Trouble Breathing? You May Breathe Easier With Steam
We usually say, “Take a deep breath and relax.” But can everybody do it?
Asthmatic patients and healthcare product experts will tell you that the benefits of medications and inhalers outweigh the costs. Asthma episodes are terrifying and life-threatening, yet there is no treatment. People who have tried to find their inhaler while wheezing and gasping in a panic know what it feels like. It’s why asthmatics don’t leave home or do anything strenuous unless they have access to emergency care.
People with asthma will tell you that the benefits of medications and inhalers are well worth the cost. Asthma episodes are terrifying and life-threatening, yet there is no treatment. People who have tried to find their inhaler while wheezing and gasping in a panic know what it feels like. It’s why asthmatics don’t leave home or do anything strenuous unless they have access to emergency care.
Asthma maintenance medications and inhalants have grown in popularity in recent years. Preventing potentially fatal asthma attacks is a concern. Asthmatics must watch out for things like allergens, pollution, exercise, dust mites, and cigarette smoke, which can cause mild and severe attacks.
When looking for ways to help people who have trouble breathing, steam heating is sometimes overlooked. It has been shown that spending time in a steam room may help relieve symptoms of respiratory distress and other respiratory disorders. There’s even science to back it up.
Steam therapy to relieve discomfort
The steam inhalation treatment method for respiratory illness symptoms is simple. Hot, humid air is a natural expectation, and a steam room makes this even better because it is in a controlled environment. Asthma causes enlargement of the lungs’ and throat’s airways. Inhaling steam stimulates mucosal secretions and dilates the airways. Reduced respiratory resistance reduces inflammation and congestion. The steam treatment keeps the mucous membranes from drying out and makes the throat and lungs cough up more mucus.
This benefit was demonstrated in a dramatic trial on participants suffering from “severe acute lower respiratory tract infection” by Indian researchers. Those suffering from bronchiolitis got steam therapy in a canvas tent. Patients getting steam treatment “showed a considerable reduction in respiratory discomfort within 24 hours.”
Bronchiolitis, like asthma, narrows the airways and makes breathing difficult. Bronchiolitis often affects young children, while bronchitis mostly affects adults. While bronchitis and asthma have distinct origins, their symptoms are very similar.
People with respiratory illnesses need to see a doctor, and people who want to use a steam room should talk to their doctor first.
STEAM: A WHOLE-BODY TREATMENT
Heat treatment has been used for hundreds of years to ease respiratory pain by ventilating and clearing the lungs, but heat may also help clean your sinuses, which is a big benefit for asthma patients. Steam treatment can dilate the nasal passages and remove mucus from the Eustachian tubes. Also, research has shown that the common virus rhinovirus goes to sleep at temperatures above 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though this doesn’t cure a cold, it shows how heat therapy can have effects on our lungs that we didn’t expect.
No talk of steam treatment is complete without discussing how steam room sessions may improve your overall well-being. These benefits are also important for understanding how asthma and other respiratory illnesses can be helped by steam. Heat treatment, for example, has been demonstrated to:
- Reduce inflammation: During an asthma attack, inflammation is partly to blame for how the airways get bigger. Heat treatment reduces inflammation all over the body and may help relieve the chronic inflammation that comes with asthma. In fact, asthma causes four types of airway inflammation, so any decrease in inflammation is quite helpful.
- Improve circulation: Hyperventilation often has blood circulation problems. Vasoconstriction (the narrowing of blood vessels) and inflammation are lessened by better circulation, which helps open the bronchial tubes. A healthy cardiovascular system will always enhance your overall health.
- Relieve stress: Relaxation? You need it. Everyone needs it. Stress is an epidemic with substantial consequences for general health, particularly asthmatics. Stress can cause your heart rate to go up, your breathing to speed up, and your circulation to slow down.
RELAX AND LET IT STEAM
Asthma has many causes, but there is no treatment. It is a chronic ailment that may severely limit one’s lifestyle. Even physically fit and healthy individuals must use caution if they suffer from asthma. Allergies, exercise, mold, dust mites, air pollution, and pet dander are all asthma triggers that won’t disappear soon. This makes it hard for people with asthma to treat their symptoms.
A steam room and other healthcare products will not cure your respiratory problems but will help supplement your respiratory maintenance plan and reduce symptoms. It’s worth a try, particularly given the various benefits of the steam inhalation treatment.
If you’ve ever used a steam room, you know how revitalized and rejuvenated you may feel afterward. Feeling well is a reward in and of itself, but when you consider the additional health advantages, you realize that steam rooms may do more than help you breathe better.