Allergy symptoms range from annoying to unbearable; itchy eyes, dry skin, runny nose, and congestion are just a few of the most common allergy symptoms. While there is no known cure for allergies, there are ways to improve allergy symptoms.
In this blog, we will answer the following questions:
- What causes allergies?
- Can you use a humidifier for allergies?
- What humidifier is best for allergies?
What Causes Allergies?
It seems these days that everyone is allergic to something. From bee stings and peanuts to dust mites and pet dander, there are quite a wide variety of documented allergies. While we generally accept allergies at face value, you may be curious to know: what is an allergy? What actually causes allergies?
An allergy is the body’s exaggerated immune response to a generally harmless foreign particle, cleverly named an “allergen.” A healthy immune system develops antibodies to ward off infection and disease. When the body is susceptible to allergies, it produces antibodies that trigger the release of chemicals into the body to fight an allergen it deems harmful. This chemical cocktail produces what we commonly know to be “allergy symptoms” including: watery or swollen eyes, itchy skin, runny nose, sneezing, rash, and more.
Allergies can develop spontaneously at any point in one’s life, which is far from comforting. Allergies are commonly developed from a genetic predisposition; for example, if one of your parents suffers from allergies, there is a 30-50% chance you will suffer from allergies as well. If both of your parents suffer from allergies, there is a 60-80% chance you will suffer from allergies.
There are five general categories of allergens: food, drug, insect, plant, and animal. Not all allergies are created equal; food and drug allergens, for instance, can be curtailed by avoidance. Plant, animal, and insect allergies are more difficult to avoid and, thus, more difficult to manage.
Hay fever, most commonly known as “seasonal allergies,” is triggered by a sensitivity to plant allergens. Seasonal allergies can cause sneezing, itching of the nose or eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, and watery or swollen eyes.
An estimated 32 million Americans have food allergies with more and more children developing food allergies each year. As of 2019, 1 in 13 children suffer from food allergies with the most common allergies being peanuts, milk, and eggs.
Do Humidifiers Help with Allergies?
So, you have allergies. What now?
While OTC medication, sinus rinses, and N-95 masks can improve your allergy symptoms, you may wonder whether there are alternative treatments for allergies. More specifically, can you use a humidifier for allergies?
While a humidifier is ineffective for food, drug, and insect allergies, a humidifier can be used to alleviate plant allergies, animal allergies, and atopic dermatitis or “eczema.” A humidifier is a device that releases moisture into the air to increase relative humidity (RH) levels in a particular space.
The optimal home humidity level ranges from 40% to 60% based on personal preference. When home humidity levels fall below 40%, dry air depletes moisture from the skin and the airways causing irritation and inflammation, which can exacerbate allergy symptoms. The higher levels of humidity provided by a humidifier can relieve allergy discomfort by lubricating the airways and rehydrating dry, dehydrated skin.
There are plenty of studies that reveal just how crucial humidity, by way of a humidifier, is to optimal health and wellness. According to the National Eczema Association, maintaining sufficient environmental moisture can both treat and prevent eczema outbreaks while dry, dehydrated air can trigger an outbreak leading to inflammation and unnecessary irritation. Additionally, a 2020 study published by the Annual Review of Virology revealed that sufficient humidity levels improve immune function and reduce survival rate of airborne pathogens. What this means, simply: you reduce your chances of getting sick and you give your immune system a nice little boost!
To learn more about humidifiers and how they can help with both allergies and general wellness, you can read our blog “What Exactly is a Humidifier Used For?”
What Type of Humidifier is Best for Allergies?
When choosing a humidifier for allergies and allergy symptoms, how do you choose a device that is both effective and suitable for your unique needs?
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the best humidifier for allergies, which include: room coverage, run time, and cleaning requirements.
A humidifier will provide little benefit to you and your family if it does not sufficiently humidify a designated space. Not all humidifiers are created equal; some ultra-compact humidifiers humidify a small space like your car while other humidifiers can connect to your HVAC system and humidify your entire home.
The best humidifier for allergies is one with compatible square footage output to the room in which you plan to place the device. For example, if you have a 300 square foot bedroom, you will need a humidifier with a minimum of 300 square foot output.
Canopy Humidifier is a compact humidifier with a sleek design that can hydrate up to 500 square feet effectively.
Run time is another major consideration when choosing a humidifier for allergies. Do you plan to run your humidifier through the night to loosen congestion, rehydrate dry skin, and improve sleep? You need a humidifier with at least 8-10 hours of run time to avoid a depleted water tank before your snooze is over.
Canopy Humidifier has a 2.5 liter tank with 36 hours of run time so you can spend less time refilling your water tank and more time enjoying the bliss of elevated humidity.
When you suffer from allergies, the goal is to reduce allergens in your home rather than introduce new potential allergens. Regularly cleaning your humidifier is a crucial step to both humidifier longevity and an improvement in your allergy symptoms.
Sitting water is a breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. If left unattended, a humidifier water tank can build up grime, bacteria, and harmful contaminants that will infect your home air and trigger allergy symptoms. Simple, straightforward cleaning requirements are best when choosing a humidifier for allergies.
Canopy Humidifier is a no mist, anti-mold humidifier designed to produce clean, safe moisture for your enjoyment. Canopy’s proprietary SPA™️ technology uses UV lights embedded in the water tank to kill 99.9% of bacteria and contaminants. Additionally, a disposable paper filter traps any lingering allergens from entering your space.Time for your weekly humidifier maintenance? Just pop Canopy Humidifier’s dishwasher safe components into your dishwasher on normal cycle and spend your time doing something more productive, like watching that new Netflix series in your queue.