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Suffering from an Asthma Attack? Breathe easier with a Humidifier for your Home!

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Imagine that you're sitting at home watching TV or enjoying time with your family and suddenly you can't breathe. It feels as if your air ways are closing and you are not getting enough air. You're terrified and wondering, "What should I do?"

If you're one of the 22 million Americans that suffers from chronic asthma, this scenario is a terrifying reality. Here are some basic statistics collected by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:

  • 30,000 people have an asthma attack each day
  • Annually, asthma costs are estimated to be $18 billion
  • 5,000 people visit the ER because of an asthma attack every day
  • Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children
  • 4,000 people die each year because of asthma, most of which were preventable deaths

Thankfully, there are many different types of treatments available to help prevent an asthma attack and ease your symptoms. Even if you are taking medication to control your asthma, it may be time talk with your doctor and look into some alternative solutions to help you breathe easier and help reduce your dependence on your inhaler. For some, humidifiers can help soothe your airways and allow you to breathe easier.

Why Humidifiers Work:

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According to MayoClinic.com, breathing cool, dry air can sometimes irritate the nerves in your lungs, which leads to inflammation and causes your airways to constrict. Humidifiers for your home disperse moisture into the air, so you'll be breathing moist air and be less likely to have an asthma attack.

Where to Place the Humidifier:

Placement is important when using humidifiers, especially when you are trying to control your asthma. Be sure to place the unit a reasonable distance away from draperies and furniture. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the dampness of the carpet or flooring near the humidifier. If these areas become too damp, it can cause bacteria and mold to grow, which will make it more difficult for you to breathe.

Types of Humidifiers:
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  • Evaporative Humidifiers - use a fan that blows air through a wick or filter
  • Cool Mist or Impeller Humidifiers - uses a high-speed rotating disc to produce a cool mist
  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers - use ultrasonic sound vibrations to create a cool mist
  • Warm Mist Humidifiers - uses a heating element to heat the water and create steam that is cooled before being dispersed into the air

Tips for Effective Use:

There is some debate over whether or not a humidifier is good for people with Asthma because if the moisture levels in a home get too high then it creates a good environment for dust mites to live. Also, if not cleaned and maintained regularly a humidifier can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. So it is very important that you use a humidifier correctly, here are some tips:

  • It is very important to regularly clean the humidifier so mold and bacteria doesn't develop, which can then be harmful to your health. Learn how to properly clean them here
  • Use water with low mineral content to prevent mineral build-up
  • Don't allow the water tank to remain stagnant for extended amounts of time
  • Don't operate the humidifier so often that the indoor relative humidity level is greater than 50%, a hygrometer or humidistat can tell you what the level is
  • If you store the unit for an extended period of time, be sure it is dry before storing and thoroughly clean it before the next use

Other Ideas to Help Ease Your Breathing:

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  • Consider adding a few drops of liquid "menthol" to the humidifier to help clear and soothe air passages
  • Keep your home tidy and focus on keeping dust to a minimum
  • Avoid wearing fragrances, using house cleaning agents that have a strong odor, or using house hold aerosols
  • Don't smoke and consider using an air purifier in your home to reduce air pollution

For some more great tips on how to allergy-proof your house read this article at the MayoClinic.com.

Next Steps:

Before making any changes to your home environment, be sure to consult your doctor to discuss what is best for your situation.

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