Is your AC Making You Sick? Let’s Find Out!

Is your AC Making You Sick? Let’s Find Out!

Is your AC Making You Sick? Let’s Find Out!

by January 19, 2018

You have thanked this appliance many times in your mind. Especially right after an intense workout session or journey through traffic-laden roads. The air it pans out spreads a cool sensation on your sweat-soaked skin, making life seem all good again. In minutes the prickly feeling from heat outside gets replaced by a calming cool. Yes, it’s the air conditioning machine in your home we are talking about. The wonder machine that makes you take a light wrapper at night even during scorching summers and keeps blankets in use most of the year. It is also the same machine that you sometimes blame for a slight headache or dryness of the skin. This gizmo is also capable of waking one up from the deepest slumbers, fumbling in search of the remote to finally turn the machine off. Like it or hate it, it is never of your mind.

However, there are many who cannot tolerate the AC at all. Some complain of muscle cramps from shivering in an AC room, and others start showing symptoms of a cold. This makes us wonder whether the AC is compatible with good health or not. Sadly, there are times when you cannot avoid being exposed to the AC. For example, when you are working in a centrally heated office or travelling by air. In a technology-ruled era of mass transit or employment, controlling room temperature is not always a matter of choice. Thus, it is necessary to find out the consequences and remedies of staying in AC atmosphere. Here follows some insight into what AC can do to your health.

Let’s Start by Weighing the Pros!

Despite the charges of health threats pitted against the AC, it cannot be called an absolute culprit as it has some benefits to offer too. The latest AC machines filter the air, removing pollen grains and dust particles from it. With air pollution spiking up and smog taking over in metropolitans, ACs can offer the means of self-defense against breathing in the dirt indoors. Those suffering from asthma or other breathing troubles may find the AC helpful too. It is very essential to look into the specifications of the AC and analyse before you buy. Nevertheless, hundreds who use the AC and spend more than 4-5 hours in AC rooms/cars suffer from itchiness of the skin, respiratory troubles, and headaches. These adverse effects are hard to ignore and require some attention as well.

Con 1: Your AC Might be Giving You Headaches

Are you suffering from congested nasal tracks, a heaviness of the lobes, and acute throbbing of the temple? More often than not, these symptoms are caused by AC machines at work and home. On August 9, 2014, the International Journal of Epidemiology had published the results of a study. According to it, people who work in centrally air-conditioned buildings suffer from heaviness and aches around the head. They suffer from a feeling of overall illness frequently. Surprisingly after living the AC room or office, these symptoms often disappear! For enjoying a sense of wellbeing, you need fresh air. Taking a timeout and stepping outside the air-conditioned spaces may help. A small stroll outside, spending time on the balcony or garden can subside headaches and dizziness.

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Con 2: Your AC Can be the Cause of Dry Skin

Tired of tending extremely dry, flaky and itchy skin? No makeup can cover up skin that has turned into parchment. If your skin has not always been like this, then the AC might be acting the villain here. Basically, air conditioners are made to suck the moisture from the air in order to keep it dry—that is some desiccant for you. Unfortunately, AC machines also drink up the moisture from your skin and hair, leaving them dehydrated. Lack of moisture leads to skin problems like flakiness and dry skin build up. Moreover, the harmful drying effect of ACs extends even to your eyes. When eyes become dry, they start itching. Redness of eyes and watering are additional symptoms that can cause unease. In case you cannot avoid the AC, applying a thick and heavy body moisturizer is the only solution. Consult your ophthalmologist and ask them to suggest eye-drops that will prevent the dryness of eyes. And, of course, drink plenty of water throughout the day to minimise the drying effect of ACs.

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Con 3: Your AC Might be Making You Feel Fatigued

Do you feel unexplainably exhausted and sometimes drained in your AC’d office? Do you lack the morning freshness after getting up in your AC bedroom? The reason behind this can be improper regulation of temperature, also known as thermoregulation. Add lack of fresh air to this and what you have is feeling of never-ending tiredness. This state of constant fatigue has been named “Sick Building Syndrome”. The name actually alludes to centrally air-conditioned offices. The only remedy to this is controlling the AC according to the weather outside. Good ventilation system aids air circulation can also counter the fatiguing impact of AC machines. In addition, try your best to cover up the body with a shawl, stole or jacket to prevent direct exposure to the cold air.
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Con 4: Your AC Can be Inviting Breathing Troubles

The decent and domestic looking AC machine in your home might be the reason behind your growing breathlessness and respiratory disorders. When the AC machine is not cleaned with meticulous precision, they gather massive amounts of dust. Not changing the filters of the AC can be simply to add insult to injury. In no time the air conditioner will become a thriving, breeding paradise of fungi and bacteria. Black moulds find such a place to be their ideal abode too. The continuous passing of cool air and moisture that gets stuck in AC coils attracts them.  Naturally, these microorganisms mingle with air that you breathe. Consequences can vary from mild breathing problem to infectious pneumonia. The only way to mitigate such problems is keeping the AC clean. Get servicing done at least twice a year. Air filters should be changed on a monthly basis to eradicate chances of dust infused asthma.

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Con 5: Your AC Might be the Passive Agent of Weight Gain

Studies show that your body burns more calories in a natural atmosphere than within an AC room. The air conditioner brings your body to a comfortable temperature. When your body gets used to this feeling of cool comfort, the desire to exercise goes for a walk, causing further weight gain. Plus, AC makes you more intolerant to hot and humid weather. As a result, going out for a walk or jog seems like an unpleasant affair. Lethargy and love of sedentary habits certainly do nothing in reducing that beer belly or wobbly arms.

Saying ‘No’ to fresh air and replacing it with air-conditioner can substantially reduce the quality of health. ACs may be beneficial but if not maintained with care the same can become a fatal influence on your lifestyle.

[Image credits – odysseyonline]


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