If you suffer or know someone who is suffering from a sinus infection…
You know how debilitating it can feel!
Congestion, pressure, runny nose, even headaches; the list of symptoms goes on and is sure to ruin your day.
Can saunas help you beat sinus infection? Some experts say they can.
Read on to find out what type of sauna is best for you.
About Sinus Infections
Chronic sinusitis is one of the most common chronic diseases in the US, affecting about 15% of Americans.
Sinus infection is often the early stage in the development of this disease. Even though the initial symptoms may seem innocuous, they can often indicate deeper problems within the digestive or immune system.
In more severe cases, sinus infections can cause persistent headaches, menstrual issues, stomachache, or even problems with focus and concentration.
Can Saunas Help With Sinus Infections?
Even though heat is usually associated with worsening sinus infections and other respiratory conditions, saunas in some cases can help people with breathing issues.
A sauna is a heat bath that creates high temperatures in order to induce heavy perspiration by utilizing dry heat. Most saunas reach temperatures over 180oF and for this reason, it is not recommended to spend more than 20 minutes at a time inside.
In accordance with the heat source they use, there are 3 main sauna types.
1. Dry Saunas
This type of saunas uses wood-burning stoves. These stoves often include stones onto which water is poured from time to time, in order to increase the air humidity and make your stay more comfortable.
Dry saunas usually create little steam, i.e. the heat they produce isn’t moist. Because the humidity level is low and the air is not so hot, dry saunas are perfect for people who have issues breathing in heavy air, including asthma patients.
However, some people find the hot and dry air in these saunas obstructive. Whether dry saunas will provide relief or not depends entirely on the individual and the type of breathing issues they have.
2. Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas can be an even better choice for people with sinus infections. This is due to the fact that air inside the sauna resembles the air outside. Infrared saunas heat the person, not the air.
This means that even people with sinus infections can find relief from the use of infrared saunas without any unwanted side effects. So, how exactly do these saunas help?
Infrared saunas create a state of artificial fever that helps the organism fight the sinus infection. When our bodies are attacked by viruses or bacteria, fever occurs as a natural healing weapon. It enhances immunity, increasing the production of antibodies and white blood cells which are known for their disease-fighting properties.
In addition, the heat in infrared saunas penetrates deep in the body, improving blood circulation, which is usually impaired in the case of a sinus infection. By doing so, it facilitates the distribution of nutrients and oxygen to all body parts.
3. Steam Baths
Some people experiencing breathing problems find steam baths more effective than infrared or dry saunas. No wonder doctors often advise taking kids with asthma or sinus infections to steam baths.
The use of a steam bath helps clear the mucus that is causing breathing problems. Again, in some people, the steam can make breathing difficulties worse. For that reason, steam baths should be used with caution.
Word Of Caution
Besides relieving sinus infection symptoms, all sauna types help revitalize the body as a whole. The heat used in saunas opens up the pores, thus making you perspire heavily. Increased perspiration helps remove toxins from the body, resulting in improved blood circulation, enhanced immune system, and in many cases revitalized skin.
Breathing difficulties can sometimes get worse by increased stress levels. Saunas help you relax by reducing stress and feelings of fatigue, thus alleviating breathing problems.
However, since sinus infection is usually caused by viruses or bacteria, it’s best to treat the root of the problem. Using a sauna can relieve some of the symptoms temporarily but it’s not very likely to cure them altogether. Your best bet is to follow your doctor’s advice – get enough rest, stay warm, and try to keep your sinuses dry.
Also, make sure to consult your doctor before visiting a sauna if you suffer from sinus infections or other respiratory issues.
Important: Never sleep in a sauna or use a sauna as a method to induce a feeling of wanting to sleep. There are safer ways to get the rest you might be lacking.
If you suffer from a sinus infection, bronchitis, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, regular visits to the sauna can be of great help.
The heat in saunas opens up the nasal passages and the bronchial in your lungs, enabling free passage of air. In addition, the steam helps to break up mucus, offering instant relief.
Spending time in a sauna can relieve the inflammation and boost blood circulation, which is just what your sinuses need!