Do Cool Mist Humidifiers Help With Congestion?
Are you one of the nearly 30 million American adults who suffer from sinusitis?
If so, you know that it doesn't take much to trigger your painful and uncomfortable nasal inflammation. When this happens, you can expect to sniffle, sneeze and wheeze for days, weeks or even months.
In your quest to seek relief, you've likely tried almost every product, treatment and therapy under the sun. However, have you considered the role that your home humidifier might play?
Could there be a connection there? Does a humidifier help with congestion? Today we're taking a closer look at the answer to these questions to help you understand why the answer is a resounding "yes".
What is Congestion?
The concept of congestion is simple enough. Chances are, you've had a stuffy nose plenty of times in your life! Yet, what are the technical details behind congestion and where does it initially originate?
When you know the answers to these types of questions, you can address the condition right at the source.
In short, nasal congestion is triggered by anything that may cause your nasal tissues and sinus cavities to become inflamed or irritated. When this happens, it makes it more difficult for air to move into and out of your nose.
Why is this an issue? Your nose is designed to act as a tiny, yet powerful, filter. Not only does it help provide humidity and warmth to the rest of your body, but it also contains tiny hairs that filter out airborne particles and microorganisms as you breathe, preventing them from entering your body.
When your nose is plugged with congestion, you're unable to filter out as many of the negative germs and bacteria present in the air.
The list of potential irritants is lengthy and can range from dust in the attic to pollen in the air. In addition, infections such as colds and the flu can also irritate your nasal passages, as can your allergies. A few of the other most common causes of congestion include:
- Acute or sinusitis (nasal inflammation)
- Common cold
- Dry air
- Deviated septum
- Certain foods (especially spicy food)
- Prolonged use of some nasal decongestants
- Sleep apnea
If any of these irritates your nasal passages, you'll find that it has a more difficult time draining normal mucus. In return, the mucus thickens inside of you. This helps to explain why your head hurts, you're coughing up gunk, and you can't breathe through your nose.
Key Symptoms of Congestion
If you're in the throes of nasal congestion, you'll know it. A few of the key signs that something's going wrong include:
- Stopped up nose
- Red, itchy eyes
- Productive cough with thick, yellow mucus
For your condition to be diagnosed as acute sinusitis, your symptoms will last fewer than four weeks. After that, any lingering congestion will be considered chronic sinusitis.
Someone with chronic sinusitis could experience these symptoms for just a few weeks and then find full recover. Or, they could deal with ongoing congestion, inflammation and sinus issues for years.
Common Treatments for Congestion
If you visit your physician with signs of congestion, you could receive a few different recommendations.
For one, your doctor might suggest that you simply drink more fluids and get plenty of rest. We can run ourselves ragged and become so overworked that we lose sleep and elevate our stress levels. When this happens, our immune system gets compromised and it's difficult to stay well.
Or, your doctor may prescribe you extra-strength sinus medication to help you curb your symptoms and keep your discomfort at bay. A few of the most common medicines prescribed to treat sinus concerns include:
- Corticosteroids (nasal sprays)
- Cough suppressants
If your condition is caused by a sinus infection, your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to kill the germs and bacteria behind it.
While these medications can help you achieve short-term satisfaction, the reality is that they are not designed to offer true relief. When you're simply masking your symptoms, it won't be long before they start to creep back up again! This is why you need a sustainable, natural solution that you can use daily to offer targeted support right where you need it the most.
Enter, your humidifier.
How Does a Humidifier Help with Congestion?
You already know that your humidifier helps keep the air around you humid and comfortable. Perhaps you have a model like our Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier that includes a tray for all of your essential oils, so the air can smell as good as it feels.
While these features can help you get a great night's sleep, you might not realize how important they are for your overall sinus health, too. Let's take a look at a few reasons why this is the case.
Elevates Room Humidity
There's a very good reason why people seem to catch more colds and flu during the winter season. This is because the air around you naturally becomes more dry and arid during that time. When this happens, your nasal passages can become irritated, dry and chapped which can lead to inflammation.
As the air grows cold around you, the humidity levels in your home subsequently drop.
Then, this change is intensified if you run your heating system on full blast to keep you warm! Before long, you'll begin to notice that airflow to your nose isn't as easily achieved. This issue, coupled with the fact that the dry air causes the mucus in your nose to dry, can make it difficult to get even one deep breath in through your nose.
When you run your humidifier, you're helping to gently raise the relative humidity levels in your house. For most people, the ideal range is between 30% and 60%. However, those numbers can dip significantly with the autumnal seasonal change.
A humidifier will release water droplets into the air around you. This introduces a greater amount of humidity and moisture in your nose.
In a short amount of time, you'll notice that your room doesn't feel as dry. You'll also appreciate waking up with the ability to breathe through your nose!
Relieves Chapped Skin Around Nose
Another reason to run your humidifier near your bed while you sleep? The increase in humidity isn't just good for the inside areas of your nose. In addition, it's also a great resource for healing and restoring your dry, chapped skin.
How many times have you woken up with crusty mucus stuck to the outer or inner corners or your nose? These can obstruct your breathing just as much as internal inflammation can.
Moreover, you may also be accustomed to cold sores, chapped cheeks, itchy eyes and a host of other issues related to facial dryness. All of these can make your congestion feel substantially worse.
The good news? A humidifier can help soothe your dry, cracked skin and help it heal quicker.
Encourages Release of Mucus
No one exactly enjoys coughing deeply. However, it's best when these coughs are productive, helping you to expel congestion from your chest and lungs.
If you've ever tried in vain to release this pent-up mucus, you know how frustrating and challenging it can be. In addition, it can also be painful. You could even fracture, bruise or crack a rib from coughing too hard!
As you run your humidifier and your sinus cavities become moister, you'll notice that your coughs the next morning are more productive and looser than before. This can help you recover from congestion quicker and more easily.
The Best Humidifier for Congestion Relief
Now that you know a little more about how a humidifier can help with your congestion, it's time to start shopping!
However, before you head out, it helps to know which models to look for. Some humidifiers work better than others in terms of providing relief from sinus and congestion. Let's review a few of your options.
Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers
Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers top our list for their safety, effectiveness and ease of use.
These humidifiers expel water droplets into the air around you using a ceramic plate inside of the reservoir. When you plug in your machine, the plate begins to vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency. This sends a cool, fine mist into the air around you.
As you breathe in this mist, you'll help to loosen and moisten your nasal and sinus passages. This can help you wake up feeling better and breathing easier! As mentioned, our Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is the top of the line, thanks to several features that help it stand out from the rest.
This is a sleek yet robust unit capable of being productive in spaces up to 500 square feet! It's also heralded by doctors and parents alike for its ability to help combat
- Airborne viruses and bacteria
- Dry skin
- Respiratory conditions
- Asthma, colds and seasonal allergies
Our machine is whisper-quiet, runs without a cumbersome filter, and doesn't require a heat source to deliver the soothing mist you need. The six-liter water storage tank is capable of running more than 50 hours without disruption! It's also ETL safety certified, so you can feel confident that it's safe and secure for even the youngest members of your family.
An evaporative humidifier works by blowing water through a moistened filter. Similar to an ultrasonic humidifier, it does not require the use of heat.
While these can be effective and safe, some evaporative humidifiers can actually dispel too much water into the air. If this happens, it can cause the relative humidity levels in your room to become too high, which can make your congestion symptoms worse.
In addition, this excess heat and moisture can also encourage mold growth, which is especially problematic for anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma.
While cool mist humidifiers are some of the safest on the market, others might prefer steam vaporizers, instead.
These machines also use water to deliver humidity in your room, but they boil that water first. Once it reaches the right temperature, it's cooled slightly and released as steam.
As you might expect, these can also make your room too hot and steamy, especially if you overuse the adjustment dial. Yet, that isn't the main drawback with vaporizer units.
As they contain a reservoir of boiling water, they are inherently unsafe in a child's room or any room where tiny hands or animal paws could knock them over. In addition, the steam they release also poses a mild burn risk if you sleep or sit too close to it.
Cleaning Your Humidifier to Keep Sinus Issues Away
When used correctly, your ultrasonic, cool mist humidifier can be a major tool in your congestion arsenal. Yet, it's important to clean it on a regular basis to prevent mold and mildew from accumulating inside of it. This guide gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do so using a simple household ingredient: white vinegar!
Another tip? Resist the urge to allow water to sit in your humidifier all day long. As soon as you wake up in the morning, empty it out and let the components dry all the way before using the unit again that night.
These simple tips can help make sure your humidifier helps with your sinus and congestion issues, rather than adds to them!
Find the Ultrasonic Humidifier You Need Today
If you suffer from congestion, you know how miserable the achy days and restless nights can be. This is a condition that affects your entire upper body and can directly impact your quality of life.
If your symptoms are chronic or severe, your physician can help guide you toward a path of healing and treatment. This might include a medication regimen, breathing therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and more. Along the way, you can help boost your plan by investing in an ultrasonic, cool mist humidifier for your home.
Does a humidifier help with congestion? Absolutely, and we're here to help you find one today. In addition to our humidifiers, be sure to check out the rest of the health and wellness products in our shop. As you do, contact us with any questions!