Humidifiers and health

Definition

A home humidifier can increase the humidity (moisture) in your home. This helps eliminate the dry air that can irritate and inflame the airways in your nose and throat.

Alternative Names

Health and humidifiers; Using a humidifier for colds; Humidifiers and colds

Information

Using a humidifier in the home can help relieve a stuffy nose and can help break up mucus so you can cough it up. Humidified air can relieve the discomfort of colds and the flu.

Follow the instructions that came with your unit so that you will know how to use your unit the right way. Clean and store the unit according to the instructions.

The following are some general tips:

References

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website. Humidifiers and indoor allergies. www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/humidifiers-and-indoor-allergies. Updated September 28, 2020. Accessed February 16, 2021.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Dirty humidifiers may cause health problems. www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/5046.pdf. Accessed February 16, 2021.

US Environmental Protection Agency website. Indoor air facts No. 8: use and care of home humidifiers. www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/humidifier_factsheet.pdf. Updated February 1991. Accessed February 16, 2021.


Review Date: 10/2/2020
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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