Asthma & Low Humidity

Hi

My first post so if its in the wrong place - apologies!

I generally have very good control of my asthma, get my check every year and rarely take my ventolin inhaler apart from say when I have a cold/flu or during hot humid days (which are few and far between in Edinburgh!) but I have recently changed jobs and now work in an office that basically has no windows to open (there are good reasons for this ironically!) and an air conditioning system that also doubles as a heating system which frankly doesnt work properly.

But my main problem is the humidity. I have read around on the web that the average comfortable level should be between 40-60%, my office in 20% and on very good days might reach 30%. But I'm seriously beginning to feel its affecting my asthma.

My peak flow is not down that much but my body feels like its trying to breath in air like I'm on top of Mount Kilimanjaro! Its like I'm trying to breath in dry air. I'm got all sorts of wee pains in my side and back which I think could be asthma related as well.

I have made an appointment to see my Dr but was just wondering if anyone has any knowledge of humidity and asthma and the side effects it can have?

Many thanks.

7 Replies

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  • this has come up several times before, and some like the low humidity, and others like myself prefer it humid, I actually have a warm mist humidifier to keep the humidity above 65%. I discovered it by chance, but sitting in front of the computer for an hour or so I was worse, and the humidity in the room would drop.

    I don't think meds work in helping you if you suffer because of the low humidty, air con is a problem, and you are going to have to try and find a way around this, speak to someone in charge at work, they have to help sort this out for you.

    Good luck, and stay well

    Chris

  • I have major problems when I go into a shop when it's really warm/humid I can't breathe at all my inhaler doesn't help me much either in this situation !

    I really couldn't work in it I'd end up in hospital !!!!!

    Your going to have to speak to your boss and tell him/her the problem they have a duty to try and sort this out for you it's there responsibilty - don't know if I spelt that right no good at spelling :-(

    Hope things get better for you.

    Sharon

  • Hi

    Thanks for the replies.

    We have a humidifier in the office but the humidity still struggles at the 20% odd mark so heaven help what it would be without the humidifier!

    If its like this at the moment I can only imagine it will get worse as the summer comes in.

    Another thing that I dont think is helping is that I sit right under one of the air conditioning vents, I dont get a cold blast as such but I think there is certainly some kind of air coming out!

    I am going to speak to my boss about it but I wanted to speak with my Dr first so that he didnt think I was just moaning! I want proper medical opinion on my symptoms so to speak.

    We are moving to a new office ina few weeks, it still wont have windows but its a different type of building so I'm hoping that it will improve things.

    Again thanks for the replies, I just wondered what effect low humidity can have for others with asthma.

  • Humidity

    I have the same problems, The humidity at work ranges from 15% to 36% and I feel really ill when its below 25%, have seen Occupational Health who say I should be moved to a better office but like your building its the same in all the offices. Had so much sick now that I get nil pay!!!! I can get pensionable pay but need to return to work before they pay it and that causes problems when claiming Incapacity Benefit. Gone to my Union for advice now.

  • With me its the HIGH humidity that causes problems-the last time I was sent home from work it had been a muggy morning and a couple of trips up some ladders floored me,even after 7 or 8 relief inhaler whiffs,I still felt like I was breathing through a clogged sewer !

  • Well my Dr wasn't impressed that my office hunidity is ONLY 20%! She doesnt like workplaces that dont help staff health issues...

    However... I have to go for a Spirometry test tomorrow and then go back and see her. She has also given me a Bronchilidator inhaler to take with my flixotide and ventolin (which I only use when needed), think its called Serovent? I think there are a few threads on this inhaler.

    And new office does have windows so hopefully this will also help things... mind you working at an airport I'm not sure how much the windows will be open.

  • came across this and make interesting reading on humidity levels.

    re-nest.com/re-nest/green-a...

    or

    sort link tinyurl.com/ybn8qm3

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