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Does A Fan Help Allergies

Do Air Purifiers Help With Allergies

How to reduce seasonal allergies

ByKerry Taylor-Smithpublished 15 September 21

They can improve air quality, but do air purifiers help with allergies? And if so, how much?

If you’ve been wondering, do air purifiers help with allergies, you’re in the right place. Air purifiers are designed to clean the air in a room by trapping allergens and pushing filtered, clean air back into the space.

Why do we need air purifiers? Well, the air inside our homes contains a combination of solid particles and liquid droplets, known as particulate matter. The particles vary in size and something like dust, for example, is made up of fine particles whereas pet dander, is much more coarse.

As we breathe, these particles can make their way into our bodies, and air purifiers are designed to remove the airborne irritants responsible for allergies by trapping them in a filter. For more on this, head to our full feature on how do air purifiers work?

Most air purifiers capture particles like dust and pollen, but the best air purifiers particulate air filters, will remove particles larger than 0.3 microns, including animal dander, which is a common allergy trigger. HEPA filters have a multilayer network of very fine fiberglass threads thinner than a strand of a human hair making them more efficient at capturing smaller particles.

Well + Good: Your Ceiling Fan Is Making Your Allergies So Much Worseand Ruining Your Sleep

Night sweaters know all too well that sleeping with a ceiling fan running is essential, especially now that the weather is warming up but its not yet hot enough to blast the air conditioning. But that fan could be stirring up more than cool air. Are ceiling fans bad for allergies? John McKeon, MD, CEO of Allergy Standards, says ceiling fans alone arent the issue.

Over time, dust mite allergens and other household allergens can build up on top of the ceiling fan blades. And then when you turn it on, that dust then get distributed.

Dr. McKeon says the best way to clean them is with a damp cloth, like the Guardsman Dusting Cloth , which is CERTIFIED asthma and allergy friendly by Allergy Standards.

Pollen May Have Accumulated In The Ducts

If you are allergic to tree or grass pollen, you probably expect to experience your most severe allergy symptoms during the warmer seasons. Trees typically produce and spread pollen in the early spring, and grasses do so during late spring and summer. People who are sensitive to pollen may experience allergies during that time, especially when they spend time outdoors.

It makes sense to think that the colder weather should bring relief for your pollen allergies. However, that is not always the case. While your heater is turned off during the spring and summer, pollen has the opportunity to accumulate undisturbed in the heating vents.

Then, when you finally use your heater again, it blows all of that pollen right into your home, bringing back those pesky seasonal allergy symptoms you thought you were rid of.

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What Type Of Air Purifier Is Best For Allergies

Dr. Alana Biggers, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois-Chicago, believes that air filters can be useful for those with allergies because they remove a majority of aggravating air particulates from any given room, though they dont take away all particles. They filter whats in the air and not pollutants that are settled into walls, floors, and furnishings.

If you decide to purchase an air purifier to reduce allergy symptoms, keep in mind that devices can vary. Its important to consider what air pollutants youd like to filter, and the size of the room youll be using it in.

Other Ways To Stay Cool At Night

How a Whole House Fan Helps Combat Allergies

If you dont want to use a fan, try some alternative ways to keep cool at night:

  • Use a cooling mattress. There are many types of mattresses that boost airflow and draw heat away from the body. Some of these incorporate technologies, such as charcoal, gel-infusion, and copper. Shop all Healthline-approved products for hot sleepers in our sleep shop.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Loose, soft clothes that are made of cotton, silk, or linen can help keep you cool. Steer clear of rayon, fleece, or polyester, which can promote warmth.
  • Use blackout curtains. Keeping the sun out of your room can help keep it cooler.
  • Take a hot bath. Though it sounds counterproductive, taking a hot bath can actually help cool you down before bed. Its best to bathe before but not immediately prior to going to bed.
  • Keep your door open during the day. This will help air move from room to room.
  • Maintain air filters. Cleaning and replacing your air filter can keep your home cool. You should change your air filters about once every 1 to 2 months for best results.
  • Use a cold cloth. Placing a cold cloth on your head may help keep you cool throughout the night.

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It Can Trigger Allergies Or Asthma

“In patients with allergies to dust or other indoor antigens, a fan can stir up particles in the room or disperse accumulated dust on the fan itself,” says Raj C. Dedhia, MD, MSCR, associate professor of otorhinolaryngology and sleep medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Yep, your fan can kick up dust mites, pet dander and more, which may exacerbate your allergy or asthma symptoms.

Tip

This may be especially true if you sleep with a pet in your bed, as they can carry dander and other allergens, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Relieve Indoor Air Allergies

Many people who suffer from seasonal allergies stay indoors during the times of the year when their allergies are most likely to flare up. But theyre confused when they still suffer from their allergies, even when cooped up indoors. Thats because they might have some severe air pollution indoors, including the type of allergens that run rampant outdoors. In fact, indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor air quality, because these allergens have nowhere else to go, other than into everything you come in contact with from room to room. Allergens find their way into your home thanks to your pets, ventilation system, and even you . Running indoors when your allergies wreak havoc isnt always going to give you the respite youre looking for.

One of the solutions many people flock to when they think their indoor air is polluted with allergens is to open up their windows. But thats not always an ideal choice because:

  • If youre trying to avoid allergens found outside, it doesnt make a whole lot of sense inviting more allergens in with open windows.
  • If its extremely hot outside, youve now added another layer of discomfort into your world. Heat + allergies = a very bad day.
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    Dry Air May Make You More Vulnerable To Allergens

    If you find yourself experiencing more allergy symptoms after turning on the heater, an increase in airborne allergens may not be the only culprit. Dry air, or air with a low relative humidity, may also make you more susceptible to allergic reactions and infections.

    The relative humidity of your home is the percentage of moisture in the air compared to the total amount of water vapor the air can hold before it starts condensing into a liquid. If the RH in your home is too high, the excess moisture can provide the perfect environment for mold growth to thrive.

    However, a too-low RH comes with consequences too. Cold air already holds less moisture than warmer air, and using a heater can dry the air out even further. Breathing in this dry air all day can cause your sinuses to start to dry out.

    Think of your mucus as a line of defense between your respiratory system and the air you breathe. Its job is to catch pollutants you inhale before they reach your lungs. When it dries up, it starts to lose its ability to catch allergens, viruses, and bacteria that you breathe in. This makes it more likely for your body to react strongly to airborne allergen exposure.

    Do Ceiling Fans Make You Congested

    Levoit Air Purifier | help allergies | HOW TO USE

    The fan is a cost-effective way to keep you cool during the hot and humid summer nights. But sleeping with the fan on may trigger congestion, dryness, sore muscles, or allergic reactions in some people. If you have allergies but sleep hot, try using air filters and humidifiers to reduce symptoms of allergies.

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    Dust Mite Allergy Management And Treatment

    Make changes to your home and to your routine:

    • Remove wall-to-wall carpets, curtains, and drapes particularly in the bedroom.
    • Keep pets out of the bedroom, and preferably out of the house.
    • Minimize household humidity.
    • Use mite-proof cases on mattresses and pillows wash bed linens frequently in hot water.
    • Wear a mask when cleaning
    • Keep the relative humidity in your home less than 50%

    Benefits And Side Effects Of Sleeping With A Fan On All Night

    I come from one of the hottest places, and Ill admit that its hard to decline the pleasure of the chilly breeze generated by the spinning blades.

    For that reason, Id completely understand if someone declared they cant sleep without a fan, especially during the hot summers.

    However, have you ever wondered if sleeping with a fan on all night would affect your health in any way? I have.

    And, when I decided to do some research on this subject, I found some publications that kind of made me think twice about my habit.

    While they were not really convincing or genuine reasons why I should stop running my fan every night, the ideas I came across are something I needed to look into if I wanted to enjoy or keep using my fan, especially at night.

    So, Ill share them with you, but you have to keep two things in mind it always depends on the person using the fan and the condition of your house. If you have any underlying health issues, its important to weigh your options carefully before choosing to sleep with a fan every night. If your indoor air is contaminated, its also a good idea to solve the problem first.

    Before I can reveal the side effects of sleeping with a fan, lets discuss who should and shouldnt sleep with a fan on.

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    Best With Humidifier: Boneco Air Washer W200 Humidifier & Purifier

    • No HEPA filtration

    BONECO Air Washer is a powerhouse unit that evaporates water into vapor, adding moisture to the air, then uses that water as a filter to naturally clean the air in your living space. The Air Washer is designed to eliminate large particles, so while it may not filter out things like pesky odors, its suitable for dust and pollen.

    On the technical side, the BONECO unit has both daytime and nighttime operating modes for maximum efficiency, dishwasher-safe parts for regular cleaning, and even a diffuser port for adding your favorite essential oils to really freshen your space.

    HEPA Filtration: No | Size: 11 x 11 x 16 inches | Noise Level: N/A

    • Detects air quality and auto-adjusts

    • HEPA filtration

    • Can be loud

    The Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier is not only operable with a remote, it actually has the computer brains to detect air quality and adjust itself accordingly. Using a smart sensor, this unit takes continuous readings of the air quality in the room its in. In normal mode, you can observe the data and change the settings on your purifier in auto mode, though, the purifier will change its own fan speed as needed based on the air quality readings.

    Elsewhere, the Hathaspace purifier features a five-step filtration system powerful enough to remove up to 99.97 percent of allergens, trap dust, pet hair, and dander, and eliminate annoying odors.

    HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 13 x 7 x 20 inches | Noise Level: 21dB 43db

    Can An Air Cleaner Help With Pet Dander

    Homemade face mask for exfoliating: Dyson allergy fan

    Do air purifiers work for allergies? More specifically, are these systems cut out to handle the specific allergy-triggering particles produced by cats? These are the questions you came here to receive answers for, so lets get straight to the point.

    Yes, air purification systems can help alleviate cat allergies if they feature the right media for it. For trapping of allergens, HEPA filters are needed as dander and saliva particles that come from the felines are among the smallest polluting particles found in indoor air and can linger the longest in it too.

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    Best Overall: Levoit Air Purifier For Home Large Room

    • Cannot turn off night light

    Made to work best in rooms up to 360 square feet, this unit has three fan speeds to accommodate the level of purifying you need. It also features a sleep mode, auto mode, and timerthe sleep mode allows the unit to run more quietly and with less LED display light, while the auto mode will shift between fan speeds according to how much purifying is needed in the room.

    Levoit says its 3-stage filtration process using a HEPA carbon filter can remove 97 percent of common household allergens. Its also received a decent EnergyStar rating, requiring only about $12 to $15 to run every year.

    HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches | Noise Level: 27 dB

    Do Air Purifiers Help With Asthma

    Allergy UK reports that allergies can trigger an asthma attack in up to 90% of children and 60% of adults. But before investing in an air purifier, it’s worth figuring out what triggers an attack.

    Expert allergy nurse, Aneta Ivanova told Live Science, “Correct recognition and reducing exposure, where possible, can help with correct management and improvement of quality of life.”

    She added, “Should aeroallergens such as dust mites, pollens, mold or pet dander be the trigger, then using an air purifier may help.”

    However, Ivanova points out that although helpful, air purifiers are not a replacement for medical asthma treatment like inhalers. You should always consult your doctor or seek professional medical advice before changing your prescribed medical routine.

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    How To Cope With Scent Sensitivity

    This article was co-authored by Alan O. Khadavi, MD, FACAAI. Dr. Alan O. Khadavi is a Board Certified Allergist and a Pediatric Allergy Specialist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds a BS in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MD from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Khadavi completed his pediatric residency at Schneider Childrens Hospital in New York, and then went on to complete his allergy and immunology fellowship and pediatric residency at Long Island College Hospital. He is board certified in adult and pediatric allergy/immunology. Dr. Khadavi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , and a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Dr. Khadavi’s honors include Castle Connollys list of Top Doctors 2013-2020, and Patient Choice Awards “Most Compassionate Doctor” in 2013 & 2014.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 78,183 times.

    It Can Cause Congestion

    How To Survive Spring Allergies And Prevent Them Before Symptoms Start | TODAY

    If you’ve ever experienced a stuffy nose after sleeping with a fan on, here’s why: Having a direct current of air blasting your way can wick the moisture out of your body and dry up your mucous membranes, Dr. Huh says.

    Once your nose gets irritated, it overproduces mucus. That’s because the mucin glands work overtime to overcompensate and cover all the dry patches in your nasal passage, he says. This can cause swelling of the mucous membranes and lead to congestion.

    During the wintertime, when the air is even drier and you have the heat on high, nasal congestion can get even worse. Put simply, “our upper airway wants to live in the Mediterranean,” Dr. Huh says.

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    How Can You Enjoy Your Heater Without Triggering Allergy Symptoms

    When dry, cold air makes you more vulnerable to allergens and other pollutants and your heater is only making things worse you can help protect yourself by taking steps to improve your indoor air quality this winter.

    You do not have to dread turning on your heater each year or fear of how it will affect your allergies. By maintaining your furnace, changing your filters regularly, and taking other steps to improve your indoor air quality, you can minimize your indoor allergen exposure this winter.

    The Opposite Is True As Well Unfortunately

    For all the benefits of an air conditioner in preventing your allergies from flaring up, the inverse can be true as well, when you have an outdated or poorly operational unit. Window units, for example, are far more likely to encourage mold, unlike their central system counterparts. Thats because many of these window units arent advanced enough to properly dispel the humidity thats drawn from your room. In these systems, the humidity is deposited on the cooling coils in the unit. The moisture, plus dust, can encourage mold-growing spores, which can then be redeposited into your home.

    The best way to combat this, and seasonal allergies in general, is to work with an air conditioning specialist who can offer you the best solution for your specific needs. Discuss with your cooling expert your concerns about seasonal allergies, so that he can offer you an AC unit that will keep you breathing easy.

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