Ask Nurse Kate: Essential Oil Diffusers vs. Proper Humidity
Recently, essential oil diffusers have become synonymous with wellness as a trendy new way to improve air quality. From our perspective, while it’s great that there’s an emphasis is being placed on Healthy Air, essential oil diffusers could be doing more harm than good.
In fact, there may be a safer and more efficient way to fight back against dry air in favor of Healthy Air instead: the humble humidifier.
We asked our resident health expert, Nurse Kate, to answer your questions on essential oil diffusers and their effects on our bodies.
1. Do essential oil diffusers actually improve air quality?
There is no proven evidence that essential oil difusers improve indoor air quality. Try dusting and vacuuming on a regular basis. Consider adding an indoor air quality system that is proven to work, such as an air filtration system, a humidifier, or a dehumidifier. That way you can rest easy knowing you and your family are breathing the healthiest air possible.
2. Are there any risks or side effects when using an essential oil diffuser? If so, what?
Essential oils have some proven benefits such as pain, nausea, and stress relief. However, with those benefits come the potential for certain side effects such as chemical burns, allergic reactions, and respiratory issues, particularly when essential oils are used incorrectly.
3. What about kids? Could essential oil diffusers be beneficial to children?
Most pediatric healthcare providers do not recommend using essential oil diffusers around children due to the potential for side effects, particularly in young babies. If you’re considering using essential oils to address a health or behavioral issue, be sure discuss your concerns with your child’s healthcare provider first. That way you can be sure you’re caring for your child’s needs in the safest way possible.
4. Are essential oils monitored or regulated? Why do so many people believe in them if they’re not proven?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that essential oils are effective. However, there is very little research to back the efficacy of essential oils at this time. The quality of essential oils is not regulated or monitored by any governing agencies, so there is no way to tell if the contents of the oil match what the label says.
* * *
Given the possible side effects, lack of regulation, and adverse effects on kids that essential oil diffusers present, simply adding humidity is the safer and more effective alternative to beating dry air. Take the first step toward breathing Healthy Air in your home by installing an Aprilaire whole home humidifier.
The information contained on the Aprilaire website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. All information is for informational and educational purposes only and any use thereof is solely at your own risk.