Levoit Blog

Dry Throat & Humidifiers

  • 1 min read

What Causes Dry Throat?

You’re not making it up—dealing with a dry throat is frustrating, as it can affect your daily comfort. This blog post will explore the causes behind dry throat and discuss different ways to temporarily soothe symptoms, as well as how humidifiers can help with overall comfort.

Common Causes of Dry Throat

Environmental Factors

Environmental conditions play a significant role in causing dry throat. Low humidity levels, often due to air conditioning or heating systems, can lead to moisture loss and a dry throat. Polluted or dusty environments can also contribute to this issue.

Dehydration

Not consuming enough fluids can lead to dehydration, a primary cause of dry throat. It's important to hydrate regularly to maintain mucus membrane health.

Health-Related Issues

Various health issues, such as allergies, colds, sinus infections, and chronic conditions like acid reflux or certain thyroid disorders, can contribute to a dry throat.

Lifestyle Influences

Lifestyle choices, including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can exacerbate dry throat conditions. Additionally, habits like mouth breathing during sleep can dry out the throat.

Relief for a Dry Throat

Now that we’ve explored the possible reasons behind your dry throat, let’s find ways to temporarily alleviate the discomfort.

Stay Hydrated

The simplest way to relieve discomfort from a dry throat is to drink plenty of water. Keeping the body well-hydrated helps keep your throat moist and comfortable.

Using a Humidifier

A humidifier is an easy way to add moisture back into the air. Humidifiers help maintain an optimal level of humidity and moisture, especially in environments with artificial heating or cooling.

Throat Lozenges

Throat lozenges are formulated with soothing ingredients and stimulate saliva production; these can help keep the throat moist.

Avoiding Irritants

This one may seem obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to forget. Minimizing exposure to irritants such as smoke, dust, and strong scents can help relieve dry throat discomfort.

Humidifiers and Dry Throats

What They Do

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can be particularly helpful in homes with dry indoor air caused by heating systems in the winter or air conditioning in the summer. Increasing indoor humidity levels may offer some temporary soothing relief.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers are a valuable addition to any space due to their ability to enhance indoor air quality without the use of heat. They may also be a good consideration for homes with children and pets, as cool mist humidifiers do not use or emit hot water and steam. They may also be the more refreshing choice for warm seasons such as spring and summer.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Many prefer warm mist humidifiers during colder months, as they help keep your home cozy and humidified. They also tend to run more quietly than cool mist humidifiers, making them ideal for bedrooms and home offices. Read our thorough article for the pros and cons of cool mist vs. warm mist humidifiers.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibrations to produce a fine mist and are available in both cool and warm mist types.

Evaporative Humidifiers

Evaporative Humidifiers work by blowing air through a wet wick filter. As the air passes through the filter, water from the filter evaporates into the room. They are self-regulating, meaning that as the humidity increases, the process of evaporation decreases.

A Few of Our Top Humidifier Picks

Classic 160 Humidifier

Classic 160

 

Classic 200S Smart Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Classic 200S

Shop Now

Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier

Classic 300S

Shop Now

 

Choosing the Right Humidifier

  • Room Size and Capacity
When selecting a humidifier, consider the size of the room. Larger rooms may require a humidifier with a higher capacity or even multiple units.
  • Ease of Use and Features
Look for features like smart capabilities, adjustable humidity levels, and timers. These can enhance convenience and efficiency.
  • Noise Level
This is especially important in bedrooms, where you’ll be resting and sleeping. The lowest humidifier setting should be quiet enough so as not to disrupt sleep (think somewhere around 20–30dB).

 

Using and Maintaining Your Humidifier

  • Proper Usage
Place the humidifier where it can distribute moisture evenly without becoming an obstacle in your space. You’ll also want to avoid placing it on wooden surfaces to help prevent surface damage from moisture.
 
  • Regular Cleaning
Humidifiers should be cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Depending on the type of humidifier, this may involve changing filters, cleaning tanks, and wiping down surfaces.
 
  • Water Type
Using distilled or demineralized water is recommended, especially in ultrasonic humidifiers, to minimize the distribution of minerals and potential bacteria in the air. For an evaporative humidifier, it's also advisable to use distilled or demineralized water to reduce mineral buildup and prolong the humidifier's lifespan. These types of water minimize the emission of white dust, which occurs with tap water due to its mineral content.
  • Monitor Humidity Levels

If your humidifier doesn’t have a built-in humidity monitor, you can use a hygrometer. Your ideal indoor humidity should be 30–50% RH (relative humidity). For just as dry air can be harmful to you, excessive humidity can promote mold growth, dust mites, and other allergens.

Safety Considerations

  • Risk of Burns
For warm mist humidifiers, be cautious of the risk of burns, particularly around children and pets.
  • Avoid Over-Humidification

Over-humidification can lead to condensation on windows and walls, potentially causing structural issues and promoting the growth of harmful mold and bacteria.

 

Important Note

The information provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be used in medical emergencies or for diagnosing or treating any medical condition. It's crucial to consult a licensed medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. External links are for informational purposes and do not constitute endorsements. No warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, or correctness of the information provided herein.

 

Citations:

eMediHealth

Cleveland Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic

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