How Air Quality Affects You When You’re Sick

Office with open windows helps when you're sick
Source: Wikimedia Commons

So you wake up and you’re sick as a dog. It feels like there’s snakeskin in your throat, connected to the fangs embedded in your skull. You’re stuffed up, your limbs don’t to move, and there’s nothing you’d rather do than stay in bed.

But you can’t.

You have a huge paper due tomorrow, you have a presentation to make, you’re trying to get a promotion. Whatever your motivation, you shluck out of bed like an ooze monster and struggle into some clothes. You make yourself up as best you can and head out.

But you’re not sure you can do this. The office is too crowded, the class is too loud. Your headache is getting worse, and spots are beginning to blink in your vision.

What do you do?

Get Some Fresh Air

California Smog
Source: Flickr

Even though it might not scientifically make you less sick, getting some fresh air has some great benefits.

The dry air of your closed in class or boardroom irritates your already-sore throat, so making sure the air around you is suitably moist can increase your quality of life. At least for the immediate future. Buying a vaporizer or humidifier for your room or office cubicle can simulate the soothing qualities of hot steam from a shower.

The air around you might be slightly lower in oxygen than what you’re used to. Many people breathing out can clog the air with CO2, and that can have an adverse affect on you. If you’re not near a window, consider getting a small plant that has a high oxygen conversion.

Certain smells can make you feel nauseous, whether you’re aware of them being present or not. Sticking your head out the window, or opening it up to air the room out, can help a lot. As well, the temperature of the air can be another factor. Warm air can clog your throat and make you feel as if you need to clear it, especially if it’s thick with dust. Cold air can clear your airways, clear your head, and give a much-needed shock to your systems. Both immune and nervous.

All of this can be distilled into one directive.

Fresh air is one of the best things you can do for yourself, right now.