What are the Benefits of a Humidifier?

humidifier health benefitsIf you have curly hair, you are probably all too familiar with the concept of humidity. Humidity is a measure of how much water vapor is currently stored in the air. Humid air is more moist and heavy compared to dry air due to the amount of diffused water in it. An air humidifier, usually just called a humidifier, works by putting moisture back into the air by warming up water and releasing it in a fine mist. Humidifiers are usually used during the dry, winter months of the year to help maintain wooden furniture and musical instruments, such as guitars and violins. Humidifiers can also be used to help treat illnesses of all kinds, to prevent dry skin, and can be used to help keep your home warmer in the winter months, as well as a wide range of other more specialized uses depending on the humidifier you use.

Humidifiers come in a wide range of types and styles, from more simplistic air humidifiers made to keep inside instrument cases, to complex timer-based humidifiers that can diffuse essential oils as well as moisture into the air. Humidifiers are often made to keep one or two rooms from becoming too dry during the year, and keeping a single humidifier in a closed room can help open your sinuses as well as give the feeling of a warmer room during the winter months. Humidifiers can also help reduce the effects of snoring by making sure the nasal passages do not become dried out or irritated during the night.

For personal health, humidifiers can help reduce or all together eliminate the presence of dry skin, especially during the winter, as the abundance of moisture in the air can help keep your skin from cracking and drying out. Humidifiers are also helpful when used to prevent allergy symptoms, as they can help stop pollen and other debris from becoming easily airborne due to the moisture content of the air itself. On top of this, humidifiers help reduce the inflammation of your sinuses which can help you to get rid of that stuffed up feeling that comes from your allergies.

Humidifiers are also incredibly useful to help prevent static. Whether you are simply sick of having your hands get shocked every time you touch a door handle, or are looking for static reduction for sensitive projects around the house, a humidifier is the perfect tool to help reduce the ease by which electrical charges travel through the air. This means that due to the amount of moisture in the air, static is less likely to form in your home. This can be incredibly useful if you have a large amount of electronics in your home, or are looking to reduce your chance of rare, but possible, accidental fires from large amounts of static shock.

While these are all wonderful ways to use a humidifier, one of the main reasons that people invest in humidifiers is to help prevent and treat illness, especially during the height of flu season. Here is why investing in a humidifier may be one of the best ways to treat and prevent airborne illnesses, as well as help treat other ailments.

How Can a Humidifier Help with Airborne Illnesses?

Humidifiers are able to prevent the spread of airborne infections. In some studies, the effectiveness of airborne viruses to spread in a moisture-rich environment was reduced by 43%, meaning that these viruses were unable to reach a new host. This, in turn, means that the virus was unable to spread and was rendered effectively useless. Due to the high moisture content in the air, many airborne viruses tend to get stuck within the moisture. This makes them too heavy to remain airborne, causing them to sink harmlessly to the ground. If you or your loved ones are more prone to illnesses, such as due to an immunity weakness or are generally exposed to more sources of infectants than the average person, a humidifier can help reduce your risk for airborne infections drastically. Humidifiers have also been shown to reduce the rate by which influenza spreads as well, making it an incredibly wise investment during and after flu season.

Humidifiers are also useful when you are suffering from any form of illness, as they can reduce inflammation in the sinuses, as well as help loosen up any mucus that may have formed during your sickness. For people who are prone to more serious infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, a humidifier can help make sure that any fluids in your body during your illness do not get trapped in your lungs by soothing some of the irritation early on. Breathing in warm, humid air can help loosen up pockets of mucus left in your lungs and sinus passages, making your illness pass quicker.

If you or your loved one are prone to serious illnesses, or are in an area that is susceptible to a large amount of exposure to airborne illnesses, a humidifier can be useful to both prevent and treat any illnesses that may find their way into your home. Humidifiers are helpful in drier climates where flu and cold season are often followed by painfully dry, cold air. Not only do humidifiers help reduce the effects of dry air on your body, they can also contribute to a warmer house, as moist air often times feels much warmer than dry air on the body. This is also useful during an illness, as having airflow that is both beneficial and soothing can help reduce the discomfort caused by the illness itself.

While perfect for temporary inflammation and discomfort reduction, as well as swelling reduction, humidifiers are incredibly useful in cases where the swelling and inflammation may be more long term, such as for arthritis. Here are some of the ways that having a humidifier in your home can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis on a daily basis, and can help return some functionality to stiff, painful joints.

How is a Humidifier Useful for People with Arthritis?

Arthritis is caused most often due to a swelling and irritation of the joints. This is most often due to a wearing down of the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones. When this cartilage is no longer present, the bones can rub against each other, creating soreness and inflammation in the joint. This can lead to swelling and a drastic change in mobility for the joints themselves. Arthritis is best managed through the use of preventative measures, as well as pain and discomfort aids, such as over the counter medications and hot and cold treatments. This is where the use of a humidifier for arthritis comes in.

Patients who suffer from arthritis often times report flare ups during the colder, drier months due to the temperature outside and the lack of humidity in the air. A humidifier can help these symptoms by putting moisture back into the air, which has been tied with reducing the overall inflammation felt as a symptom of the condition. The warming properties of humidifiers can also help cut down on the discomfort caused by cold air leaking into your room or home, making the symptoms of arthritis less painful, and in some cases removing them all together. While there is no real cure to arthritis, a humidifier can help ease the discomfort felt from the ailment, and help you regain mobility in the affected joints again.

To help treat arthritis, placing humidifiers throughout your home can act as a preventative measure against dry air. Make sure your humidifier is positioned in such a way as to best allow for the movement of the moisture through the entire room. It is also important to not place your humidifiers near anything that may be sensitive to moisture. While a humidifier will not necessarily irritate things like televisions and computers, keeping your humidifier directly next to your TV may cause damage to it in the long run. Placing a humidifier on a bookshelf can also increase the risk of water damage to your books, and should be avoided. Proper spacing of your humidifiers is the best way to make sure that your home stays properly aerated and humidified without causing bothersome messes.

Here is a YouTube video that outlines some of the better humidifiers on the market:

If you are looking to reduce the symptoms of a cold, the flu, or a longer term condition like arthritis, humidifiers can help your body to relax and can be used to stop inflammation all together. If you are looking to help bring some warmth back into your home during the winter months, you should consider investing in a humidifier. They can help prevent dried out skin and drier air in your home year round.