Millions of people in the United States suffer from allergies. If you're unfamiliar, an allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. It is an exaggerated response to a substance that is usually harmless. Symptoms can range from a runny nose to anaphylaxis. There are many different types of allergies, the most common being food allergies, environmental allergies, and asthma. An allergy test can determine what sensitivities you have. Many people aren't aware of the fact that humidity can play a role in allergic reactions, but it can have an effect. If you want to learn more, keep reading to find out about the connection between humidity and allergies.
What is the connection between humidity and allergies?
Sometimes when it gets humid, allergy symptoms can get so bad that many people wonder if they have allergies to humidity. While you may not be allergic to the humidity itself, the truth is that humidity can significantly worsen the symptoms of many environmental allergies. When the air is humid, it can hold more pollen, dust, and other allergens. This means that the allergens will be in the air for longer periods of time and will be more likely to come into contact with your eyes or nose. High levels of humidity can also make it more difficult to breathe, which can aggravate asthma symptoms.
One of the best ways to reduce your allergy symptoms is to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. You can do that by purchasing a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers work by drawing moisture out of the air and into a collection container. This can help to reduce the number of allergens in the air, which can improve your quality of life. However, you don't want the environment to be too dry either, as that can dry out your nasal passages and allow allergens to dry out, making it easier for them to become airborne. The ideal humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent.
Proper ventilation can also remove moisture from the air and prevent it from building up inside your home. There are a few different ways to improve the ventilation in your home, including installing a ventilation system, opening windows and doors, and using fans. A combination of these methods is your best bet if you want a healthy home.
How else can you reduce allergy symptoms in your home?
Using humidifiers or dehumidifiers is undoubtedly one of the best ways to ensure that the humidity level in your home is comfortable, but there are other ways to protect your indoor environment too. For example, cracks and crevices in your windows and doors can let in outdoor air, humidity, and moisture. That can have a major impact on your allergy symptoms. If you notice any flaws, you need to seal them immediately with caulk or weatherstripping. Major damage might require professional repair or even window replacement.
If you want your entire HVAC system to be more effective, which can keep your home temperate and give you more precise control over your humidity levels, then you should upgrade to a smart thermostat. Many models allow you to control more than just your temperature, you can also adjust the humidity level and have the system adjust based on your habits and preferences. Some smart thermostats are even able to provide insight into your energy consumption, so you can optimize your usage to be as eco-friendly as possible.
If you've ever noticed that your allergies are worse on days when it’s humid outside, you’re not imagining things—there is a connection between humidity and allergies. High humidity can allow allergens to linger in the air for longer, while air that is too dry makes it easier for allergens to become airborne. That's why maintaining a healthy humidity level in your home should be a priority. Using a humidifier or dehumidifier can help, depending on your humidity level. You can also take other steps like checking the condition of your windows and installing a smart thermostat. Follow these tips and you can reduce your allergy symptoms at home.