Can a Humidifier Cause Cough?


The truth is that cough is one of the body’s defensive mechanisms. It is a reflex method of clearing the throat anytime unwanted particles get the chance to go down there. So, can a humidifier cause cough? Of course, it can. It causes cough by assisting these unwanted particles in getting into your airways, or just by making them for the air you inhale, and this will eventually get into your airways.

Note that a humidifier can only cause cough if it is not properly managed. How often do you clean it? Did you do anything wrong which will promote dirt or dust formation? Well, we are going to answer these questions and some more as you read on.

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What are the Most Common Causes of Cough?

We have a lot of conditions which can result in a cough. This set of conditions include both things that happen permanently or temporarily. Nevertheless, everything boils down to the unwanted particles which get into the airway.

Cough is mostly a result of an infection in the respiratory tract, which can occur due to bacteria and viruses. The infection gotten as a result of viruses will last for a couple of days or maybe weeks in some cases, and the ones that are because of flu will take a longer time to clear up or will likely even need you to take antibiotics in some cases.

One other common thing which causes a cough is smoking. This type of cough is caused when smoke particles get into the airways, and it’s always chronic. It possesses a distinctive sound, and sometimes, it is referred to as the smoker’s cough.

One other thing which commonly causes cough is asthma, and this mostly happens in young kids. It makes them wheezy, and this makes it easily identifiable.

In some cases, medicines cause coughs, but this is a side effect that happens rarely. One fantastic example is ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, which are used in treating high blood pressure and heart conditions. This particular medication can make the user cough. A couple of other conditions that may result in cough are; postnasal drip, non-functional vocal cords, chronic health issues such as pulmonary embolism and heart failure, and bacterial infections such as whooping cough, pneumonia, and croup.

You also need to know that humidity and coughing are quite related. An increase in the amount of humidity in the air will cause an increase in the coughing you’d experience. High humidity brings about a whole lot of contamination, particularly microorganisms in the air that you can breathe, which will then irritate your airways. The amount of unwanted particles in the air is increased by humidity, and it isn’t good for a cough.

But, Can Cough be Worsened by a Humidifier?

Definitely, a humidifier can worsen a cough to a particular extent anytime it indirectly or indirectly makes the number of unwanted particles in the air higher. It can worsen cough directly anytime you run a contaminated humidifier. When it is dirty, and you do not clean it, the humidifier creates molds and a couple of other contaminants. These contaminants are then released alongside mist into the air. When this happens, it injects unwanted particles directly, which can worsen a cough anytime it gets into your airways.

A humidifier can also indirectly introduce unwanted particles into the air anytime it over humidifies the place. Over humidification occurs anytime the volume of humidity is raised higher than the 60% level as recommended. When this happens, dust mites, mold spores, and some other microorganisms are created, and they worsen a cough when inhaled.

Always have it at the back of your mind that if you correctly use a humidifier, your cough can not be worsened.

Why does a Humidifier Makes Me Cough?

A humidifier can cause a cough if it is not properly cleaned by the user. Anytime you cough when you use a humidifier, make sure you immediately take the unit apart, then clean if there are contaminants in the tank and some other areas where water passes through.

Another thing you can do is to also check the humidity level in your air. If the humidity level is higher than 60%, make sure you turn off the humidifier instantly.

 What does a Humidifier do for a Cough?

Let us take a look at everything from another view. Your cough can be eased with a humidifier instead of worsening it. In conditions where you have low humidity, viruses can live there, and this will cause the airway to be irritated. While dry air actually results in dryness of airways and sinuses, it will leave the body to be prone to these infections.

In cases like these, a humidifier assists with your cough. It increases the humidity of the air to the needed level, therefore moisturizing your airways while you breathe in, and it also increases humidity to a particular level that’s not conducive for flu and viruses to live in. A humidifier can assist in easing a cough, and thus all depends on the specificity of use and the situation.


A humidifier is a fantastic product that can worsen, ease, or cause your cough, and this depends on how you use it. Its main job is maintaining the humidity at a level that’s safe because a region that has low humidity is not good for a cough, and also very high humidity.

As you use of a humidifier make sure you keep the humidity level higher than 30% and less than 60% so you can get the best out of the humidifier and also make sure the humidifier is very clean. You can achieve this by always checking your humidifier for dirt and making sure you clean it as soon as you notice anything like that.