Have you ever thought that Steam Inhalation can have side effects (adverse effects) on your health? Let me share what made me write this blog as part of the Strong Self-Immunity and Healthy Living Project for our mission to create a healthy and disease-free society.
My old neighbor’s cousin, Anup, called me with an issue of irritation in the eye. He was also complaining of continuous watering of the eye and pain in eye muscle. Through my inquiries and diagnosis of an eye specialist, it was found that it was due to the harmful effects of excessive steam inhalation, which Anup was doing as a part of preventive measures to safeguard himself against COVID-19 infection.
When using steam inhalation, it is important to take some precautions to avoid any potential problems. Here are some tips:
- Only use distilled water for steam inhalation: This will help to prevent any bacteria or impurities from getting into your lungs.
- Do not use too much water: A small bowl or cup is all you need.
- Place a towel over your head to trap the steam and breathe through your nose. Inhaling too much steam can be harmful.
- Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam.
- Do not steam for more than 10 minutes at a time.
- Make sure the area around the steam source is clear of any flammable materials.
- If you have any respiratory problems, make sure to consult a doctor before using steam inhalation.
- Make sure to drink plenty of fluids after using steam inhalation to avoid dehydration.
To take into account
Steam inhalation is considered a safe home remedy if you do it right, but there is a possibility to hurt yourself unintentionally if you’re not careful.
Remember that inhaling steam relieves symptoms of congestion, but it is not a cure. It doesn’t replace any medical advice. If you continue feeling congested for more than a week or symptoms get worse, call your GP.
What does steaming do?
When blood vessels along the lining of the nasal passages, tract, and sinuses become irritated and inflamed during an infection, they secrete mucus causing congestion. Inhaling steam, lubricates the lining and dilutes the mucus, allowing it to empty more easily and creating temporary relief in breathing. The warm steam can also ease irritation and inflammation.
The safe way to do it at home would be to do it in isolation, in a ventilated room, with a towel or blanket over one’s head, while inhaling the steam rising from hot water, placed in a large bowl . The person’s head should ideally be about 12 inches away from the water, and slow deep breaths should be taken for about two to five minutes.