Can Humidifiers Help with COPD Symptoms in Seniors?

smart home with humidifier
Dry air can contribute to poor health in those suffering with COPD.

If you or a loved one are considering using a humidifier to treat COPD symptoms in seniors, it is important to learn about the risks and common safety precautions of using a humidifier. Air that is too dry, for example, may cause or exacerbate health problems such as:

  • Itchy, dry, or chapped skin
  • Nose bleeds
  • Sore throat
  • Dry eyes
  • Aggravated asthma, allergy, and cold/flu symptoms such as congestion
  • And more

However, air that’s too humid can cause mildew and mold to grow, which can result in a variety of health issues as well as damage to the home.

Humidifiers, when used properly, can help maintain the perfect amount of moisture in the air (between 30 – 50%), and particularly for people with a chronic lung disease, can foster reduced irritation of nasal passages, eased breathing, as well as the ability to more thoroughly expel phlegm in coughing.

Furthermore, using a humidifier during the night can decrease congestion and snoring, help decrease the amount of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, even soothe a scratchy scalp. Again, use caution to ensure the level of humidity doesn’t surpass the optimal range, which could lead to disrupted sleep patterns.

There are a number of different types of humidifiers to choose from:

  • Central humidifiers, which are built into the house's central heating/air conditioning unit; the most costly option, but one that benefits the entire home rather than just one room
  • Impeller humidifiers, using a cool mist, which is a safer alternative because it can’t cause burns; it may, however, trigger allergic or asthmatic problems if overused
  • Evaporators, blowing air through a dampened filter; an economical choice, but can be problematic if allowed to add an excessive amount of moisture into the air
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to produce mist, either in a warm or cool option; offered in a variety of sizes
  • Steam vaporizers, which are typically the lowest priced and most portable option; water is heated and then cooled before being discharged into the air

Talk to a physician about the advantages of a humidifier in your loved one’s particular circumstances, and which type is recommended to help alleviate COPD symptoms in seniors.

Midnight Sun Home Care is here to help those with chronic medical conditions like COPD, or simply the problems inherent in normal aging, through our highly rated Alaska home care. Contact us at (907) 677-7890 to discover how we can help you breathe easier with reliable in-home care services. See our Service Area for a full listing of communities we serve.


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