As temperatures drop and heaters all over the country are being cranked
up, it's important to be aware of an insidious trigger of allergy symptoms--
dry air inside the home. Heating systems can have the unwanted and
detrimental effect of reducing the moisture present in the air. The
resulting dry indoor air can lead to many problems including dry skin,
itchy throats, and irritated nasal membranes. If you've ever seen the
effects of dry air on wooden furniture, for example, it should come as
no surprise that such air is harmful to your own much more delicate
Allergy sufferers are particularly prone to the discomfort caused by
dry indoor air. And individuals suffering from sinusitis must be
especially careful to maintain a comfortable level of moisture in the air
during the colder months since dry, irritated nasal passages lead to
inflammation and flare-ups. Here are some ways to fight the problems
associated with dry indoor air.
Monitor Your Home's Humidity with a Humidity Gauge
The first step in maintaining a healthy level of humidity in the home is
knowing how much moisture is in fact in your air. A humidity gauge, also
called a hygrometer, like the Acu-Rite
Digital Humidity Gauge is an indispensable tool in monitoring your
Just exactly how humid should your home be? Experts recommend that
indoor humidity levels for allergy and asthma sufferers be kept between 40%
and 50%. If the humidity level isn't high enough, you will still suffer the
effects of dry indoor air; but humidity levels that are too high encourage
mold growth and dust mite propagation. Because of this, we recommend leaning toward the
lower side of this range and adjust your humidity up until you reach a comfortable level.
Some humidifiers, like the Air-O-Swiss 7135
Ultrasonic Humidifier, contain their own built-in
Maintain Proper Humidity Levels with a Humidifier
Humidifiers, as their name suggests, add moisture to the air, thereby
alleviating the effects of dry air. There are four main types of
- True steam or warm mist humidifiers boil water and release
steam into the air like the AirOSwiss S450 Steam Humidifier. This model is unique
in that though it boils the water, the steam that is released won't burn.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers, which create water droplets through an
ultrasonic frequency and then send them into the air in the form of a cool
mist. The Air-O-Swiss 7142 Humidifier, which provides both warm and cool
mist and easy-to-use manual controls along with anti-microbial
components, is an excellent choice in this category.
- Impeller/Air Washer humidifiers, which also create a cool fog using a
rotating disc. For superior humidity control at whisper-quiet sound levels,
the Air-O-Swiss Air Washer and Humidifier is a great choice. It also features an
antimicrobial Hydro Stick to keep your water cleaner.
- Wick or evaporative humidifiers, which draw water from a
reservoir and use a fan to cause the surrounding air to absorb the water.
We carry several brands of evaporative humidifiers.
Deciding which humidifier is right for your family's needs depends on a
number of factors, such as whether warm or cool mist is better for you,
whether you desire the option of adding medicine to the humidifier, how
quiet you need the unit to be, how often you're able to refill your unit,
operating costs, and how much germ protection you want your unit to
Humidifier Buying Guide can help you choose the unit that's right for
you and keep you and your family from the effects of dry air during the
cold winter months.
Note: It is extremely important that you follow manufacturer's
instructions regarding the maintenance of your unit, especially when it
comes to cleaning your humidifier. Improperly maintained humidifiers can
introduce mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms into the air that you
Stop Sinus Problems Before they Start with the SinuPulse Nasal
Dry air is especially problematic for individuals who are prone to sinus
infections. Breathing dry indoor air can irritate nasal passages, causing
them to become inflamed, ultimately leading to flare-ups of sinusitis.
Sinus rinsing and moisturizing is a simple and efficient way to both
prevent sinusitis symptoms and to eliminate sinus infections if they do
occur. The SinuPulse
Elite Advantage Nasal Irrigation System is a comfortable way to keep
sinuses properly moisturized and rinsed. Designed by Swiss engineers, the
SinuPulse Elite washes away offending allergens and dirt in the nasal
passages, gently moisturizes, clears congestion, and increases healthy
blood flow in the sinuses. The SinuPulse may also be used with a throat
irrigator tip and a throat mist irrigator tip, an added benefit for
treating dry, itchy throats that often result from dry indoor air.
To read more about sinus problems and the benefits of nasal irrigation,
see the article,
Dr. Robert Ivker: 'Love Your Nose' - A Holistic Approach to Sinusitis
Knowing about the harmful effects of over-dry air in the home is the
first step in taking action. Making sure that you add the right amount of
moisture into the air with a humidifying unit and monitoring moisture
levels in the air with a humidity gauge can counteract the problems caused
by dry indoor air. And for those with particular sensitivities, a nasal
irrigation program is a great way to keep sinus problems at bay.