is 50%.
If the air holds the maximum water vapor that it can hold at that temperature, then we say the relative humidity is 100 percent.
This also explains why in most cases, we need to run a humidifier in summer. The air is hotter then, and the water vapor that it holds is higher. Thus, to give our lungs the amount of oxygen that they need, we have to breathe in more rapidly.
During the cold season, the air is drier. Dry air is also not good for the lungs, so we crank up the dehumidifier. We need to maintain the relative humidity at 55% in the winter.
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How To Regulate The Humidity In Your Home
While you cant control the weather, you CAN take steps to regulate the humidity inside your house to help reduce your allergy symptoms. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal indoor humidity level is 25-40%. Running your air conditioner will help remove excess humidity from the air. If thats not enough, or its too cool to turn on the AC, a dehumidifier will pull moisture out of the air, collect it, and then drain or pump it out of your home. If the indoor air is too dry, a whole-house humidifier will distribute water vapor throughout your home, and it comes with a hygrometer to measure the moisture in the air.
Humidifier Vs Dehumidifier: Which Is Better For Asthma
For people with asthma, managing the humidity levels in their homes can make a significant impact on their overall health. Having too little humidity inside the house can cause your throat and nose to become dry, increasing the irritation. This makes colds worse, and asthma becomes more challenging to control. On the other hand, having too much humidity will allow allergens such as mold and dust mites to thrive, triggering an asthma attack. Very humid air also makes it difficult to breathe, putting a lot of strain on the respiratory system and triggering an asthma attack. This is why maintaining the right humidity level inside your home or office can significantly help in reducing your asthma symptoms. Read on to find out more about should you use a humidifier for asthma?
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Maintenance Is The Key To Controlling Asthma Symptoms
The best way a humidifier can be beneficial for someone with asthma problems is to maintain it properly. Humidifiers that arent cared for may become a thriving place for viruses, bacteria, mold and other susceptible factors that can contribute to other breathing issues. All of these can be dangerous to health. Here are some important things for asthma suffering individuals to remember:
Best Weather For Asthma
There is no optimal weather condition for people with asthma, but many find that consistency in temperatures and conditions is better for symptoms.
Allergens and pollutants in the air are two of the most significant factors that affect asthma symptoms. Certain types of weather may increase both air pollution and common allergens.
Some people with asthma experience problems in very cold or hot temperatures, which can increase airway irritation. Mild temperatures and low levels of humidity might decrease the risk of airway irritation.
Not only is humidity a problem for people with asthma, but other weather conditions can also lead to symptoms.
The weather conditions most likely to trigger asthma include:
- Extreme heat: When temperatures climb, pollution levels may also rise, which can trigger asthma symptoms.
- Cold, dry air: Cold, dry air can irritate the airways and lead to bronchospasm. This often results in common asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.
- Windy conditions: Common allergens, such as pollen, blow around in the wind. Add rain into the mix, and it can lead to an increase in mold spores. Both pollen and mold are common triggers for people with asthma.
- Rapid changes in temperature: Some people are also sensitive to a quick change in weather conditions, such as heat one day and cold the next.
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Room Humidifiers For Asthma Sufferers
Those with asthma know how difficult life can be. The chronic condition should only be treated by a medical professional, but there are a number of things one can do to help alleviate the symptoms. Room humidifiers can be very beneficial for asthma symptoms since asthma suffers know that how important humidity is in order to breathe better. If the air is too dry, asthma symptoms can act up and if the air is too humid, a totally new set of symptoms appear. Essentially, when it comes to humidity, balance is key.
How To Prevent Humidity
- Staying indoors when the weather is hot and humid.
- Use air conditioning to control heat and humidity indoors.
- Keep track of the air quality and humidity levels both outside and indoors.
- Maintain the recommended indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50%.
- Keep windows, doors closed and curtains or blinds drawn. This keeps out the heat and allergens.
- At night, consider opening the windows to let the cool air in only if the air pollution levels are low.
- Avoid exercising outdoors when the weather is extremely hot and also avoid strenuous activity during these times.
- Keep rescue medication handy and take medications as prescribed regularly.
- Consider using a high-performance room air purifier that helps to breathe in pure air free of dust and allergic substances.
- Drink plenty of water to replenish the fluids that are lost during hot and humid conditions to prevent dehydration.
- Wear loose, light-coloured, cool clothes and a hat while going outdoors in hot weather.
- Spend time outdoors in the mornings or evenings when heat and humidity levels are generally low.
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Invest In A Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners can help reduce indoor humidity by improving ventilation in your home. This type of air conditioner comes with a venting kit that helps remove hot air from a space while replacing it with cool air. Their lightweight design makes it easy to move from room to room to lower humidity levels throughout the house.
What Are Other Methods For Managing Humidity
While dehumidifiers can certainly help to ease any humidity-induced asthma attacks, they will always work best alongside other medically approved methods for asthma management. As Shepherd notes, these include:
- Reducing exposure to allergens or irritants that trigger asthma
- Getting an annual flu shot
- Weight management
- Limiting exposure to any allergens including pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander.
- Avoiding smoking of cigarettes, vaping
- Breathing exercises such as the Buteyko technique
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Mold And Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew thrive in hot, humid environments. If there is excess moisture in the air for an extended period, you can be sure that these growths will find a favorable spot to take hold in your home. Floridas perpetually humid weather makes mold and mildew a near-constant threat. If these contaminants have made a home in your flooring or walls, they can spread quickly and compromise the structural integrity of your house.
Mold exposure can cause many health problems including congestion, throat irritation, coughing, and other respiratory issues. Some people are more sensitive to molds than others and may experience fever and shortness of breath. Mold can also cause asthma symptoms to worsen.
Humidity And Heat Exhaustion
Most people think of high humidity as a major discomfort, but they dont always associate it with serious health problems. In hot weather, your body produces sweat as a cooling mechanism. However, humidity makes it difficult for the heat to evaporate off your skin. Though youre probably sweating and feeling plenty damp, the airs soaring moisture levels keep the perspiration on your skin. This, in turn, will cause the body to gradually overheat.
As heat exhaustion sets in, you may experience cramps, dizziness, weakness, or fainting. Your body may sweat excessively in an attempt to keep your temperature under control, but this causes its own problems. As you lose moisture through your skin, your body will become dehydrated. This can cause your fingers and limbs to swell uncomfortably as your body tries to retain emergency stores of water in response to what youre losing.
The answer to all these problems is to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, and give yourself time to adjust to the high temperatures before exerting yourself physically. Make sure your home is a comfortable haven from the humidity where you can recover from the threats outside.
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Lifestyle Tips For Asthma
Keeping your homes air at an appropriate humidity level may help, but its not enough to control asthma completely.
If you have asthma, your doctor has probably prescribed controller and rescue medications for you. Its important that you follow your doctors directions and continue to use any asthma prevention medications you are prescribed, even when your symptoms are under control.
In addition to taking your prescriptions, these tips may help you to better manage asthma:
- Identify and avoid asthma triggers, such as pollen, animal dander, and dust mites.
- Do not smoke or vape.
Fails To Work In Poor Ventilation
As time passes by, through the process of evaporation the humidity levels rise in the room
And If the room is closed or the ventilation is poor or to say the air circulation between the room and outside environment is poor.
The airs humidity will reach peak levels after which the water droplets will find it difficult to change into gas or the process of evaporation will decline.
With the failure of evaporation, the cooler will also start to fail.
Dont worry Air Conditioner is the solution
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How Does The Humidity Affect Asthma
Many asthmatics can feel a humid day coming on. As the humidity rises, they might start to have some coughing and shortness of breath. When the humidity begins going over 60 percent, thats when people tend to start feeling it the most. But, not only is the weather itself causing asthmatics issues, but the higher humidity is also a cause for things like smog and other air pollutants like ozone and car exhaust.
This is why you will often hear about the Air Quality Index and warnings to stay inside when the air quality is at certain unhealthier levels. In addition to the air quality though, is the fact that the higher humidity is a breeding ground for mold and dust mites which also tend to irritate the lungs. And, on top of all that, the pollen levels will tend to go up causing those with allergic asthma to have their allergies and asthma go haywire.
Dont be fooled into believing that high humidity is the only thing to look out for though. The cold/dry air can also cause your asthma to flare up. Cold air naturally acts to shrink your airways. And, this is what causes the asthma flare in the first place.
If you typically have exercise-induced asthma, you will find that the more you huff and puff to rapidly breathe in during the cold, the more likely you are to have a flare. This is because you are breathing rapidly and also end up inhaling through your mouth which makes the air more dry and colder than usual.
Asthma And Humidity Level: Can A Low Or High Humidity Triggers Asthma
The humidity levels in your home can play a big role in your breathing quality. Humidity is how much water vapour is present in the air. Humidity levels that are too high or too low can affect us in different ways.
It has been found that a healthy level of indoor humidity is about 30% to 50%. Anything higher can cause faster growth of microorganisms like dust mites and mould, which are 2 of the most common allergens. If it is too low, it can cause dry skin, dry and cracked lips and throat and sinusitis.
While very high humidity may cause nasal congestion and difficulty in breathing, especially for asthmatic patients, low humidity has its issues.
When the air is too dry, it causes the mucous membranes in the sinus to dry up. This causes the sinus to become irritated and increases your chances of catching a cold or flu.
Also, viruses are more likely to survive longer in dry air than in humid air. Very low humidity can increase feelings of congestion and make breathing harder, thereby triggering some asthma symptoms. To avoid this, during periods where the air is very dry, for example, winter, increase the humidity level in your home using a humidifier or vaporiser.
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