Pneumonia, cold, and flu share similar symptoms: cough, fever, and a runny nose. While cold and flu aren’t as severe cases of pneumonia can be terrible and require the most attention. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that causes the air sacs in the lungs to be filled with fluid, making it hard to breathe.
Symptoms include breathing problems, fever, and cough. While dry air is not the root cause of cough during pneumonia, but it can aggravate the cough, making it an awful experience.
A humidifier increases humidity and can provide immediate relief. Whether a humidifier is superb for treating pneumonia, opinions on this matter vary. Let’s have a look at the different facets of this matter.
The primary purpose of humidifiers is to add moisture to the surrounding air, but there are a few other side functions of this device that have additional benefits when dealing with pneumonia.
Humidifiers improve air quality: Pneumonia is when a virus or bacteria infects the lungs. If an infected person sneezes or coughs, the respiratory droplets containing these germs can travel through the air into another person’s respiratory tract and spread the disease.
While it can’t be compared with an air purifier, a humidifier can clean the air to some extent, getting rid of the airborne germs. Warm mist humidifiers are more effective as it passes the air through steam.
The high-temperature steam can kill all germs presented in the air nearby. In this way, a warm-mist humidifier hinders the spread and growth of infection-causing microbes in the air.
Eases breathing difficulty: Along with inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs, pneumonia leads to inflammation of the respiratory tract. This inflammation, coupled with coughing, can make breathing a painful experience.
When a humidifier is used to add moisture in the air, it helps soothe your respiratory tract making breathing easier. It moistens your nasal passageways, helping with sniffling too.
Relieves Chest Congestion: During pneumonia, the respiratory tract produces thick mucus to get rid of the germs that have infected the lungs.
The mucus membranes go into overproduction when a virus or bacteria irritates it, causing inflammation. The body creates extra mucus and phlegm to remove irritants and ease inflammation. These fluids can accumulate along with inflammation, leading to chest congestion.
Cough can easily remove a warm-mist humidifier releases steam in the air, which helps to moisten the respiratory tract.
Relieves Cough: Cough is essential for eliminating the germs from the body. However, a dry atmosphere can significantly worsen the cough. Coughing in dry air can injure the throat, and the pain can make it painful to swallow food.
A humidifier immediately eases these symptoms; increased humidity makes coughing less painful.
While a humidifier works to ease symptoms of pneumonia, it can also work in the opposite direction if you don’t use it carefully. The only possibility when your humidifier starts working to deteriorate your health is when it is not adequately cleaned.
The moisture inside the humidifiers encourages mold and bacteria growth. When not cleaned, they can release these microbes into the air along with the mist. If inhaled, these microbes can cause infection and worsen an existing pneumonia condition. The effects of an uncleaned humidifier can be amplified if you have asthma or allergies.
Experts recommend cleaning the humidifier’s water tank every three days with a disinfectant, along with replacing the water every day. We recommend it that distilled water is used in humidifiers; this not only reduces the bacteria build-up but also reduces the mineral deposits in the humidifier's vicinity. Moreover, the humidifier filter should be regularly replaced.
While cool-mist humidifiers are the safer option, you should always prefer one when they have to be used around children or pets. The hot steam from warm-mist humidifiers can burn the skin if a child gets too close.
Both warm and cool-mist humidifiers add humidity to the air. Cool-mist humidifiers ease the coughing and congestion from pneumonia. However, more research is required for a definite statement. Some studies have found that warm-mist humidifiers help little to ease symptoms of pneumonia.
Both warm and cool-mist humidifiers are effective in adding moisture to the air equally. The temperature difference between the mist of the two types of humidifiers does not make much of a difference. This is because, by the time the moisture droplets reach your respiratory tract after passing through the nose, they’re the same temperature irrespective of being emitted by a warm or cool-mist humidifier.
Run time: The runtime is the running duration of a humidifier before the water needs to be refilled. It links directly the running duration to the capacity of the tank and the rate of mist output.
The more the capacity, the longer the running duration of the humidifier. With pneumonia, you will need the humidifier to work for the entire night for enjoyable sleep; nighttime air can be dry and cold, and thus, cough can deteriorate. So, to avoid having to refill it in the middle of the night, look for a humidifier that can run overnight.
Medicine cups: These are compartments that allow you to add inhalants and other medicines that help with breathing. Treated vapor has proved effective in relieving pneumonia-infected lungs. Furthermore, medicine cups enable you to add essential oils like eucalyptus oil to the water, an effective domestic remedy for pneumonia.
Safety: Regardless of how you use your humidifier, safety should always be prioritized. You won't want to place an additional risk to someone already suffering from pneumonia. The quality or efficacy of humidifiers will matter less if they are not user-friendly.
Ease of cleaning: You should be able to clean and maintain your humidifier without making much of an effort. Given that you need to clean it every three days, always consider the appliance that is well-designed and is easy to clean and keep.
If you require more information, please check these references
Ventilator-associated pneumonia using a heated humidifier or a heat and moisture exchanger: a randomized controlled trial , article, "europepmc.org", retrieved on, Tue 14-July-2020
Community-acquired Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia associated with the use of a home humidifier. , article, "www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov", retrieved on, Tue 14-July-2020
Efficacy of heat and moisture exchangers in preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials , article, "link.springer.com", retrieved on, Tue 14-July-2020
After I had a bout of sinusitis, I spent every hour looking for something that would allow some kind of relief form the pain. This was when I found the humidifier. This came as a great surprise to me, as I assumed that these were just “toys”
After this blessed release from sinusitis, I decided to investigate these things further
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