Can dry air make you sick? The answer is yes; dry air can make you sick. Dry air can cause several respiratory problems and more.
Usually, when we think of the air around us, we think of it as a mixture of different gases. And while that is technically true, the air we breathe also contains water vapor.
Can Dry Air Make You Sick? Yes, In These 9 Ways:
Depending on the temperature and humidity, this water vapor can make up anywhere from 0% to 4% of the air around us.
When the weather outside is cold, the air holds less water vapor than it does when it’s warm. And when there’s not much moisture in the air, it can have a drying effect on our bodies.
Dry air can cause several respiratory problems and more.
1. Dry Air and Your Nose:
Your nose is lined with a thin layer of mucus. This mucus helps to trap dust, bacteria, and viruses that you might breathe in. It also keeps your nose from getting too dry.
When the air is dry, this mucus can get too thick and block your nose. This can lead to a stuffy nose or a sinus infection.
The air is arid and can cause your nose to bleed. How? The dry air dries out the lining of your nose, which can cause tiny blood vessels to break and bleed.
Sometimes, the only symptom of a nosebleed is a few drops of blood. But other times, it can be a steady stream of blood that lasts for several minutes.
How To Prevent A Nosebleed:
There are a few things you can do to prevent a nosebleed:
– Use a humidifier. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help to prevent a nosebleed.
– Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking fluids helps to keep your nose from getting too dry.
– Avoid blowing your nose too hard. When you blow your nose, try to do it gently. Blowing your nose too hard can cause the blood vessels in your nose to break.
– Apply petroleum jelly to your nostrils. This can help to keep the lining of your nose moist.
2. Dry Air and Your Throat:
Dry air can also make your throat feel dry and scratchy. The mucus that lines your throat can get too thick when the air is dry.
When this happens, it can be hard to swallow. You might also start coughing or have trouble breathing.
Dry air can also irritate your vocal cords, producing a hoarse voice. Your throat might also feel sore.
The throat needs moisture to function correctly. When it gets too dry, it can’t work the way it should.
And doctors believe that dry air might be one of the reasons why so many people get sick in the winter.
That’s because the air is drier in the winter, weakening your throat and making you more susceptible to illness.
How To Prevent Sore Throat:
You can drink plenty of fluids to alleviate these symptoms and use a humidifier. You can also try sucking on lozenges or hard candy. They help to moisten your throat and can also soothe a cough.
3. Your Skin Is A Victim, Too:
Your skin can also suffer when the air is dry. Dry air can make your skin feel dry, itchy, and irritated. You might also notice that your skin is flaking or that you have more wrinkles.
Dry air can also make eczema and psoriasis worse. And if you have sensitive skin, you might get rashes or hives.
Skin problems are the root of many visits to dermatologists. Dry skin is one of the most common complaints that dermatologists hear.
How To Prevent Skin Problems:
To keep your skin healthy, you need to keep it hydrated. You can do so by:
– Drinking plenty of fluids.
– Taking shorter showers and baths as hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils.
– Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
– Wearing sunscreen when you go outside.
– Applying a moisturizer to your skin after you shower or bathe.
– Wearing gloves when you go outside in cold weather.
4. Your Eyes Might Suffer, Too:
Your eyes are another part of your body getting affected by dry air. Your eyes might feel dry, itchy, or irritated when the air is dry.
You might also notice that your eyes are red or watery. Dry air can also make it harder to wear contact lenses.
That’s because the lenses can absorb the moisture from your eyes and become dry. If your eyesight gets blurry, it could signify that your lenses need more water.
Or, you might need to blink more often. Blinking helps to spread tears over your eyes and keeps them moist.
How To Prevent Eye Problems:
To keep your eyes healthy, you can:
– Use artificial tears. These can help to lubricate your eyes and prevent them from getting too dry.
– Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from the wind and the sun.
– Blink more often. Blinking helps to spread tears over your eyes and keeps them moist.
– Use a humidifier. A humidifier can help to add moisture to the air and prevent your eyes from getting too dry.
5. Your Allergies Might Get Worse:
If you have allergies, dry air can make them worse. That’s because dry air can dehydrate the mucus in your nose.
And when the mucus gets too dry, it can’t trap allergens either. This means that you might start sneezing and itching more.
Allergens act by provoking an inflammatory reaction in your body. This releases histamine, which is what makes you itch and sneeze.
Allergens are the root cause of many other hay fever symptoms, like a runny nose, congestion, and watery eyes.
How To Prevent Allergy Symptoms:
Some familiar sources of allergens are:
– Dust mites
– Animal dander
– Mold spores
Thus, be aware of these triggers and try to avoid them as best as possible, especially if you know that they worsen your allergies.
You should also clean the air in your home by dusting and vacuuming regularly.
And using a humidifier can help to keep the air moist. It can prevent allergens from getting into your nose and making you sneeze.
6. You Might Get Dehydrated:
Dehydration can happen when you don’t drink enough fluids. Or when you lose too much fluid from your body.
It can also happen when the air is dry. That’s because dry air can make you lose more water from your body through your skin and breath.
When you breathe, you lose water vapor. And when the air is dry, there’s less water vapor for your body to live in.
This can lead to dehydration, making you feel tired, dizzy, and nauseous.
Dehydration is a severe problem, especially for young children and the elderly.
To prevent dehydration, use the following tips:
– Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
– Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol as they can make you lose more fluids.
– Take shorter showers and baths as hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils.
– Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
– Apply a moisturizer to your skin after you shower.
7. Your Lungs At War:
When the air is dry, it can irritate your lungs and make breathing harder. Dry air can also make it easier for you to catch a cold or the flu.
That’s because when your nose and throat are dry, they’re more vulnerable to infection.
Dry air can also make preexisting respiratory conditions worse. If you have asthma, bronchitis, or other lung diseases, dry air can worsen your symptoms.
You might find that you’re coughing more or that your chest feels tight. Lungs are sensitive organs, and even a tiny change in the air around them can impact them.
Preventing Lung Problems:
You should avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. If you have a respiratory condition, take your medication as prescribed.
And using a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air and prevent your lungs from getting too dry.
8. Headaches & Migraines:
How do you know if the air is too dry? A good indicator is a headache or a migraine.
Dry air can cause your sinuses to become irritated and inflamed. This can lead to headaches and migraines. How?
Well, when your sinuses are inflamed, they press on the nerves in your head. This can cause pain in your temples, forehead, and neck.
Dry air can also make you more prone to cluster headaches. These are recurring headaches that happen in groups or clusters.
Cluster headaches are often described as the most painful type of headache. They can last for weeks or even months at a time.
Preventing Headaches & Migraines:
To prevent headaches and migraines, use the following tips:
– Avoid alcohol as it can dehydrate you and make headaches worse.
– Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
9. Breaking & Damaged Hair:
Another effect of dry air is all damaged hair. When the air is dry, it can strip your hair of its natural moisture.
This can make your hair brittle, dry, and prone to breakage. It can also make your hair static-y and difficult to style.
If you dye your hair, dry air can also make the color fade faster. Your hair might break even more if you use hot tools, like curling irons and straighteners.
Hairfall is one of the most common problems during the winter. The low humidity in the air dries out your scalp, which can lead to dandruff, itchiness, and even hair loss.
Preventing Damaged Hair:
Start by using a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Avoid products with harsh chemicals. They can further strip your hair of its natural moisture.
Protecting your hair from the cold, wind, and sun is also essential. Wear a hat or scarf to cover your hair when you’re outside.
And avoid using hot tools as much as possible. If you do use them, make sure to use a heat protectant spray.
So here are all the possible effects of dry air. As you can see, it can cause many problems, from dehydration to headaches.
That’s why it’s essential to stay hydrated and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. By taking these precautions, you can prevent the problems caused by dry air.
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