Do Humidifiers Help Stop the Flu?

January 18, 2024

Do Humidifiers Keep You From Catching the Flu?

Flu season comes every year to Mooresville, and there are tons of home remedies and get-better-quick tips out there for overcoming this pesky virus. If you’re out running errands at any of Mooresville’s popular shopping and dining hubs like downtown Mooresville or Lang Tree Lake Norman with eateries such as Novanta 90 Pizzeria, consider adding a new common household item to your shopping list. A humidifier could be your new best friend in warding off airborne illnesses such as the flu. Using a humidifier is an unconventional tactic for flu prevention, but research has shown it to be effective. Read this quick guide on how a humidifier could be a game-changer in your home during flu season.

Will My Humidifier Prevent the Flu?

There is strong evidence suggesting that humidifiers reduce the spread of airborne viruses, such as the flu. One way people catch the flu is by breathing in respiratory particles that travel through the air. Humid air traps and neutralizes virus particles, making them less likely to be inhaled. There are varying results on how effective humidifiers are at flu prevention, but one study from PloS Journal found that humidifiers reduced virus concentration levels by 50%.

While more research is needed, it is known that humidifiers have a substantial impact on the spread of viral infections. For optimal results when using your humidifier, keep these tips in mind:

  • Aim for humidity levels between 40%-60% in your home
  • Avoid humidity levels much higher to prevent mold and bacteria growth

If you have asthma or allergies, consult with your doctor before using a humidifier

Test humidity levels in your home using a hygrometer, a tool for measuring moisture levels in the air. Remember that humidifiers won’t be a fool-proof solution for keeping the flu away. Be sure to take additional precautions such as getting your flu vaccination and washing your hands regularly.

What Type of Humidifier Should I Use?

The type of humidifier that you choose will largely depend on personal preference and what you want to prioritize. Consider the following portable humidifier options for your home:

  • Steam humidifiers: Uses electricity to create steam; low operating noise, inhalants can be added for treating respiratory illnesses.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers: Uses vibrations to vaporize water; highly energy efficient, no operating noise, low maintenance.
  • Evaporative humidifiers: Uses a circulating fan to produce mist; affordable, low maintenance, self-regulating.

You will also need to choose between a warm-mist and a cool-mist humidifier. Both have their benefits, but cool-mist humidifiers are generally considered safer as there is less risk of burning yourself. Cool-mist is a popular option for those with young children or indoor pets. Warm-mist humidifiers are sometimes preferred for the soothing effect of the warm vapor and because boiling water temperatures kill any potentially harmful bacteria before they enter the air.

Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Take a holistic approach to flu prevention and combine using a humidifier with other precautions such as:

  • Get your annual flu vaccination
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace
  • Avoid crowded spaces and close contact with others during flu season
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle with habits such as getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, and eating a balanced diet

Don’t underestimate the power of a humidifier, especially during flu season. While it’s not a foolproof method, adding moisture to the air can make your home less welcoming to germs, potentially reducing your risk of infection when used with other preventive measures.

If you suspect you have the flu, visit AFC Urgent Care Mooresville today for rapid flu testing and treatment.

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