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Which is better for asthma sufferers: a humidifier or an air purifier?

A:

Quick Answer

Whether an air purifier or humidifier is best for asthma sufferers largely depends on the allergen type. While both are helpful, a humidifier can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

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Full Answer

Asthma sufferers try to reduce triggers that make symptoms worse. Air purifiers are useful for ridding the air of pollen, molds, dust mites and pet dander. Humidifiers add moisture to a room, which increases growth of dust mites, a significant trigger for asthmatics. Instead, doctors recommend using a dehumidifier and an air purifier for best results.

Air purifiers must run all the time, 24 hours each day. HEPA filters are most effective at removing air pollutants, as they are able to clean up to 99.9 percent of particles. Even so, air purifiers do require constant maintenance or they become useless. This is especially true if the windows are left open or there is a pet in the home. It is important for asthmatics to identify allergens and remove them from the environment.

Reducing moisture in the environment is effective in controlling asthma symptoms. By removing damp air, dehumidifiers keep dust mites, bacteria and mold growth at bay. Humidifiers, on the other hand, are beneficial for those living in an especially dry climate or who have to run the heat for extended periods.

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