Asthma is a long-term chronic disease that mostly affects your lungs. For people who have asthma problems, their lungs get swollen and inflamed which causes breathlessness and many other respiratory issues.
The saddest truth about asthma is there is no cure for this disease but you can control it with proper treatment and medication. There are a lot of ways that you can follow to keep your asthma under control.
Although the treatment of asthma varies from person to person, steam inhalation works effectively for most of them. If you’re an asthma patient and don’t know about it then you might want to know: Is steam inhalation good for asthma? To get the answer to this question, you need to read the following article completely.
What Is Steam Inhalation?
Steam inhalation is one of the most popular and ancient home remedies generally used to alleviate different symptoms, like allergies, sinusitis, pollen, and other noses, ear, and throat issues. Besides, steam inhalation is also known as steam therapy, which refers to the inhalation of water vapor.
Most medical experts suggest steam inhalation as it helps to break down the mucus that blocks your airways and causes breathlessness. When you inhale the warm and moist air, it loses the mucus that blocks your throat, nasal passages, and lungs and lets you breathe easier.
The main purpose of taking steam inhalation is to get relief from different symptoms like sinus and cold infection, and inflamed swelling in your nasal passages.
While taking steam therapy, you need to remember that steam treatments can’t cure infections like cold or flu. The reason is pretty simple: steam can’t kill the viruses that are responsible for the infection. But it’ll help you a lot to fight these diseases in a relaxing way. With steam inhalation, you can alleviate some common problems. They are:
- Irritated or dry nasal passages
- Shortness of breath due to airway congestion
- Throat irritation
- Congested/stuffy nose
Is Steam Inhalation Good For Asthma?
Asthma is a long-time chronic disease and there is no permanent solution and cure for asthma. According to the CDC, one in thirteen Americans is suffering from asthma. In total, almost 25 million people of U.S. residents of different ages and gender are suffering from this non-curable disease.
It’s already declared as one of the most common and costly diseases in America by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Another Survey by the CDC shows that people of Americans spend $56 billion on small inhaler and drugs to control this disease.
To save some money you might want to use some home remedies or herbal medicines to control your asthma. Then you should know about steam inhaling as it’s one of the most common and efficient home remedies for asthma. Now the question is: Is steam inhalation good for asthma?
After completing a lot of research on asthma patients it’s found that inhaling steam gives soothing and relaxation to most of them. It clears out the mucus that blocked the airways and causes breathlessness. In addition, some asthma patients also confess that while they try asthma vaporizer or inhalation steam their asthma gets worse than before.
Therefore, it’s crucial to identify your particular asthma trigger before making your asthma action plan. Inhaling the steam or warm air is very similar to drinking hot liquids that help to loosen up the congestion & remove the mucus from your airways for easier breathing.
From the ancient period to now, steam therapy has been used to get relief from different types of respiratory issues. It has some significant benefits for asthma patients.
As asthma narrows and swells your airways that cause inflammation. When you take steam therapy it reduces the inflammation by removing the mucus from your airways. You’ll feel instant relaxation after taking steam inhalation as it alleviates the inflammatory response that is caused by asthma.
After taking steam inhalation for 10-15 minutes if the mucus isn’t removed from your airways then you can do some breathing exercises to unblock your airways. For an effective breathing exercise, you can use this AirPhysio natural mucus cleaning device.
How To Inhale Steam?
Inhaling steam is very easy if you follow some easy steps. The most common and popular method of inhaling steam is to boil some water and pour it into a large jar. Then you need to take a towel and place it over your head and lean your head over the hot water jar. Now take deep breaths through your nose and continue the process for at least 15 minutes. For your convenience below in this section, I’m going to give you a detailed guideline for inhaling steam.
The materials you’ll need:
- A large jar or bowl
- A kettle or pot and microwave or stove ( to heat the water)
The working process:
Step-1: First, you need to heat the water by boiling it.
Step-2: After boiling the water, pour it carefully into the bowl.
Step-3: Now take the towel and place it over the back to cover your head.
Step-4: Turn a timer on and set it to 15 minutes.
Step-5: Close your eyes and lower your head slowly towards the hot water bowl and maintain an 8-12 inches distance from the water. While taking the steaming therapy maintain your safe distance from the hot water to avoid accidents.
Step-6: Now take a deep breath and inhale slowly through your nose on average 2-5 minutes per session.
NB: Don’t inhale the steam for more than 15 minutes per session. However, you can repeat the process two to three times a day if symptoms still exist.
Side Effects Of Steam Inhalation
There is no doubt that steam inhalation is one of the safest home remedies if you use it in a proper way. However, if you don’t remain careful while using it then there is a high possibility of hurting yourself with hot water. Besides, most people don’t know that using steam inhalation beyond the suggested period has certain bad effects on your health. Below I’ll show you some of the side effects of steam inhalation on your different organs.
Most of us apply different types of oil, medication, with hot water steam for different purposes. Through this, we unintentionally invite different types of eye-related issues and that might reduce the blood supply to our eyes.
Consequently, in the future, they might encounter a major eye-sight problem. The most common problems that you’ll face with your eyes by inhaling steam are swelling, redness, dry eye, watering from eyes continuously, etc.
2. Cells Of Nose And Throat
Continuous inhalation of streaming has a bad effect on your nasal cells and throat muscle. It might damage the nerves of those organs. Therefore it’s always better to don’t exceed the time prescribed by your healthcare provider or doctor for inhaling steam.
When you inhale steam your face & neck skin directly encounter the vapor of hot water. Therefore your skin gets dry and causes several bacterial and fungal skin diseases. Besides, by inhaling the hot steam continuously on your face and neck you may also fall into burn injury.
4. Nerve Cells
If you inhale the steam for an extended period of time, there is a higher possibility of damaging the cell texture of your nose and throat. It’ll promote numbness/impaired function on your muscles and cells. Moreover, it reduces the flow of blood in the cells and damages the cell’s chemistry. Any kind of external heat for an extended period of time has an adverse impact on the healthy cells of your body.
5. Risk Of Burns
Along with the above-mentioned side effects, there are some other risks of steam inhalation that are directly associated with hot water. And, the most common risk is dropping or knocking the hot water bowl in your lap which might burn different sensitive areas of your body.
To avoid burn or any kind of accidental injury you can follow the below precautions:
- Keep the hot water bowl on a level surface.
- Don’t shake the bowl and maintain your safety distance while leaning on it.
- Keep your eyes close to avoid steam directly contacting your eyes.
- While inhaling steam keep your children and pets away from you to avoid any accidental issues. A study shows that most steam inhalation accidents and burn cases occur in children.
To control the symptoms of asthma there are a lot of ways that vary from person to person. Among the different treatments and medications, steam inhalation is the most efficient and effective solution for most asthma patients.
Above in this article, I’ve already discussed why is steam inhalation good for asthma and how it is beneficial for your health? Along with steam inhalation you’ve to do a lot of physical activity as per your asthma action plan and breathing exercise to maintain a healthy lung. Remember regular breathing exercises will enhance your lung capacity and help you to keep asthma under your control.