” When the air is extremely dry, it can make an already painful sore throat feel that much worse. A humidifier is the perfect tool to add moisture back into the room and help alleviate some of the pain. But if you’re talking about the dreaded summer cold when the humidity is already high, a humidifier will not help.”
Everyone knows the feeling of waking up with a sore throat. And to be honest there are very few quick remedies that can make a big difference when you do have a sore throat.
There are some decent sore throat lozenges like the Mucinex and the Vicks brands that provide that ultra cool feeling on your throat but they are not all that long lasting and they do nothing to help at the root of it. And you don’t want to fall asleep with a throat lozenge in your mouth. Or you might end up waking up choking on it.
Drinking a lot of liquids ( coffee and Coke not included) and gargling with warm salt water also have a calming effect on a sore throat. And staying hydrated is absolutely the best policy to get you out of your sickbed quicker.
But the one thing that can exacerbate a sore throat more than any other and in turn help you when you do have a sore throat is maintaining the proper humidity in the room.
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Is a Humidifier Good for a Sore Throat?
Humidity levels in the house have a great deal to do with how dry your throat can feel. And though most throat issues are caused by a virus and there’s not a whole lot you can do besides wait it out.
If the humidity in your house is excessively low, it is going to have a compounding effect on your sore throat which will make it more painful. And since sore throat often accompanies nasal congestion, it follows that you tend to breathe through your mouth more which is only drying out your throat further.
Most professionals including the national library of science say that keeping the humidity level at between 40 and 60% in the home is the optimal level for keeping winter related symptoms at Bay.
“The humidifier is the perfect tool for adding humidity back into a room that is lacking the level of humidity that is required to keep viruses from spreading easier and to provide essential moisture for your nasal passages and throat.”
And humidifiers have become pretty sophisticated devices over the last few years that include hygrometers to be able to measure your own humidity as well as give you the option of using cool or warm mist as well as doubling as aromatherapy diffusers.
And when they are performing in a diffuser mode, there are essential oils like eucalyptus they can also have a clearing effect and offer some relief for a sore throat.
But the humidifier is definitely not the answer in every situation. For instance, everyone is familiar with the dreaded summer cold as well. And most of the time, adding extra humidity to the room in the summer is not the solution since the humidity levels in summer typically range above what would be considered the optimal humidity of 40 to 60% indoors.
At that point, it makes zero sense to try to relieve a sore throat by turning on a humidifier.
A humidifier can actually give you a sore throat and here’s why.
Humidifiers have to be cleaned often. When they are not well maintained, they can easily become a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
Anytime that a humidifier is left with standing water in it, it can begin to accumulate mold and bacteria in as little as 48 hours.
Imagine turning the humidifier on after it has had standing water in it for an extended time. At that point, it has basically become a distributor of bacteria into your airstream.
And the symptoms of moldy air on your health look suspiciously like the symptoms of the flu. Sore throat, headaches, sneezing, runny nose, etc.
A dirty humidifier can account for the reason you are having a sore throat in the first place.
There are a few humidifiers and humidifier products that are made to hinder the production of bacteria.
On the subject of Moldy air, humidifiers are not the only source of mold and bacteria that can affect your breathing and cause you to have cold-like symptoms.
The HVAC system (Central heating and Air) is also famous for being a distributor of bacteria throughout the house. Persistent mold allergy symptoms like sore throat and headaches can often be traced back to a dirty heating and Air system.
Most HVAC supplies offer induct air purifiers that are placed inside of your ductwork and have a high kill rate for mold.
- 24V Installation with included transformer / Professional Installation by an HVAC Tech or Electrical Contractor is recommended ).
- It is good against mold, odors, VOC’s, bacteria or viruses. Also: Dust, Particles, Chemicals. (It is recommended to use an electrostatic air filter.)
Evaporative coolers or also known for being a huge breeding ground for bacteria and mold. These machines operate by basically blowing a fan across water to cool the air.
Just like humidifiers, they have the propensity to collect standing water from time to time and must be cleaned often to avoid blowing moldy Misty air into your home.
There are also products you can put into your evaporative coolers to help prevent bacteria from growing.
Though a sore throat is usually not the direct result of having dry air, dry air can definitely have a compounding effect on how a sore throat feels.
Waking up with a sore throat is often accompanied with other symptoms like congestion that lead you to breathing through your mouth.
Dry air in the room can make a sore throat that much more painful.
When the humidity in the air is low, a humidifier can be a great tool to add humidity back into the air and help relieve some of the pain of having a sore throat.
But if we are talking about a sore throat in the summer when the humidity is typically too high, the humidifier is not the answer to sore throat relief.
Many people have complained about getting a sore throat as a result of running a humidifier.
And yes, even though a humidifier can be a great relief to you when you have a sore throat and they can conditions are dry,
Humidifiers have a huge disadvantage in that they have to be cleaned very often.
Running a humidifier that has had standing water left in it can actually introduce mold and bacteria into the air which can cause symptoms very similar to the flu including sore throat, sneezing, and headaches.
Which all is directly and indirectly the result of poor air quality.
Poor air quality can be the result of an unmaintained humidifier but it can be the result of other circumstances including dirty HVAC ducts and evaporative air conditioning which has the same type of mechanics as a humidifier and needs to be cleaned very well and often.