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Dry air and respiratory issues


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This is from a person who spends several hours a day word-processing in a smallish upstairs boxroom (2.4m x 3.8m) that faces south-west. The room is centrally heated (20 C) and efficiently double-glazed.

For sometime now I have suffered from minor, but persistent respiratory problems, stuffy nose, throat-clearing issues. I also have chronic sinusitis, which I plan to do something about just as soon as Covid-19 finally abates. . . whenever that might be? Meanwhile, these respiratory problems have all but vanished since using a humidifier. It seems that it more than compensates for the  room's dryness, which may be due in large part to running two PCs, plus a UPS battery system and other electronics. What is puzzling, though, is that the full benefits only arise when the room's humidity levels hover around the 70% mark. This must be mentioned because it's routinely cited that optimum humidity levels should be between 30% ~ 50%. This is waaay too low for me, which means either I'm an exception (i.e. a naturally 'wet' person) or else I'm failing to understand something fundamental about humidity. Any comments/suggestions welcomed. 

Apologies for the repeated usage of the first person singular. Unfortunately the issues related above apply particularly to the poster.

 

Edited by GeeKay
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Generally speaking very high humidity tends to make breathing harder again, though I have seen ranges going up to 60%. One should also keep in mind that these values are relative values, which are dependent on temperature.

What I am wondering about however is ventilation. Is it possible that the room is very dusty or has other allergens? 

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25 minutes ago, GeeKay said:

 

This is from a person who spends several hours a day word-processing in a smallish upstairs boxroom (2.4m x 3.8m) that faces south-west. The room is centrally heated (20 C) and efficiently double-glazed.

For sometime now I have suffered from minor, but persistent respiratory problems, stuffy nose, throat-clearing issues. I also have chronic sinusitis, which I plan to do something about just as soon as Covid-19 finally abates. . . whenever that might be? Meanwhile, these respiratory problems have all but vanished since using a humidifier. It seems that it more than compensates for the  room's dryness, which may be due in large part to running two PCs, plus a UPS battery system and other electronics. What is puzzling, though, is that the full benefits only arise when the room's humidity levels hover around the 70% mark. This must be mentioned because it's routinely cited that optimum humidity levels should be between 30% ~ 50%. This is waaay too low for me, which means either I'm an exception (i.e. a naturally 'wet' person) or else I'm failing to understand something fundamental about humidity. Any comments/suggestions welcomed. 

Apologies for the repeated usage of the first person singular. Unfortunately the issues related above apply particularly to the poster.

 

Interesting.

 

Here is a picture of the hunmidity meter next to my computer today at 73%

It rarely falls below 60% here and is often offered as the reason why the Englishman has a high rate of respiratory disease.

I can sympathise with the cough etc, mine is due to PND.

hunid1.jpg.fdc9d5fb921b28c37b94567dbd5f3856.jpg

Edited by studiot
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1 hour ago, CharonY said:

 

What I am wondering about however is ventilation. Is it possible that the room is very dusty or has other allergens? 

Regarding ventilation: this used to be potentially an issue given the room's double glazing. It was necessary to block off the window's trickle vent, this due to the wind persistently recreating Bob Dylan-like harmonica sound-effects with it (worse still, given the prevailing wind direction in this part of the world, the house itself is situated near the top of a south-west facing hill with an uninterrupted view of the horizon). The room isn't particularly dusty, although I will now give it an early spring clean. Allergens remain an unknown at present. On the other hand, I do keep the door open at all times, beyond which is a landing which in turn leads to the stairwell. 

Meanwhile, the ambient humidity level outside the house is 91% at the time of writing, while the temperature is just 2 degrees Celsius. This high humidity count is actually fairly typical in this part of England. What is confusing, though, is the relationship between temperature and humidity. Do people living on the equator who routinely endure both high temperatures and (say) 100% humidity levels suffer from respiratory problems? Or have they adapted to these conditions in the same way that people living at high altitudes have adapted to low oxygen levels due to the thinness of the atmosphere? Extremely puzzling, that.

studiot, I note with interest your own high humidity readout. To reiterate: in respiratory terms I really do feel better for having a count of between 65% ~ 70%. I just wish I knew why. 

 

Edited by GeeKay
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