Humidifiers and health
Health and humidifiers
Increasing the humidity in your home helps eliminate the dry air that can irritate and inflame the passages in the nose and throat. Humidified air can relieve the discomfort of colds and the flu and can be particularly helpful for people who have asthma. Humidified air can also help keep skin moist and reduce dry skin.
Humidifiers must be drained and cleaned frequently, because bacteria can grow in standing water, including the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease.
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.
Children should use a cool-mist humidifier to avoid accidental steam burns.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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