Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Bronchial Asthma Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation or sometimes known as vapor inhalation is used to moisten the thick mucus in the airway. Several doctors are recommending this therapy to loosen the tenacious secretions found in the small bronchioles.

This treatment is effective for reducing the signs and symptoms of respiratory problems such as pneumonia and bronchial asthma. However, special precautionary measures should be taken into consideration, when applying this method.

Below is the step-by step procedure on how to perform steam inhalation in a safe and effective manner.

How to Perform Steam Inhalation?

  1. The basic items used for steam inhalation are medium-sized container (bowl), steaming water (preferably at the boiling point temperature), a paper cone, eye protective gear, and a clean cloth. Using of essential oils can be beneficial, as well. Gather all equipment needed and begin the procedure by:
  2. Place the medium-sized container or bowl in a flat surface. Make sure that it must be 1 foot lower than the nasal and oral area. Avoid placing the bowl in unstable surface.
  3. Secure the bowl and fill it with steaming water. Make sure not to spill the hot water to prevent possible burns.
  4. (Optional) add essential oils as indicated. Take note that there are essential oils, which can be favorable to asthmatic conditions. However, there are oils that can aggravate the condition. Therefore, it is important to consult the doctor first before applying some oils.
  5. Place a clean cloth below the chin area. Make sure that the cloth is wide enough to cover the entire chest area. Steaming water at a boiling temperature evaporates. There will be a tendency that the vapors might drip at the person’s chest area causing burn.
  6. Secure the cloth and wear protective gear for the eye. Exposure to steam can irritate the eyes. Using of gear can prevent the irritation of the eyes as characterized by redness.
  7. Take the paper and form a cone. Make sure that the other end of the cone should be wide enough to accommodate the entire opening of the bowl. The purpose for this is to ensure that the steam will not be wasted.
  8. The other end of the cone (with smaller opening) should face the person’s oral and nasal cavity. 
The entire procedure should last for about thirty to forty-five minutes. Too much exposure can irritate the person’s skin. 

Too less exposure will not be enough to moisten the airway.

Special Precautionary Measures for Steam Inhalation

Most doctors will not recommend this procedure to asthmatic kids with bronchial asthma. Children have higher sensitivity to heat than adults. However, the extent of the procedure can be reduced, which will make it effective and safe for younger ones.

It is advisable that adults should supervise or assist children in administering steam inhalation. Avoid assuming that children can apply the method independently. Always ensure the safety level of children and elder people in performing steam inhalation for bronchial asthma.

Adding of essential oils especially those that have extreme fragrance should be consulted to the doctor. There are natural oils that may be soothing for personal use but becomes hazardous for asthmatic people with bronchial asthma.
- By Edter