Can Humidity Make You Dizzy? And Why It Can Kill You

Why does humidity make me feel awful, and what exactly are you going to feel when you stay in a place that has high humidity?

To tell you a bit about my personal experience, I have had a bad run with humidity, to the extent of experiencing humidifier sickness symptoms such as malaise, excess and ceaseless coughing, chest tightness, and breathlessness, to name but a few.

I had a bad run with the humidifier causing chest tightness, without knowing that it was the cause of my discomfort.

Today, I have decided to delve into the topic of humidity making you feel sickly and awful. If you can experience symptoms of sleeping in a dry bedroom, you can also experience symptoms of high humidity.

So, why do you feel as if humidity is killing you? Humid air makes you nauseous and sweaty, and you struggle for almost every breath that you take.

Research shows that high humidity decreases oxygen in the air. There are more hydrogen and nitrogen molecules than oxygen in the air, so you have to breathe harder and deeper to get enough oxygen.

Can humidity make you sick? Yes!

Can humidity make you sick

Humidity can make you feel sick. In fact, people have been hospitalized for the symptoms and effects of high humidity on the body.

There is a reason why it is recommended that you only stay in a room with a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent.

If there is too high humidity outside and inside, it will make you uncomfortable at best, and at worst, it will make you sick.

The humid air feels too heavy on your skin and your airways. You can even feel unable to inhale properly.

Another way that humidity can make you sick is because it breeds indoor allergens, which cause various illnesses. For instance, dust mites thrive in high humidity. Dust mites cause sinus infections, and they can make your airways inflamed.

High humidity also causes mold growth in the house. This fungus has dangerous side effects. For instance, you can experience warning signs of mold toxicity. These include skin diseases, sneezing, wheezing, breathlessness, mold in the lungs, and other illnesses.

While humidity is the presence of moisture in the air, it can cause dehydration. For instance, high humidity makes you pee more. But we will discuss dehydration in more detail later.

Humidity causes dehydration

When there is excess moisture in the air, it feels hotter than it really is. But the body doesn’t know that this is just a false signal.

Therefore, it really believes that it is hot. Therefore, it engages its internal cooling mechanisms. It does this by sweating excessively.

Unfortunately, this causes you more discomfort because the sweat does not evaporate as the air surrounding you is already damp. Therefore, it stays on the skin, making you feel super uncomfortable.

Sweating cools the body when it evaporates. But usually, moisture will evaporate from a place of high concentration (the skin in this case) to the surrounding dry air.

If the sweat does not evaporate, it leaves you hotter and uncomfortable. This means your body continues sweating and losing its precious water.

You will start to experience symptoms such as migraines, headaches, dry and inflamed airways, and others.

This is why I recommend that you keep drinking water if you are going out in high humidity. To know just how uncomfortable that summer day will be for you, look at the humidistat to know the dew point temperature outside.

The higher the dewpoint temperature is, the more humid and uncomfortable the air will be.

Dry throat, parched lips and skin are very irritating

The throat irritation caused by high humidity is another of the reasons why humidity makes you feel awful.

Again, we can tie this to dehydration. When you lose too much water as a result of excessive sweating, the skin becomes dry, your lips become parched, and your throat becomes irritated.

The airways also become dry and inflamed. This causes you to feel the need to swallow constantly to try and counter the irritation.

The moisture in the airways captures bacteria, dust, and other pollutants in the air, preventing them from getting to the lungs. However, when the airways become dry, these irritants pass, making them inflamed.

If you have asthma, you could experience more asthmatic attack either from inhaling excessively damp air or from breathing dry air. In such circumstances, you will find yourself using the inhaler more often.

If you do not drink enough water, you could experience chapped lips, and they could start bleeding if you do not remedy the situation.

You could experience heat rash

You can experience heat rash when the sweat does not evaporate and stays on the skin for too long.

This happens because sweat, which is made of water, salts, and toxins, blocks the skin pores. In return, it blocks the sweat glands.

The dampness on the skin causes excessive itching and scratching. In return, this causes an irritating rash that could take some time before it goes away.

If you see small blisters clustered together and looking inflamed, or slightly larger blisters that are fluid-filled, that is heat rash.

This rash could be mildly or acutely itchy. The good thing is that it will go away once the skin cools down, but in extreme cases, you might need medical assistance.

High humidity can trigger asthmatic attacks

Most people think that only the dry air can cause asthmatic attacks. However, too much moisture in the air can also cause asthmatic attacks.

If the dampness in the air causes the growth of mold, the spores will cause certain symptoms of mold exposure in babies.

Also, as mentioned earlier, dust mites can also cause asthmatic attacks since they cause inflammation of the airways.

Since dry air in the house also provokes asthmatic attacks, Thus, it is vital to ensure that the air in your house is neither dry nor wet. That is why we propose keeping it at 30 to 50 percent all the time.

Also, during the summer, the level of pollutants in the air goes up. Carbon, ozone, dust mites, spores, pollen, and other pollutants increase. These can cause serious asthma attacks.

Does high humidity cause anxiety?

Anything that steals your joy of mind is going to increase your anxiety. And the high summer humidity is going to do just this.

Also, you need to remember that the outside humidity affects indoor humidity. Therefore, if you do not do something about the air quality indoors, it will make your space uncomfortable.

High moisture content in the air causes nausea, dizziness, headaches, and many other symptoms. All of these can make you anxious about your health.

For a long time, the debate has been rife about how hot weather could cause anxiety. Research shows that the hot weather can mess up the circadian rhythm: metabolism, sleep, wakefulness, and others. Because high humidity is most prevalent in the summer, we could say that it too could cause anxiety.

The heat and humidity in summer causes Seasonal Affective Disorders, popularly called SAD symptoms. Usually, they occur because of the long days and the short nights.

Even when you do not experience any of the high humidity symptoms, the hot and humid weather will most certainly mess you up. If it messes up with the body’s circadian rhythms, it will affect the level of the feel-good hormones.

Why does humidity make me nauseous?

Many people report feeling nauseous in the summer humidity. It is the combination of the summer heat and humidity that makes you feel nauseous.

When the dewpoint temperature is high, the summer heat feels hotter than it really is. To the body, this feels like a heat attack, and therefore it responds accordingly by going into super sweaty mode. It does this to try and cool down.

This loss of water and electrolytes makes you feel nauseated. That is why you should always look at the humidistat to know the dewpoint temperature of the day. You can decide whether to go outside or stay indoors, where you can control the humidity in a better way.

Mostly, it is the heat that is affecting you in the summer, giving you the symptoms of heat stroke. But losing so much water and electrolytes through sweating also does not help much.

In an article published in Popular Science, if you start feeling nauseous in the heat, if you start experiencing headaches and cramps, get back indoors, where the air is drier and cooler. You should also take cool beverages.

Why can’t you tolerate humidity?

There are many reasons why you cannot withstand humidity. It is all about how your body feels when you are in hot and humid weather.

First, the oxygen molecules reduce, while the hydrogen and nitrogen molecules increase. The air is also heavier because it has more moisture.

Therefore, breathing is harder, and you may even find yourself panting for breath, especially if you have to do laborious tasks.

Secondly, if you have any type of respiratory illness, humidity is only going to make it worse. For instance, if you have asthma, humidity makes it worse because it boosts the presence of dust mites, VOCs, and other air pollutants. 

All of these make your condition worse. Humidity also provides the right conditions for mold to grow. It can cause serious symptoms of mold exposure in toddlers.

Thirdly, you cannot tolerate humidity because it makes you feel nauseous. You lose too much water, the sweat does not evaporate, so it blocks your skin pores.

How to survive high humidity

If you have moved to a place that has heat and humidity, you need to know how to survive. Some places such as Florida have high humidity throughout the year.

If you are new here or summer is just coming up with heat and excess dampness in the air, here are a few tips to help you:

Slide into humidity easily, and adjust

If you are new to high humidity, take time to get your body to adjust. This means taking things slow and avoiding activities such as running, mountain climbing, or backpacking. Those can come later.

If it is possible, try to stay indoors as much as possible. This will prevent you from experiencing the effects of high humidity.

A few weeks should be enough to get your body to adjust to the high moisture in the air. After the body acclimatizes, you will not experience the ill effects of humidity.

Drink a lot of water

Humidity causes dehydration. If you do not care, you can become so dehydrated that you even faint.

Drink a lot of cool beverages, even when you do not feel thirsty. Remember, feeling thirsty is a sign of dehydration, so you should not stay too long without drinking water.

Wear proper clothes

Light, breathable summer clothes are recommended when there is heat and humidity. Since the sweat will not evaporate, the last thing you want is heavy clothing, which will make you sweat more. If the clothing absorbs the sweat, it will make you even more uncomfortable.

Go swimming

Swimming is very good for the heat and humidity in the summer. When you take a dip, the water cools you down. Thus, your body will not use its cooling mechanism of sweating. It will retain its fluids and electrolytes.

Please check out my other posts on:

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Why is my dehumidifier blowing hot air?

Why is my dehumidifier blowing cold air?

Wrapping it up

There are tens of reasons why humidity makes you feel awful. However, the chief ones are the clammy feeling on the skin as the sweat clogs your pores.

You will also find it harder to breathe as the air is damp, has few oxygen molecules, and can contain mold spores, VOCs, pollen, and more irritants.