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How to Protect Your Health from Dry Air

December 8, 2023

When we consider protecting our health during winter, we often think about outdoor threats, like cold temperatures and icy sidewalks. However, the air inside our homes can also pose challenges, especially if that air is dry.

Can dry air cause a sore throat? Can dry air make you sick? Indeed, dry air can lead to several issues affecting our well-being, from respiratory discomforts to skin issues!

How Does Dry Air Affect Our Health?

Dry air indoors, notably when the humidity drops below 30%, often makes us more prone to sore throat, coughing, and other respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis. 

When the air is dry, the moisture that usually keeps our airways hydrated can quickly evaporate, leaving them susceptible to irritation.

In fact, Healthline reports: 

“Dry air may also affect your ability to fight off viral infections by weakening and reducing your nasal mucus, part of your body’s natural defense against these germs.”

You might notice some common symptoms of dry air in the house, including dry skin, dry eyes, a scratchy throat, and even nose bleeds. These low humidity symptoms can impact our comfort and well-being during the colder months. 

Additionally, a 2020 study suggested that prolonged exposure to very dry indoor air may increase stress levels, result in poorer sleep, and even raise the risk of certain infections. 

Improving Indoor Air Quality for Our Health

Here are a few tips on adding moisture to your home and ensuring a more comfortable indoor environment for you and your recipients of home care services. 

  • Use a Humidifier: This is an effective way to add moisture back into the air. Keep the humidity level between 30 and 50 percent for optimal comfort.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and reduce the detrimental effects of dry air.
  • Grow House Plants: Many common houseplants naturally release moisture vapor, which can help increase humidity levels in homes.
  • Allow Wet Clothes / Towels to Air Dry: Instead of using a clothes dryer, air-dry your clothes inside. You can also wet a towel and hang it near a heat source. As the clothes or towels dry, they release moisture into the air.

Remember, caring for your health extends to caring for the spaces in which we live. Adapting to dry air is simply another aspect of family well-being. 

Get More Caregiving Resources

Whether you're dealing with dry air or facing other home care challenges, remember that Best Care is here to help with all your questions related to family caregiving! Browse our resources or contact us for support! 

Caregiver turning on humidifier in home to help reduce dry air conditions.
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