When you’re experiencing itchy, watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat and sneezing, you’ll do just about anything to find relief. Fortunately, there’s one easy step you can take to help manage your allergy symptoms: use a humidifier. We review how humidifiers can help with allergies below.
How Humidifiers Provide Allergy Relief
Allergies are caused by an immune system response. When the body comes into contact with allergens such as pollen, dust mites or mold, antibodies called Immunoglobulin E are produced. This triggers the cells to release histamine, which causes inflammation and increased mucus production.
Using a humidifier can soothe irritation and inflammation caused by exposure to allergens, providing quick relief. It can also thin mucus, helping it drain and taking allergens along with it.
Types of Humidifiers
There are two main types of humidifiers: warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers.
Warm mist humidifiers release warm mist, or steam vapors. You can both see and feel the vapor from warm mist humidifiers. This type of humidifier is ideal for smaller areas, like a bedroom. They are ideal for soothing the sinuses and thinning mucus. Because of the hot vapor, they should be kept away from children.
Cool mist humidifiers require more frequent cleaning than warm mist humidifiers, though doing so is usually easy. They tend to work best for larger areas and in warmer climates. Many people feel that cool mist is more comfortable to breathe.
Cleaning Your Humidifier
Dirty humidifiers can be problematic for people with health problems such as allergies or asthma, which is why regular cleaning is essential. Follow these tips:
- Rinse and dry the reservoir after each use.
- At least once a week, use vinegar to remove hard water residue.
- Use a disinfectant if the manufacturer recommends it.
- Clean the humidifier again before use if it’s been stored for a while.
- Don’t fill the humidifier until you’re ready to use it.
Where to Get a Humidifier
Humidifiers can be purchased online or at The 10th Street Ace Hardware. You can talk to your doctor to see if there are any particular types or models they recommend.
For more information about the benefits of humidifiers or to talk to an allergy expert, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.