How Humidity Contributes to Breathing Problems

There are many reasons it is important to keep a basement or other living or working space dry.

One of the reasons is because humidity contributes to breathing problems. Even separate from its effect on the creating and spread of mold, humid air itself makes it harder to breathe.

Asthma sufferers and athletes alike know that on humid days, it is just harder to breathe. The air feels different. We even use words like “heavy” and “thick” to describe air on these days.

But why does humidity have this impact on breathing?

Why does high humidity make it harder to breathe?

There are several reasons why we all notice that it is harder to breathe on humid days.

First, humidity itself is part of the problem. When humid air reaches the nerves in your lungs, they constrict a bit as they work harder to filter water out of the air. The more water in the air, the more your lungs have to work to get what they need.

This effect is noticed any time the humidity goes much above 60%. As relative humidity increases, our lungs work harder and harder. We experience coughing, shortness of breath, or even wheezing.

In extreme cases, there may be signs of not getting enough air at all, like lightheadedness and lips turning a little blue. People experiencing these symptoms should seek help immediately by moving into a coller, dyer space, using an inhaler, or visiting an emergency room or urgent care clinic to seek first aid and a more permanent solution to their asthma.

Second, the more humid the air is, the more it supports and carries a whole bunch of allergens and contaminants. Humid air carries more pollen, more smoke, more dust, and of course, more mold. All of these are contaminants to your lungs, and your lungs want to reject them.

Individuals with asthma know that humidity means asthma attacks because of these pollutants and irritants.

Finally, humid air also carries more dust mites. Gross, right? But dust mites actually live all over the place, including in our furniture and walls. When the air grows more humid, they reproduce more quickly over about 70% relative humidity, and their waste and dead bodies are additional irritants to our lungs.

Keep your interior dry

To reduce these symptoms, you should work to make your living space as dry as possible. The experts at Dry Patrol can help.

Leave a Reply