7 Potential Health Risks of a Humid Environment
A humid environment refers to an atmosphere with relatively high levels of water vapor. Most people only understand the effects of high humidity on your health, this is mainly because in a high humidity environment one will experience immediate personal discomfort like sweating. However, a very low humidity environment also poses serious health risks.
Potential health risks:
- High humidity: humidity affects how our bodies regulate our internal body temperature. Biologically, when our bodies get warm we produce sweat. This sweat is supposed to evaporate thus cooling our bodies. In a humid environment, the increased moisture in the air makes it difficult for the sweat produced to evaporate. This results in excessive sweating increased respiration and hyperthermia.
The potential health risks include:
- Respiratory system diseases – Living in a house with high humidity increase the chances of you or members of your family contracting respiratory diseases like a common cold, the influenza virus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
- Dermatopathy – A humid environment can result in you contracting skin diseases. If your skin has been developing blister, skin rashes, skin sloughing or you have discolored skin, it might all be a result of the high humidity in the house.
- Allergic diseases – Studies have proven that living in a home with high humid can greatly increase the chance of developing respiratory problems like asthma, especially in children.
- An increased concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as a result of high humidity in the home, is a dangerous health risk. When exposed to volatile organic compounds like black mode for a long period of time it can lead to nervous system damage, eczema, and at times cancer.
- Dehydration. – Because high humidity decreases the rate of sweat evaporation, which in turn causes the body to produce more sweat as it tries to cool the internal body temperature, which causes dehydration. Dehydration thickens the blood thus more pressure is needed to pump it through the body. This causes severe strain on the blood vessels and the heart which can cause a heart attack.
- Muscle cramps. – Heat cramps which are caused by the body’s inability to cool in humid environments can be experienced especially in the legs.
- Heatstroke – In cases of extreme heat that cause the body temperature to rise above 105◦. One may experience confusion, lethargy, and complete loss of consciousness which is a heat stroke. At that point, the person requires immediate medical attention.
- Fainting – Heat exhaustion caused by dehydration can lead to body weakness and dizziness. It is important to stay hydrated when in a humid environment.
- Fatigue – If you experience a general feeling of fatigue frequently it might be an effect of the humid environment effects on your body’s functionalities.
There is not much we can do to regulate the humidity outside, but you can easily lower the level of humidity inside the house by buying a dehumidifier. Check out your comprehensive guide to buying a dehumidifier.
- Low humidity: mainly experienced during the winter months and in cold temperatures. Dry air has the following potential health risks.
- People who are exposed to low humid environments experience dry and inflame the mucous membrane lining of the respiratory tract. This increases the risk of flu, colds, and other respiratory infections.
- The flu viruses and other pathogens are able to survive longer in low humidity. If you or members of your family keep suffering from the flu reoccurrence, it might just be a result of low humidity.
- Skin problem – Research has proven that dry air makes the skin itchy and flaky. Which can result in the worsening of existing skin allergies?
- Eye problems – Dry air surrounding the eyes causes moisture imbalance due to increased evaporation of tears. This leads to irritation around the eyes and the drying of the film in the eyes can result in blurred vision.
To ensure your home maintains an average humidity level buy a humidifier.