Allergies are the worst, and if you’re new to a humid climate, you may be wondering if there is a connection between your allergies and the humidity. Can you be allergic to humidity?
You can be allergic to the allergens that thrive in a humid climate. Mold, mold mites, mildew, and dust mites tend to be a few of the most common allergens that flourish in highly humid environments. Allergy symptoms can be further aggravated by heat, physical activity, and dust.
Allergies are the worst. Seriously, what is the point of having a runny nose and itchy eyes? And don’t even get me started on the sneezing.
Humid cities are full of allergens floating around in the air, looking for unsuspecting victims.
I’ve considered moving to a drier climate, but that would mean giving up my beloved humidity. So for now, I’ll just have to suffer through another allergy season and hope for the best.
In a humid climate, these allergens can be especially prevalent, making it difficult for people with allergies to avoid them.
The best way to deal with allergies is to try to avoid exposure to the allergens that trigger them.
However, in a humid climate, this can be very difficult to do.
Can You be Allergic to Humidity? Humidity and Allergies
Many people suffer from allergies during different seasons. For some, it’s the pollen in the springtime. Humidity and allergies can be uncomfortable, if not downright brutal.
But regarding an allergy to humidity itself; it’s believed that the allergy is rather due to the allergens in the environment that thrive in high-humidity climates.
Being allergic to the allergens that flourish in high humidity can be a difficult and frustrating experience. Allergy symptoms can be exacerbated by heat, physical activity, and exposure to dust.
There are many ways to try to relieve these symptoms, but unfortunately, there is no cure for allergies.
Keeping a clean, dust-free environment, monitoring your indoor humidity levels, using an air conditioner or dehumidifier, and avoiding triggers such as being outside during high pollen counts can help to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Humidity Allergy Symptoms
If you have allergies, you may find that your symptoms are worse on rainy days or in humid environments like greenhouses or swimming pools.
Common allergy symptoms related to humidity include:
- Chronic Skin and Throat Irritation
- Increased Vulnerability to Infection
- Inflamed Dermatitis
- Allergy-like Symptoms
- Poor Sleep Quality
The key to allergy symptom relief is to reduce humidity levels in your home. Although you can’t do much to control the climate outdoors, you can help control the humidity levels indoors for symptom relief.
Humidity and Allergies
Unfortunately, high humidity isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also trigger allergies. That’s because mold, mildew, and dust mites thrive in humid conditions. And all three of these things can cause allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes.
Mold and Humidity
Mold is a type of fungi that thrives in warm and humid environments. Mold spores are found naturally in the air, and when they come into contact with surfaces that are damp or wet, they can begin to grow.
It is important to ventilate areas that are prone to dampness, such as showers, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
By taking these precautions, you can help to prevent mold growth in your home.
What are Mold Spores?
Mold spores are tiny, lightweight “seeds” that float through the air and land on moist surfaces. Mold spores need water to grow and reproduce. When the conditions are right (usually when there is a lot of moisture or water), mold can quickly grow and multiply.
Most mold is found outdoors, where spores can be carried indoors by wind or rain. Once indoors, mold can grow on damp surfaces, such as shower walls or under leaks in the roof.
People with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases may get serious infections in their lungs when they inhale mold spores.
Mold Spore Allergy Symptoms
Mold spores are a common allergy trigger and may include the following symptoms:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes and throat
- Difficulty breathing.
People with asthma may have more severe reactions, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
If you suspect you have a mold allergy, see an allergist for skin or blood testing. Treatments include avoiding exposure to mold spores and taking medications, such as antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids.
In some cases, immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be recommended.
What Are Mold Mites?
Mold mites are tiny creatures that thrive in warm, damp environments. They are often found in homes that have water damage or high humidity levels. These allergies are most common in the spring and summer months when mold mites are most active.
If you suspect that you have a mold mite allergy, it is important to see an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Mold Mite Allergy Symptoms
Mold mite allergies can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin irritation
The symptoms of mold mite allergies can vary from person to person and are not the same for everyone.
Dust Mites and Humidity
Dust mites are a leading cause of asthma and other respiratory problems. They are also known to trigger allergies. The best way to control dust mites is to reduce the humidity in your home.
Keep the relative humidity between 30% and 50% by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner. Clean bedding and upholstered furniture regularly.
Wash sheets and blankets in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) every week. Use dust-proof covers on mattresses, pillows, and box springs.
Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in warm, humid environments and live on dead skin cells. They are usually found in bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. Although they are too small to be seen with the naked eye, dust mites can cause a variety of problems for people who are allergic to them.
Dust mites are not harmful to people who are not allergic to them, but they can still be a nuisance.
There are a number of ways to reduce dust mite exposure in your home, such as using special covers for bedding and upholstered furniture and vacuuming regularly with a HEPA filter.
Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms
Common symptoms of a dust mite allergy include but are not limited to:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Asthma attacks
By reducing the number of dust mites in your home, you also reduce the symptoms triggered by their exposure.
Do Dehumidifiers Help with Allergies?
Many allergies are caused or worsened by the presence of dust, mold, and other allergens in the air. These allergens can thrive in warm, humid environments. Dehumidifiers help to reduce the humidity in a room, making it less hospitable for allergens.
Dehumidifiers can also help to reduce the musty odor that often accompanies mold and mildew.
By reducing the humidity in your home, you can create a more comfortable environment for allergy sufferers.
However, it is important to note that dehumidifiers will not remove all of the allergens from the air.
For best results, they should be used in combination with other allergy-relief strategies, such as air purifiers and dust-proofing your home.
How to Lower Indoor Humidity
There are several advantages to lower humidity in a home. One is that it helps to reduce the growth of mold and mildew that can trigger allergies.
Mold and mildew can cause serious respiratory problems, so it is important to keep them under control.
Additionally, lower humidity levels can help to prevent wood rot and extend the life of wooden furniture and flooring.
High humidity levels can make a space feel muggy and uncomfortable, so reducing the humidity can make a big difference in terms of overall comfort.
Finally, lower humidity levels can also help to reduce static electricity, making it easier to move around a home without experiencing shocks.
- Open windows to allow fresh air in
- Use a dehumidifier
- If you aren’t using a clothes dryer, then air dry clothes outside or in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on
- Avoid using carpets and upholstered furniture that can trap moisture
- Use a fan
- Invest in an AC
Overall, there are many advantages to keeping humidity levels low in a home. By following the tips above, you’re apt to be more comfortable in your home.
In conclusion, humidity and allergies are not a good mix. Allergies make you sneeze, and humidity makes you sweat. So if you’re allergic to humidity, you might want to consider moving to a drier climate.
And if moving is not in the cards for you, then take steps to keep the humidity levels in your home under control.
You might not be able to control the climate you live in, but at least you have some control of your in-home environment.
Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC
About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.