Is a sauna or steam room better for Reactive Airway Disease/ Asthma? I contracted RAD/Asthma after a bout of pneumonia a few years ago. I am unable to use beta-antagonists, but managed to get better over time and with natural supplements. Recently, I had a bad case of bronchitis and still have some lingering mucus and tightness. I was told that the steam would be better for loosening the mucus and expelling it, but it seems that steam is just more "moisture" and "liquid" in my airways and that is a suffocating feeling for me. On the other hand, I know that too dry air (sauna) isn't good as the mucus needs to be loosened, but with sauna, I don't have that suffocating feeling of the steam and the heat of the sauna seems to relax my chest. What do you recommend? Any specifics would be greatly appreciated. Or can you recommend something else that will help get this mucus out and loosen me up? Thanks.
Both dry heat from a sauna and moist heat from a steam room can cause problems in some people with asthma. There is no general rule that applies to all. Water is the best moisturizing agent available. Increase your water intake. Another easy solution is to increase your physical activity. This, too, may loosen the mucus that is building in your chest.
Quick question for you Linda. I also think that I have RAD but I'm not sure. Do you cough only when you speak? I noticed that I only cough when I talk. I need to find a cure. It's affecting every part of my life. What medications are you currently taking to ease the cough? Thanks.
I also developed asthma after a bout of pneumonia. Over the years I have discovered that various treatments can help at certain times and hurt at others. There are times when very moist air has a soothing effect on my lungs and at other times it gives me that suffocating feeling. I drive my family crazy because I am always adjusting the temperature and humidity levels in the house to whatever makes my respiratory tract feel good that particular day. As a rule, if it makes you feel comfortable at the time, it is probably the way to go. It helps to have an objective measure of your lung function, like a peak flow meter. If you feel like something in the environment is helping or hurting your airways, check your peak flow meter and see if your number is higher or lower than your ideal reading.
PS: about loosening mucus. I know it sounds crazy, but for me, nothing beats chicken soup, as hot as I can stand it without burning myself. There have been studies that show it really does help loosen mucus. My son and I both had a severe case of whooping cough a few years ago. I spent a week in the hospital taking multiple medications to help me deal with the huge amount of mucus that was choking me. Nothing worked as well as chicken soup! I lived on it for weeks. Spicy foods can also help break up mucus, but at other times it just seems to aggravate the problem.
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