Climactic conditions especially extreme temperatures whether high or low can cause the air to be dry, leeched of all moisture. Dry air can be irritating and uncomfortable causing headaches, dry lips and more. Indoor air quality matters because most people spend up to 90% of their time indoors. Here are potential health problems that can be caused by dry air and some ways to remedy the situation.
Signs of dry air indoors
Thirst is normal, however dry air causes abnormal thirst, lethargy, and dizziness as it sucks the moisture out of the body. Do you wake up extremely thirsty in the morning with a dry throat or nose?
Dry air sucks the moisture out of the mucous membranes causing them to become brittle and crack, leading to more nosebleeds.
Dry skin and lips
If your lips and skin become increasingly dry, you may have a dry air problem. The areas of the skin most commonly affected are the palms of your hand, heels of your feet, the area around the eyes and lips and the area around your nostrils.
When air is dry, it is more likely to produce electrostatic discharge (ESD) with effects such as getting a tiny shock when you touch things like door handles or taps.
Health problems caused by dry air indoors
One study found that workers in dry areas and rooms had more concentrated urine because the area depleted their body’s fluid levels.
Respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and sinusitis can be worsened by environments with dry air.
Risk of infections
Evidence shows that when air is dry, there’s an increased risk of getting the flu, colds and even pneumonia. It weakens the nasal mucus which is the body’s natural defence against germs.
Nosebleeds are a common consequence of being in dry areas.
Dry air can cause inflammation and difficulty swallowing. If you’ve ever woken up finding it difficult to swallow, this may be the cause.
Dry air irritates the eye and in extreme cases can lead to the tearing of the film that protects your cornea from damage. Air that’s dry increases tear evaporation leading to itching and irritation.
Dry skin and allergies
When the air is dry, it can lead to rough, dry skin that can worsen skin conditions like eczema, acne, and dermatitis. Air that’s dry can also weaken the skin’s barrier function increasing the likelihood of allergies.
Higher stress levels
Research shows that spending a lot of time indoors in a dry area may increase your stress levels. The scientists found that participants who worked in a building with dry air had heart rates that indicated a stress response with the participants later reporting poor sleep.
Some snoring is a result of the lungs and nasal passages not getting adequate moisture.
Solutions and prevention
Run a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the dry air. The newly moistened air will keep your skin, mouth, and nose lubricated. You should aim for about 30-50% humidity. Don’t overdo it because then you risk developing other problems like mould, fungi, dust mites and other creepy crawlies.
In the event that you don’t have a humidifier, you can boil water on the stovetop to release excess moisture into your home. You can also leave the bathroom door open when showering. Another option is to place wet sponges in rooms and let them dry out.
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Houseplants can add humidity to the space. Just be careful not to overwater them which will not only harm them but also promote the growth of mould. Spraying the plants in the room once a day should suffice to keep them alive and also moisturize the dry air.
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Shorter warm showers
Take shorter showers and choose warm rather than scalding hot showers. The heat can dry out your skin. Apply a natural moisturizer before leaving the bathroom to seal in that moisture to your skin.
For people who work in dry air-conditioned rooms that may dehydrate the air, take frequent breaks to restore moisture to your eyes. This is especially important for people who spend a majority of their time using computers in dry rooms.
Water is your friend. Keep your skin and mouth moist by drinking water throughout the day especially when working in a room with dry air. 7 Tricks For Keeping Yourself Hydrated Every Day
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