Can Low Humidity Cause a Sore Throat?
March 3rd, 2015 by Smart Fog
Experiencing a sore throat can turn an otherwise perfect day upside down. The tenderness and general discomfort originating from your throat can make it difficult to swallow or even breath without experiencing pain. While some people automatically assume a respiratory infection is to blame for their sore throat, the actual culprit may be the dry air.
When there’s minimal moisture vapor in the air, you are more likely to experience symptoms such as a sore throat, nose bleeds, sinus headaches, and other related problems. This is due to the fact that the dry air is literally absorbing moisture from your skin and body. The delicate mucus membranes in your nostrils will begin to dry out, and so will the moisture coating your throat. This isn’t something that happens immediately, but prolonged exposure to excessively dry air will cause symptoms such as this to manifest.
Exposure to dry air causes the saliva in the throat to literally evaporate, making it feel rough and scratchy. Drinking plenty of water may minimize the symptoms, but it’s not a long-term solution to the problem. The only viable solution is to ensure the air is humid rather than dry.
“A sore throat can be caused by any number of factors. These factors can include the common cold; throat irritation as a result of low humidity; smoking; air pollution; yelling; nasal drainage down the back of the throat; or even breathing through the mouth when you have allergies or a stuffy nose,” said Phillip L. Accardo, DO, an osteopathic physician from Lee’s Summit, Mo.
The amount of moisture vapor in the air is defined as “humidity,” and it varies depending on a number of different factors. For instance, indoor air tends to be less humid during the winter, as it’s unable to hold as much moisture. As the warm air expands, it becomes less dense, at which point it loses some of its moisture. The dry air will then attempt to absorb moisture from anything to which it is exposed, including people
So, how can you prevent sore throats caused by low humidity? The easiest solution is to invest in a humidifier. These devices constantly monitor the levels of airborne moisture vapor, releasing additional moisture back into the air when needed. Using a humidifier will ensure the air in your home and/or workplace remains comfortable and suitable.