ZocdocAnswersIs humidity bad for a person's lungs?

Question

Is humidity bad for a person's lungs?

I moved to a really humid city this summer and have all kinds of breathing trouble ever since. Can humidity damage your lungs? I'm afraid I have to move because my breathing is all messed up.

Answer

If you have not seen your doctor about this issue, you should do so as soon as possible. Any persistent symptoms causing trouble breathing need to be investigated, and I suggest that you start by seeing your primary care doctor. Humidity is frequently associated with worsening of respiratory symptoms, like nasal congestion, cough and wheezing. The reason this occurs is not primary because the humidity directly affects the lungs in most cases. Rather, humidity allows for common allergens, such as mold and mites, to proliferate and fill the air. Since many people with breathing problems have a allergy component, their symptoms will worsen when they are breathing air that is full of these common allergens. Your doctor will be able to perform a complete examination of your lungs and help figure out what is going on. Make sure to mention to them if you have a history of allergies or asthma, as this will help them figure things out. Based on the symptoms they find, they may recommend additional testing (for allergies, for example) or they may proceed directly to prescribing medications to help relieve your symptoms. Get in to see your doctor at your earliest convenience. I hope you are feeling better soon.

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