islamabad - People should limit the use of electric and gas heaters in cold and dry weather as it poses serious threat to human health, Health experts said the other day.

Medical expert Dr Waseem Khawaja said, “People have started using gas heaters particularly at night to keep rooms warm oblivious to health hazards it poses to human health as heaters warm the air inside the house, while reducing the moisture content of the air, making it dry .”      

He said, “Breathing dry air leads to respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and also nosebleeds due to dried membranes. Dry air also dries out mucus membranes which are moist, thereby trapping all dust and infection-causing agents, leading to their inflammation.”

He told, “Gas heaters emit carbon monoxide directly into the room and increase the level of indoor pollutants which can potentially harm human health including high incidents of respiratory symptoms”.

Dr Waseen said, “Keeping your heater at a higher temperature could result in fluctuations when you walk out of the room. The reason being, your body might take time to acclimatise to the temperature outside the room. This fluctuating temperature could make it difficult for your immune system to cope and could lead to seasonal cold and flu. In case of infants, overheating could lead to a condition called hyperthermia, which could be fatal.”

He advised, “Do use humidifier or vaporizer which increases the moisture inside your house. Place bowls filled with water at various places in your house. Keep sipping warm or hot fluids like soups or teas to keep your nasal passages, airways and throats moist.” 

Skin Specialist Dr Nosheen Yasir said, “Lack of moisture in the air is also harmful to your skin. Dry skin is a common occurrence during winter, which also causes itchiness and skin rash. Staying indoors with heaters can exacerbate this condition as dry air evaporates moisture from the skin.

“Lack of moisture in the air has also shown to evaporate tears from the eyes, making it difficult to maintain the delicate balance required for moist and healthy eyes.” She added. She advised to drink plenty of water and to use natural moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.