advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Why Is the Steam Room Causing More Sinus Infections?
I'm a chronic sinus infection sufferer and have noticed an increase in infections when in the steam room. I thought steam would be good for my sinuses. Why does this keep happening?
A
Answer (Published 1/18/2002)

Updated 4/13/2005

Steam generally is good for sinuses, but if you see an increase in infections after being in the steam room, maybe it's time to get steam to your sinuses another way. You can buy portable steam machines for use at home, or you can rig up a steam inhalation tent in your kitchen. Just bring a pot of water to boil on the stove, then stand over it with a towel draped over your head (keep the towel away from any flame). Breathe in the steam through your nose. To make steaming more soothing, add a little sage and eucalyptus, alone or in combination. Eucalyptus is also antibacterial. Add a small handful of whole leaves or a teaspoon of the essential oils to the boiling water. You can find these products at herb shops or health food stores.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Respiratory Health - Avoiding smoke and pollution and getting regular exercise can help you breathe easier. Take your health one step further with proper supplements. Get a plan that's optimized for you - a free, personalized recommendation from Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor.

To cut down on sinus problems, I also recommend eliminating milk and all milk products from your diet. Many people should see a dramatic improvement in their sinus condition after about two months. Another strategy you can try for frequent sinus problems is a nasal douche with salt water several times a day. In addition, you may want to take the Chinese herb astragalus as a daily immune-boosting tonic, and consider trying cranial osteopathy, which involves gentle hands-on pressure to the head and elsewhere to help improve the circulation of fluids in the head.

As far as steam rooms are concerned, the problems you've been having may be due to molds in the air, which could be a factor if your sinus problems are related to a mold allergy. Another possibility is that you're reacting to irritating fumes from the cleansers or disinfectants used in the steam rooms. I've noticed that some public steam rooms don't smell very good, possibly as a result of insufficient cleaning and disinfection.

If you've been using the same steam room, I suggest you try another one to see if it causes the same problems. If so, and if you want the benefits of steam for your sinuses, you'll be better off getting them at home. Don't worry that you'll be losing out on any health benefits by forgoing steam rooms. The main one is relaxation, which is available to you in many other ways.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related Topics

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here