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Humidifiers, vaporizers, air filters, and air purifiers can help soothe or reduce the unpleasant symptoms associated with sinus problems, allergies, coughs, and the common cold. CVS offers a wide selection of the best humidifiers and vaporizers to help you find relief. Read on to learn more about how these beneficial products work and what they can do to help you feel better.

What Does a Humidifier Do?

Humidifiers may help soothe minor health problems caused by dry air indoors, such as dry sinuses. So, how does a humidifier work? Humidifiers work by emitting water vapor or steam to increase moisture in the surrounding air. Using a home humidifier may help you feel more comfortable if you have a cold, if you have nasal congestion, or if you have dry sinus passages. While there are certainly many humidifier benefits, if you have allergies to indoor allergens such as dust mites or mold, you should talk to your doctor before using a humidifier. Because humidifiers add moisture to the air, they create the perfect warm and wet conditions that dust mites love, which could spell disaster for you and your indoor allergies! Not overusing your humidifier may help. Also, to prevent the growth of mold spores and bacteria, it is important to clean your humidifier and change the filter regularly. You should refer to the cleaning instructions that come with the product and follow them carefully. Your doctor may be able to offer additional suggestions about how to enjoy the benefits of a home humidifier without worsening your allergies.

Types of Humidifiers

There is no single best humidifier. Instead, there are multiple types of cheap humidifiers available on the market so that you can choose the one that best fits your needs. A warm mist humidifier emits a warm, soothing mist that can be seen and felt, which some people may appreciate. Warm mist humidifiers work by boiling water and then emitting the warm steam into the room. Warm mist humidifiers may help ease the respiratory symptoms of a cold or flu, and are often quieter than many cool mist humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers sometimes produce a steam that gets rather hot, so use caution around children. You should always place warm mist humidifiers in a secure location away from a child’s reach and clean the unit frequently to prevent the buildup of mold and bacteria.

A cool mist humidifier emits a cool mist that some people may find easier to breathe as compared to a warm mist, which can sometimes feel cloying. Cool mist humidifiers require frequent filter changes to keep mold and algae from building up and certain models may be somewhat noisy. However, many people appreciate the cool temperature of the mist that is produced. Evaporative humidifiers are a type of cool mist humidifier that produces a cool mist using a fan to blow air over a wet wick, while impeller humidifiers produce a cool mist using a rotating disk. An ultrasonic humidifier is another type of cool mist humidifier that uses ultrasonic vibrations to produce the cool mist. Ultrasonic humidifiers are the quietest type, which makes them well-suited for use in a bedroom or home office space. While they are very popular because of their quiet operation, it is important to note that because ultrasonic humidifiers do not contain a filter and do not boil the water used, they carry a higher risk of breeding mold and bacteria. It is extra important to clean them thoroughly – otherwise, your humidifier could end up disseminating mold spores and bacteria all throughout your room!

No matter which type of humidifier you choose, be sure to select one that fits into your lifestyle. For example, if you aren’t a fan of cleaning, choose a lower maintenance model. If you have young children, you may want to consider a cool mist humidifier to avoid the risk of burns. If you have questions or concerns about using a humidifier to help with allergies, sinuses, or a cold, talk to your doctor. He or she can give you professional advice and help you identify which type of humidifier is best for you.

What Is a Vaporizer?

A vaporizer, sometimes called a steam vaporizer, is a device that boils water and then releases the warm steam into the room to increase moisture in the air. Many people wonder: What is the difference of a vaporizer vs humidifier? Vaporizers and humidifiers are actually closely related. In fact, vaporizer is term used to talk about a specific type of humidifier – the warm mist humidifier. These devices, commonly called vaporizers but sometimes referred to as warm mist humidifiers, work by boiling water and releasing the resulting steam into the air. In this way, a warm steam vaporizer helps to increase the moisture in the room, which may help people with nasal congestion from allergies, dry or congested sinuses, coughs, or the common cold find some relief from their congestion symptoms.

If you are worried about the risk of spreading bacteria, vaporizers may be a better choice for you as compared to cool mist humidifiers. This is because a steam vaporizer boils the water it uses, which kills most of the bacteria that could be present in the water used. However, it is still very important to clean your home vaporizer regularly. You should aim to clean your vaporizer at least once every three days and change the water in the tank on a daily basis. It is a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific device and follow the cleaning guidelines carefully.

Use caution when using a warm steam vaporizer around children or pets. If they are curious and get too close, the hot steam emitting from the vaporizer could burn or injure them. A steam inhaler, sometimes referred to as a sinus vaporizer, vaporizer mask, or personal humidifier mask, are small devices that fit over the mouth and nose of the user like a mask. These devices don’t carry as much of a risk for children or pets, since they aren’t left out in a room and are controlled by the user the entire time that they are operational. Some people may find that a personal steam inhaler offers relief from nasal or sinus congestion symptoms very effectively. And because steam inhalers don’t send steam into the surrounding space like a traditional room humidifier or room vaporizer, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of warm steam without worrying that pets or children will be harmed by the steam. However, it is still important to operate and store your steam inhaler away from children and pets and clean the device regularly to prevent bacteria and mold from growing.

Air Purifiers & Air Purifier Filters

Air purifiers and filters can help trap allergens and keep the air in your home cleaner. With fewer allergens in the air, you may experience fewer allergy symptoms. CVS carries a selection of essick air filters to help you keep allergens out of your home, so that you can feel more comfortable. If you find that you are experiencing a lot of allergy symptoms, investing in an air purifier and some replacement air filters might be the right choice for you. It is also important to discuss your allergies with your doctor. He or she can help you pinpoint what triggers your symptoms and offer you professional treatment advice. 

Remember – finding relief from sinus or nasal congestion and allergy symptoms is possible! Talk to your doctor about which treatment options are right for you, including at home options like humidifiers, vaporizers, and air filters.

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