Stuffy noses can be experienced at any time of year. But these problem appears to be more common during the cold seasons. Common symptoms of cold, which may include nasal congestion, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, postnasal drip, loss of smell and taste, cough, fever, fatigue, and dizziness, are highly prevalent during the cold weather months. The reason for this is a combination of factors that combine to produce a perfect setting prone to sinus infections. A way that is believed to relieve sinus problems is the use of humidifiers, but do they actually work? Find out more in this article.
What are the different factors that lead to sinus infections?
1. Virus, fungus, or bacteria
Sinus issues are generally caused by a virus, however, they can also be exacerbated by fungal infection or bacteria. Many such viruses are highly infectious, which signifies they can easily spread from person to person. Sinus-causing viruses spread more easily during the colder months because household members devote more time inside their living spaces and in close contact with each other.
2. Pet or animal dander
As much as we adore our four-legged companions, it should be noted that pet dander is one of the most main sources of sinus infections. Sinusitis from pet dander may be more pervasive in the cooler months because both companion animals and homeowners spend more time indoors. Make sure to regularly clean your house to eliminate animal dander from floor coverings and household equipment, as well as keep your pets out of your bedsheets.
3. Dust mites
Dust mites become more abundant as thick, cold weather garments have been removed from storage and comforters or blankets are re-used.
4. Dryness of the indoor air
Dry air brought about by the cool outdoor air induces the mucus linings in your nasal passages to dry out. This results in the thickening of the mucus which raises the risk of sinus infection and nasal congestion. And apart from that, the low humidity will rupture and bleed your nostrils. Nose bleeding will then start happening, contributing to your discomfort. To mitigate this, use a humidifier to retain the moisture in the passages of your nose. A humidifier, when used appropriately, can benefit in alleviating some of the distress of sinus infections by increasing the moisture levels of the air inside your living space. However, using a humidifier entails more than just plainly loading the tank and plugging it in.
In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know to get the most out of the benefits of your air humidifier to combat sinus problems.
How will a person with sinus problems benefit from an air humidifier?
The humidity level in the house should be around the right range. Indoor humidity levels typically range between 30 and 50 percent. If indoor humidity levels are much larger than that, fungus and other microbes are at threat of developing. Any decrease and you are likely to have an overly dry nasal cavity, mouth sores, and dry skin. A fully functioning humidifier should aid in maintaining the humidity level of your indoor air within that expected range.
Humidifiers operate in various ways. However, the basic principle of how air humidifiers work is that they emit water vapor or mist into the air. This increases humidity without moistening your home furnishings or other surfaces. In the cooler months, the practice of vaporizing and heating the air before it approaches your lungs can make your nasal passages runny. This is your body’s way of responding to cold weather, as it produces more thick mucus to counteract the colder temperatures.
What type of humidifier is ideal for sinus infections?
The components and thermostat functionality of various humidifiers differ significantly. This ranges in price from costly whole-house systems to low-cost tabletop devices. The majority of humidifiers on the market are handheld cooling humidifiers while some would opt for warm mists or steam. Some air humidifier units can also toggle from heat to cool mode. These are the main types of humidifiers:
1. Evaporative humidifier units
The evaporative humidifier, like a candle wick, will use a heating element to gradually move water away from the tank. To push air on the wick and evaporate water from the wick, an electronically controlled fan can be connected to the evaporative humidifier unit. Therefore, more water evaporates from the water tank resulting in dryer air.
2. Ultrasonic humidifier units
Ultrasonic means “above the limit of hearing.” Ultrasonic units are typically more lowkey and quieter than evaporative humidifier units. A diaphragm is an electrically powered metal plate that vibrates at high velocities until water has played and is separated into smooth vapor. The mist is then expelled from the ultrasonic humidifier unit into the surrounding air. Warm or cool air can be emitted by ultrasonic humidifiers.
3. Impeller humidifier units
Electricity-powered rotating disks spin at high speeds to propel water through a diffuser. Water is split into small particles and released into the surrounding air. Hence, the space is filled with a cool mist. Water minerals will be encapsulated in the mist and may leave fine white impurities in its surroundings.
4. Steam humidifier units
A steam humidifier works in the same way as a kettle in that it boils water. Electricity warms up burners, causing water to transform states from a liquid into vapor. Then, the steam humidifier emits steam into the ambient air. Processes include concentrating minerals and storing these in the vaporizer tank. When operating steam humidifier units, take extra care because the heated water can cause burns and the heating elements can burst into flames.
What are the best ways to use a humidifier for sinus infections?
- Clean the humidifier on a regular basis, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If the humidifier has filters, make sure to change them on a frequent schedule.
- Fill your humidifier units only with distilled water. Mineral resources in tap water can be infuriating if breathed.
- Take the time to thoroughly wash away any disinfectant. Inhalation in cleaning agent particles can damage your lungs.
- Use an air humidifier only when necessary. This will keep your indoor environment from becoming overly humid. Do not leave it operating all the time. If feasible, choose a humidifier that will turn off automatically when the humidity in your indoor space reaches a predetermined level.
If you suffer from sinus problems on a regular basis, a humidifier is a useful tool that you should purchase. While humidifiers are not the only remedy to all sinus infections, it is indisputable that this tool is extremely beneficial. As previously stated, maintaining healthy humidity levels enables you to breathe a little easier and eliminate unwanted distress. This may aid break mucus, soothe a stuffy nose, and ease nasal and throat discomfort. Even so, it is important to remember that humidifiers must be cleaned on a regular and thorough basis. If not, these can become potential sites for mold and bacteria, thereby intensifying your sinus issues.
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Written by MC Sanchez