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Although air purifiers are not a new technology, their popularity has started to boom within the last few years.

With the rise of global air pollution, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

But, this has also led to a lot of consumer confusion and misconceptions about how air purifiers work.

Many people question, “Can an air purifier make you sick?”

They also wonder if air purifiers are responsible for common health issues like headaches, coughs, nosebleeds, and sore throats.

If you’re one of those people who is questioning those types of things, then you’ve landed on the right page.

In this post, we’ll address each concern individually so you can get a better understanding of the impact that the top air purifier brand today can have on your health.

Can an Air Purifier Make You Sick?

Can Air Purifier Cause Sore Throat?

The first concern we’d like to address is the most common one people have – Can air purifier cause sore throat?

We’re not totally sure where this myth came from, but the truth is that a typical air purifier that uses a HEPA filter won’t cause a sore throat.

In fact, they do the opposite. HEPA air purifiers can help prevent sore throats because they remove bacteria from the air that can make you sick.

The purpose of an air purifier is to make the air around your healthier to breathe.

This, in turn, reduces the occurrence of sore throats and sickness. Air purifiers are also great at reducing particles in the air that cause nasal allergies.

You can find our free guide on the best air purifier for allergies here if this is a concern for you.

Now, there are some air purifiers that can cause throat irritation, but this is not the same thing as a sore throat. 

These air purifiers go by the name “ionic air purifiers” or “air ionizers.”

If you already have a chronic respiratory condition like asthma, you may notice some throat irritation when running an ionic air purifier.

This is due to the fact that ionizers emit charged particles into the air as a way to clean it. 

And along with these charged particles comes a tiny amount of ozone as a byproduct.

Ozone is known to cause minor throat irritation to people with chronic respiratory issues, but if you don’t have a condition like this, then you may not notice any ill effects.

So, if you were wondering, “can an ionizer make you sick?”, the answer is no but it can cause sick-like symptoms.

Take a look at our page on ionic air purifier vs HEPA here, to get the complete details on how both of these types of air cleaners work.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Air Purifiers

Can Air Purifiers Make You Cough?

Sometimes, you may start coughing for no immediate reason when using an air purifier in the home, and this can make you wonder, “Can air purifiers make you cough?”

While certain ionic air purifiers can irritate your throat, they don’t make you cough.

Some other elements inside your home are triggering a coughing fit.

Whether you’re coughing in response to dust, bacteria, or other allergens, an air purifier can only help you.

It will reduce these particles in your home as it cycles your air through the multi-layer filtration system.

This should lead to less coughing overall.

A good type of air purifier to have in the home if you are experiencing uncontrollable coughing without being sick is a dust air purifier. 

These machines are excellent at removing dust particles from the home so they don’t end up in your lungs. Check out our reviews of the best dust air purifiers to find out more.

If you think that your cough is related to a bacteria or virus, you may want to consider getting the best air purifier for viruses to kill pathogens in your home.

Can Air Purifier Cause Nosebleeds?

This is another interesting misconception that pops up a lot.

For some reason, people wonder, “Can air purifier cause nosebleeds?” The answer is no.

Unless you have a medical condition, the most common reason you may experience an unexpected nosebleed is from dry air. But it’s not your air purifier’s fault.

People often wonder do air purifiers dry out the air, but that’s simply not the case.

An air purifier cycles your home’s air through a series of filters to remove any contaminants. It doesn’t suck any moisture out of the air when it does this. 

However, if your air is dry, then it can cause nosebleeds which is not the fault of an air purifier.

A dry climate or heated indoor air can irritate and dry out your nasal membranes.

This can then lead to cracking and an eventual nosebleed.

If this happens to you, then you may want to consider putting a humidifier in your home as well as an air purifier to ensure you have moist and clean air to breathe.

Can Air Purifier Cause Headaches?

This is a reasonable concern especially because some ionic air purifiers emit ozone as a byproduct of the air cleaning process. However, the trace amounts of ozone that are released by ionizers do not cause headaches.

The concentration of ozone just isn’t high enough.

Both HEPA air purifiers and ionizers can actually reduce your chances of triggering a standard headache or a sinus headache because they remove common airborne allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander from your home’s air.

Some air purifiers also filter out mold spores, dust mite debris, and musty odors that can trigger a headache. See our best air purifier for mold and mildew guide for more details.

So, “Can air purifier cause nosebleeds?” The answer is simply no.

Summary – Can an Air Purifier Make You Sick?

We’ve gone over a lot of information in one short post. Here’s a recap of everything you learned:

  • Air purifiers can’t make you sick because they work to clean the air.
  • Air purifiers don’t cause a sore throat.
  • Some ionic air purifiers may cause throat irritation in people with respiratory conditions, but it doesn’t cause you to cough.
  • Air purifiers don’t dry out the air. Therefore, they cannot cause nosebleeds.
  • Air purifiers don’t cause headaches. Instead, they help prevent headaches by removing airborne triggers.

Now you know the answer to the question, “Can an air purifier make you sick?”

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About David Morrison

David is an Air Quality & Comfort Technician. He has expert knowledge on the technology and design of air purification, air conditioning, and heating systems. His main role is to write content that helps people get the most value out of their air purifiers, air conditioners, and heating units. (See Full Bio)