During the winter season people who suffer from sleep apnea typically find that their symptoms are compounded. In fact, 34% of all patients who go to the doctor during the winter months report that their sleep apnea is much more severe, whereas only 27% report their apnea being severe any other time of the year.
Sinus passages are extremely delicate and susceptible to the environment and indoor air within which we live. In fact, if the humidity inside of your home is not at the recommended 40%, you and your family members might suffer from symptoms such as:
- Dry skin or eczema
- Dry, itching, and burning eyes
- Bloody noses
- Headaches and facial pain around the sinus cavities
- Sore throat
- Chapped and cracked lips, hands, and feet
These symptoms are all directly related to the indoor air of your home being too dry. In addition to these symptoms, people with asthma, allergies, and sleep apnea report an increase in the severity of their ailments when the indoor air in their home doesn’t have enough humidity.
The winter is the most common time of year for indoor air to be dry because this is the time of year when people have their fireplaces and heaters going around the clock – and, even more so when they are sleeping. The heat causes the natural humidity in the air to evaporate, creating a much drier air that you are breathing in.
For this reason it is important to run a whole-house humidifier or even several single-room humidifiers throughout your home during the winter hours. A humidifier is designed to add moisture to the air in the form of steam. The steam is made from water droplets that are blown into the air by the humidifier. If you set your humidifier to the right level, the heat will reduce the humidity by just enough that the recommended 40% of humidity will be left.
Having the right amount of humidity in the indoor air of your home is essential to managing the symptoms of your sleep apnea. When you are breathing properly moisturized air, your nasal and sinus passages are soothed rather than irritated, and your apnea is not compounded by dry and irritated airways.
Sleep apnea is a very disruptive illness that causes major discomfort for many who suffer. Not to mention the interruption it causes in the sleep of others in their home. Make sure to keep your home properly humidified so that your airways are not irritated and your apnea is not compounded. Getting good, restful sleep is essential to your health – and the health of your family members – all year around.