General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Can a humidifier irritate a cough?

Asked by Aethelwine (42958points) January 20th, 2010

Are they always helpful for a cough or can they sometimes make it worse?

I’m using one for my daughter this evening and it seems to be making her cough worse.

Am I just being a worried mom?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Sometimes if you are using a cold humidifier, you can develop molds in the water stored inside it. You need to clean them out very well since there is no heat to sterilize it. Otherwise, a humidifier should make her cough become less of a problem.

Perhaps your daughter is getting sicker?

Axemusica's avatar

Vicks makes some for respiratory help, but as @Darwin said, ”...can develop molds in the water stored inside in.” So cleaning it is quite a good idea and not only the container part, but the entire thing. Usually when in the market for one, I usually try to find ones that are easily disassembled and or have easily cleanable filters or for replacing.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Darwin Good information. Thank you! I thought she was doing a bit better today, but of course it seems to get worse in the evening.

chyna's avatar

Does it have vicks vapor rub with it/in it? I used one that did and it made me cough so bad, I though I was choking to death. I use a heat humidifier and don’t cough.

Aethelwine's avatar

@chyna no vicks in it, but I do have some on her chest.

Axemusica's avatar

@chyna not sure if this one is one of the ones that you can put the vicks stuff in (it’s not actually the rubbing stuff, lol), but this is the one I own and I’ve found it very useful.

chyna's avatar

I wonder if the vicks is loosening up the congestion in her chest and making her cough? Have you noticed it is worse after you rubbed it in on her chest?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I don’t think you’re imagining things. When it becomes too humid, you can cough more. It’s not just the particulate matter and sulfates here in Houston that makes everyone cough. The 100% humidity doesn’t help either.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

When I was younger and I got a cold, my mom always put a really wet (with hot water) on my heater. We had these special heaters that you could do that with. It always helped.

Aethelwine's avatar

@chyna It does, but it has been about two hours since I put it on her chest.

I’m glad I asked. Thanks everyone. I’ve learned a few things about humidifiers that I didn’t know. :)

Axemusica's avatar

@ChocolateReigns did it look like this? That’s a radiator heater. They’re not easy to find in homes anymore.

knitfroggy's avatar

Is her cough more productive? If it is I would keep the humidfier going, if not, shut it off and boil some water, that’s what I do. I boil water in a big pot to make my house less dry.

Dog's avatar

Our youngest child has mild asthma so when she gets a cold it goes right to her chest. We bought a humidifier and it actually did make her worse. I asked my pediatrician about it and she confirmed that humidifiers can irritate some peoples lungs. Weird huh?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It can sure annoy the hell out of one.

john65pennington's avatar

I just got over the first case ever of pneumonia for me. wife brought in a humidifier and i slept with it for three days. the cold air mist really helped me breath and open my lungs. at first, i coughed a lot. the key us to cough up as much as possible. after the initial use of the humidifier, your daughter should ease down on her coughing. be sure to wash the humidifier each day and start always with fresh cold water. not to worry.

Pandora's avatar

If she has nasal drip than sit her up in her bed. I know with me nasal drip will go down my throat and into my lungs as I sleep and cause me to cough more. I think that is why a lot of people cough mostly at night as they sleep. For a congested chest though, vicks vapor rub works great. If she has nasal drip try the Afrin no drip. It will keep the sinuses clear throughout the night so she can sleep. Hope she feels better soon.

Cruiser's avatar

If you have just started to use the humidifier for her cough it may simply be a coincidence that her cough could simply be progressing on it’s own. I find my kids and myself tend to have more distress with our coughs and colds later in the evening as we lay down which can make breathing more labored.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther