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Old 07-23-2003, 12:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: avon, OH, USA
Posts: 6
paul_44011 HB User
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.


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Old 07-23-2003, 05:57 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 2,465
wrin HB User

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
Join Date: May 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 317
lidia09 HB User

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.


Old 07-28-2003, 12:38 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: avon, OH, USA
Posts: 6
paul_44011 HB User


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?


Old 08-01-2003, 02:19 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 317
lidia09 HB User

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!


Old 08-03-2003, 11:54 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Huntsville
Posts: 559
Monday1954 HB User

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
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 31
luciacappucino HB User

Humid air is simply 'heavier' than dry air, and therefore more difficult for those with compromised airways to tolerate.


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