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Old 07-23-2003, 12:48 PM   #1
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Post Humidity and Asthma - Related?

I'm curious on peoples experiences with Asthma and Humidity levels. My humidity level in my house seems to be at 60% even with the Central air running. I've heard that 40% to 50% is ideal for Asthmatics. So I'm thinking of buying a de-humidifier. Have any of you experienced less problems by lowering the Humidity levels?

Here is some info on my Asthma, and some Humidity experiences for those who want to read on:
I first noticed asthma at 5 years old. I remember getting it on cold days walking to school and noticed it walking up the stairs. I also remember whenever I took a bath I would almost always get an asthma attack, even when my breathing was fine beforehand. I heard that sometimes the chlorine byproducts are the culprit so I'm not sure if it was the humidity or not. Now I am 31 years old and I don't seem to get attacks when taking a bath.
This whole summer I've had continuous asthma even thought I have always had Mild asthma. I'm taking singulair and pulmicort lately. I've noticed that even on the low pollen days, if there is humidity or rain outside, I have trouble breathing when doing activities. I also hear that drastic changes of humidity can cause attacks. So I'm curious whether I should just open my windows and let the outside match the inside so that I don't go through the drastic changes. I spent the night at my girlfriends house for 2 nights and noticed my asthma almost went away. She doesn't have central air and just leaves the windows open.

Paul

 
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:57 PM   #2
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Closed-up and humid houses can breed allergens like dust mites more readily -- want to keep dust mites down? there's lots of things you can do -- keeping relative-humidity below about 40% is a great start. Dust mites can't live in dry environments.

 
Old 07-28-2003, 12:03 PM   #3
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Hi Paul
This is an interesting subject. I used to suffer very bad asthma, often requiring admission to hospital with intravenous hydrocortisone etc. I'm from Scotland & went to live in Australia/NZ for 2 years. I found that my asthma improved enormously in a very humid atmosphere. I lived in Darwin at the top end for a while which was VERY humid have never felt so good from an asthma point of view.

Lidia

 
Old 07-28-2003, 12:38 PM   #4
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Lidia,

Thanks for the Reply. That sounds very interesting about how do you not have problems with Humidity in Australia..

I'm thinking maybe Scottland had more pollution though?

Paul

 
Old 08-01-2003, 02:19 PM   #5
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I don't know what the statistics are for pollution here but we've got lots of countryside & hills here so the air can be pretty good. A couple of weeks ago we had 100% humidity where I live/work & it didn't affect my asthma at all - it was hot & sticky though!

Lidia

 
Old 08-03-2003, 11:54 AM   #6
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I live in Alabama and boy do we have humidity - I do find it difficult to breathe when it is very humid.

I was not diagnosed with asthma until I was about 40, all my life I had suffered with allergies and had bronchitis a lot. Since I can remember, I couldn't breathe in hot wet places - saunas were the worst. The health club I belonged to had a sauna, couldn't breathe in there, some friends also had a sauna and by 1977 I had figured out to avoid all saunas and try to stay inside when it was really humid.

When I was diagnosed with asthma, it was Memorial Day weekend and had rained for several days, I will always be 'sick' in the spring and again in the fall. This time I had spent most of Saturday night sitting up on the couch trying to breathe, Sunday night it got even worse, I just went in and told my husband I was going to the ER I thought I had pneumonia. When I got there
and was reading the signs that said "Please do not come to ER if you think you have something that can wait until the Doctor's office opens" I decided that I had pneumonia and should go ahead. The nurse that processed me in could hear no chest sounds, she called someone else in and tried again - they gave me one breathing treatment and a shot, don't remember what it was, and then tried again, this time you could hear wheezing. Long story short, I ended up staying the night because you can't leave until your oxygen level is something and you can blow at least 150 on the flowmeter. The doctor could not believe I had never been diagnosed before, but as I said I always just suffered through and because of allergies just thought that was life.

My asthma is allergy induced - when I went to an allergist I tested positive for: dust mites, grass, ragweed, pollens, cats and dogs. Dust mites are more active in humid air, the doctors explanation: humid air is heavier and you breathe in more allergens with each breath. Since I am allergic to most of the things outside my house I have never been able to sleep with the windows open, even before I knew I had asthma. Another thing to do that can control dust mites is wash your sheets in hot water at least once a week, this kills the dust mites. When my husband saw the list of things to do to prevent allergies he asked if there was any comfort left. I am sure most of you have those lists: No rugs, no curtains, plastic pillow covers, no plants, no pets.

Now I am on Singulair, Advair and have albuterol, everything stays pretty much under control and have not had to have an emergency room visit for about 3 years now.

 
Old 08-06-2003, 10:29 PM   #7
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Humid air is simply 'heavier' than dry air, and therefore more difficult for those with compromised airways to tolerate.

lc

 
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