Self-help: Steam Inhalation

Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water can be used to relieve some of the symptoms of colds, sore throats, sinusitis, and laryngitis. The moisture in the steam helps to loosen secretions in congested lungs and in the nose and throat, making them easier to clear. Alternatively, you can run hot water while you are in the bathroom and inhale the steam. Children should not carry out steam inhalation unless they are supervised by an adult.

Inhaling steam

Fill a bowl one-third full with hot water. Lean forwards, pull a towel completely over your head and the bowl, and inhale steam for several minutes.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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