Humidifier making me cough

Every form of infection or disease of the lungs has different symptoms peculiar to their nature; however, there is one they all share in common, which is a persistent cough. Many reasons cause someone to cough, from as complicated as chronic bronchitis, to as simple as a cold, one thing we can all agree on is that it is very uncomfortable and have to be remedied in any way possible. Basically, when dealing with a humidifier making me cough, knowing what to do is very paramount to avoid aggravating the symptoms

Humidifiers create and release moisture into the atmosphere in a completely harmless way. However, poor maintenance habits can quickly turn your friendly humidifier into morphine for infections. This article would serve as a guide for everything you need to know about humidifiers making you cough, what causes it, and how to handle the situation with immediate effect.

Can a humidifier make a cough worse – Here are Likely reasons

There are situations when a humidifier can cause health problems instead of raising the humidity level!

Poorly Maintained Humidifier

Humidifiers causing cough could only result from a poor maintenance culture. This raises relative humidity.  Before we go on, note that anything that supports the infection can essentially lead to worsening symptoms like a cough.

The first condition of poor maintenance occurs when people do not take care of humidifiers as per general cleaning, use of proper water type, and filter replacement frequency.

Humidifiers themselves are prone to moist due to the high amount of water vaporize while operating. So, when not cleaned properly this could lead to the development of mold and consequentially spores into the mist, which gets into your air.

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Breathing in mold spores is not in any way good for the body, especially those who already have existing allergic reactions.

White dust released alongside the mist creates a hard to clean coating on virtually every surface it lands on. More dangerously, it supports the growth of bacteria and other organisms that are dangerous to your health. This is why they recommend distilled water to be used with a humidifier.

Dirty Filters and Low Air Quality

Most humidifiers use filters, which helps remove impurities from water used. Depending on design, some can even deal with mineral properties. They are called demineralization filters.

These filters either have a life span, after which you should change them. When a humidifier has a dirty air filter, built-up dirt and mineral content eventually find their way to the mist and air quality will drop!

Excess Moisture Release

Excess moisture release from a humidifier can significantly impact the air quality within a home, creating an environment that is not just uncomfortable but potentially hazardous to health. When a humidifier dispenses too much moisture, it elevates the humidity levels beyond the ideal range, leading to a damp and clammy atmosphere. This excess humidity is particularly problematic as it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which thrive in moist conditions. The presence of mold in the home can drastically degrade the air quality, introducing spores and allergens into the air that are harmful when inhaled.

Breathing in these mold spores and allergens can exacerbate respiratory issues, particularly in individuals with pre-existing conditions like asthma or allergies. It can lead to a worsening cough, difficulty in breathing, and other respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to poor air quality caused by excessive moisture can lead to more serious health problems, including respiratory infections and aggravated lung conditions.

Also Read: What causes low humidity in a house

Cold and Warm Mist Humidifiers

Cold mist humidifiers use a fan and wet wick to emit a cool vapor, ideal for energy efficiency and quieter operation. Warm mist humidifiers boil water to produce a steam that warms the room, preferred in colder climates. Both types require regular cleaning to prevent mold and bacteria growth, which can exacerbate respiratory issues like coughs.

Despite their differences, both types of humidifiers require regular maintenance to prevent health issues. Neglecting to clean either type can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria in the water tank, which can then be released into the air. This can worsen respiratory problems, such as coughs, especially in individuals with allergies or asthma.

It crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintaining your humidifier, regardless of whether it’s a cold or warm mist type. Using distilled or demineralized water instead of tap water can also help reduce the buildup of minerals and potential growth of microbes in the humidifier.

Is it bad to inhale the vapor from a humidifier

One way or the other, every humidifier user ends up inhaling the vapor released from a humidifier, either directly, after it becomes water vapor in the atmosphere. Inhaling it directly, however, differs slightly from inhaling after it adds to relative humidity count in the atmosphere. This is due to the obvious reason of one having a direct passage and the other not so.

Primarily, inhaling this vapor poses no risk if the humidifier is a cold mist type only. We recommend you never try this with warm mist or vaporizers. This is as a result of the high chance of burns they pose, adding to your health issue of the already infected throat causing cough. However, doing this even with unclean cold mist devices exposes you directly to harmful organisms. As a result of mold build-up or mineral contents contained in the water. These are very dangerous when allowed into the body.

For this reason, it is not recommended to always breathe in the vapor from a humidifier directly. Rather allow it to affect the humidity in the air first, bringing the much-desired relief. Go the other way, and you could end up with mold spores, bacteria, and white dust down your nostrils if the humidifier is in a dirty condition.

Also Read: How do you know you need a Humidifier

Is a humidifier good for cough?

The primary function of humidifiers, which is to increase the total amount of relative humidity in the air, is good for cough. Cough is aggravated by cold air, which is a result of low humidity. This low humidity leaves the nasal airways very dry and susceptible to infections and irritations, resulting in cough. When this dry state is compromised by breathing in moisture-filled air, the result is more moist airways, as well as relief from infection symptoms, including cough.

What does a humidifier do for a cough?

Breaking down the process further, humidifiers relieves cough by attacking the conducive habitat, which sponsors their wellbeing.

As earlier said, infections during the cold season thrive on a lack of moisture. Which is why a simple cut on your arm could take a longer time to heal than in summer. This infection is a result of the now dry surfaces of a normally moisture-filled area, and it is the same case with the nasal airways where air flows through.

Breathing in dry air over and over again dries up moisture in the lining real fast, leaving it in a condition that it normally never is. This situation leaves the path exposed to airborne viruses, which could cause all sorts of infections.

Humidifiers counteract this by simply adding more moisture to the air. Eventually, this air flows through the pathways during breathing, bringing back moisture, and relieving cough.

This is a simple break down of the functional principle of a humidifier working in perfect condition, and with proper maintenance. It could, however, differ in some other situations, like poor device state or use of mineral-filled water, poor filter conditions.. This flip side would be discussed further in our next consideration.

Also Read: Best Humidity for baby

What to do when a humidifier is making me cough worse

Having a humidifier making me cough, what to know, and what to do could well be the difference between your health going critical and not. Which is why we would be discussing it shortly.

The first step to carry out is to turn off the device immediately. In its off state, the humidifier should be opened and carefully inspected for contaminations (including its water tank and mystifying stages), especially nukes and crannies that are not easily visible to the eyes. After this, every filter in the humidifier should be inspected and washed thoroughly or replaced accordingly.

It could also be that your device is creating too much mist than you need; therefore, we recommend installing a hygrometer in the home to keep tabs on immediate humidity. Better still, if you can, purchase a device with a humidistat that would make monitoring and control much easier without your constant input.  Asides these procedures, a humidifier should function properly, and if it still makes you cough, then visit a doctor.

Final thoughts on humidifiers making me cough

Humidifiers are lifesaving gadgets that come in handy when dealing with domestic body infections, especially during the cold season.

They can, however, work to your detriments when not used properly, which is why it is important you take time out to study how to use one, as well as the right conditions of operation.

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