How to Use a Steam Inhaler to Clear Sinus Problems

Sinus problems are insidious and can sometimes be misdiagnosed. A morning sinus headache is sometimes mistaken for a migraine. Clogged sinuses can lead to asthma and other breathing problems. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines help after the problems have peaked. A steam inhaler is a natural alternative to capsules and liquid decongestants. Available without a prescription, this device sends soothing steam to clear stuffy nasal passages. Follow these steps to learn more.

Place the inhaler on a flat surface. Plug it into an electrical outlet.

Detach the hood and check the reservoir. Make sure that it was thoroughly cleaned after the last use. If not, scrub it gently with a very mild soap and rinse.

Fill the plastic measuring cup provided with the inhaler up to the deserved level. Tap water is fine, but you may use bottled water.

Turn the unit on and slide the temperature control wheel to the desired level. Depending on the brand of steam inhaler, you may need to wait for three or four minutes before steam forms.

Place your nose and mouth on the flexible plastic mask if one is provided or close to the inhaler's opening vent. Breathe normally and let the steam particles fully infiltrate nasal passages.


You may feel mucus loosening and get a drippy nose once the steam starts clearing nasal passages. Have a tissue or handkerchief handy to blow your nose. Some steam inhalers have aromatherapy tanks. You may want to use soothing essential oils like lavender or citrus to enhance your experience.

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