Ask the Allergist
How can I manage cold dry air in my home?
Dry air can dry out the mucus membranes that line the respiratory tract including the nose, throat, and lungs. It can trigger asthma and cause itchy, dry skin. A cool-mist humidifier can help with dry air and keep humidity at a more comfortable level. Here’s a link to AAFA’s Asthma & Allergy-Friendly certified humidifiers. It is important to keep the humidity at 50% or below. Higher humidity can increase mold growth and dust mites. Mold and dust mites can cause asthma and allergy symptoms. Remember to clean the humidifier as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent mold from growing in the device.
Douglas T. Johnston, DO, FAAAAI, FACAAI, is an allergist/clinical immunologist at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Assistant Professor at Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). He has lectured at national and international medical conferences and has publications in several medical journals, including “Clinical Immunology,” “World Allergy Organization Journal,” “Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,” “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” and the “New England Journal of Medicine.”