Humidifiers and health
Health and humidifiers; Using a humidifier for colds; Humidifiers and colds
Increasing the humidity in your home helps eliminate the dry air that can irritate and inflame the airways in your nose and throat.
Using a humidifier in the home can help relieve a stuffy nose and can help break up mucus so you can cough it up.
- Always use a cool-mist humidifier (vaporizer), especially for children. Warm mist humidifiers can cause burns if a person gets too close.
- Place the humidifier several feet away from the bed.
- Do not run a humidifier for a long time. If room surfaces are constantly damp or wet to the touch, mold and mildew can grow. This can cause breathing problems in some people.
- Humidifiers must be drained and cleaned daily, because bacteria can grow in standing water.
Last reviewed 11/12/2012 by Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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