Is Sauna Good for Sinus Infection? (How Heat & Humidity Could Help)

A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a condition characterized by an inflammation of the cavities around the nasal passages, usually caused by viruses or bacteria. Acute sinus infection can be triggered by allergies or a cold and does not require intense treatment. The sauna is known to help treat certain infections and health conditions, but is a sinus infection one of them?

Treatment for a sinus infection typically includes laying warm compresses against the face to ease the pain, hydration to thin out the mucus, applying saline nose drops, and over-the-counter decongestants. While it may not cure your sinus infection, the heat and moisture from a sauna can alleviate symptoms such as pressure, dryness, and stuffiness.

Keep reading to learn more about how how the sauna can help with a sinus infection and which type of sauna is your best choice.

Can the sauna help with a sinus infection?

If you suffer from sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, or any other respiratory conditions, regular use of a sauna room can be of great help.

The sauna can help with sinus infections and other related infections. The high temperature in a sauna causes heavy sweating through the use of dry heat. Spending time in a sauna room can boost blood circulation and relieve the inflammation of the cavities around your nasal passages.

Visiting a sauna regularly might not entirely prevent nasal infections like sinusitis, but they can help reduce the number of symptom occurrences and speed up healing of the infection.

The heat from a sauna helps clear mucus from bronchial and nasal passages, which can help a sinus infection. A sauna session can help provide relief to people with a sinus infection.

Have you ever wondered if a sauna is good for bronchitis? Find out in this article!

Does heat make a sinus infection better or worse?

If you’ve ever had a sinus infection, chances are you turned to a wet compress over your face or a hot shower in order to reduce the pressure and get a few good, deep breaths in. Does the heat from the sauna help in the same way, or could it actually make you feel worse?

Heat opens up skin pores, making you sweat heavily. Increased sweating helps to remove toxins and wastes from the body, which results in an enhanced immune system, better breathing, and blood circulation. This contributes positively to making a sinus infection better.

In addition to the direct benefits provided by heat from a sauna, you can also enjoy relaxation and therapy. Relaxation and therapy both go a long way in enhancing the healing process. Relaxation helps to reduce stress and relieve illness when the body is under pressure.

The heat from a sauna can also help slow your breathing, lower your blood pressure, and lower your heart rate. When the body is relaxed, the immune system and white blood cells will fight to clear the infection faster and more effectively.

Do steam and humidity make a sinus infection better or worse?

The lining in your nose swells anytime you have sinusitis. This creates pressure that leads to the pain felt around your nose, forehead, eyes, and the rest of your face. Some people tend to experience pressure headaches, and these symptoms can worsen if the person bends over. Steam and humidity can help relieve congestion and reduce swelling in affected areas. 

Heat and humidity can help improve blood flow and ensure the proper delivery of oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body. Spending time in the sauna, infrared sauna, or steam room can alleviate inflammation and boost oxygen and nutrients circulation around the body. 

The sauna can also improve blood flow, relieve muscle spasms, reduce joint stiffness, promote healthy cell functioning, and speed up the healing of infections and diseases. 

Should you use the sauna, infrared sauna, or steam room for a sinus infection?

If you have the option to visit a traditional sauna, an infrared sauna, or a steam room, which would be more effective at helping to relieve the discomfort of a sinus infection?

An infrared sauna might be the best choice for some people with nasal infections. It is not just the heat from an infrared sauna that does the work, but the light acts as a catalyst for producing white blood cells. 

The infrared light encourages the production of white blood cells in the body. When you have an infection, the first thing on your wish list should be the production of more white blood cells because they help fight infections and diseases.

In addition, the infrared sauna generates heat that causes perspiration and also penetrates deep into the skin. This helps in the improvement of blood circulation, which is usually impaired by a sinus infection. This facilitates better movement of oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body.

While the infrared sauna is probably the best choice when you have a sinus infection, you can also see benefits when visiting either a traditional sauna or a steam room.

How to use the sauna for a nasal infection

A nasal infection leads to difficulty in breathing. It also impedes the free flow of oxygen and nutrients. Scientists have confirmed that heat from a sauna can help relieve some nasal infections, including colds, asthma, and sinus infections.

With its typical high temperature, a sauna can reduce symptoms of infections by improving drainage and weakening viruses and bacteria. Most saunas can be as hot as 180°F, so it is suggested not to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time inside the sauna. 

How to use the steam room for a nasal infection

Some people might find a steam room more effective for treating nasal infections than saunas. This is one of the reasons doctors recommend people with sinus infections, nasal infections, or asthma to use steam rooms.

The steam room helps break up congestion in the sinuses and lungs. The breaking up will help unblock sinuses, treat colds, and aid breathing. However, it is advised not to spend too much time in the sauna to avoid the risk of dehydration, which can cause the mucus to thicken, creating more sinus pressure. The suggested time to spend in a steam room for sinusitis is between 15 to 20 minutes.

The steam room helps to clear mucus that is causing the infection and, in turn, aids breathing. Although if used inappropriately, it can make nasal infections worse. This is why steam rooms should be used with full caution.

How to use the infrared sauna for a nasal infection

An infrared sauna helps to fight sinus infection by acting as a natural healing weapon. Using it in the best way will ensure you get the most out of it. 

In an infrared sauna, the air inside it resembles the air outside the room. The infrared sauna heats the person inside and not the air in it. Since the temperature in an infrared sauna is between 120°F and 140°F, a 15-minute session at a go will do. It is also essential to drink a lot of water before, during, and after the session. 

The infrared sauna improves body immunity and increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies, which are known for their disease-fighting characteristics. 

Related Questions

Why do I have a sinus headache after the sauna?

You may have a sinus headache after the sauna due to a number of reasons. 

Using a sauna might not make you sick, but if you have underlying health conditions that can be triggered by heat, the likelihood of health problems like a sinus headache occurring might be higher. Dehydration and loss of electrolytes without adequate replenishment are some of the main causes of a sinus headache.

Diabetic patients are more likely to experience dehydration after a sauna more often, and older people are more prone to heat stress. There is a good chance that these categories of people are more likely to be fatigued or get a sinus headache after a sauna.

Here are some tips to help prevent a sinus headache after a sauna:

  • Drink water before, during, and after the sauna.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before and after a sauna session.
  • Replenish lost nutrients by taking fruits, sea salt, coconut water, and vitamin supplements to replenish lost nutrients like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium.   

Is the sauna good for post nasal drip?

Sitting in a sauna for 10-15 minutes can do so much in stopping post nasal drips. 

The heat from the sauna cleans the nasal passages, dilutes the drainage, and prevents it from dripping down the throat. The heat from a sauna helps weaken the viruses and bacteria that give nasal infection symptoms like post nasal drip. 

Can the sauna cause bacterial infections?

It is always important to follow healthy regulations in a sauna, and not following can lead to higher risks of bacterial infections. 

Bacteria thrive in moist and warm areas, which means you should not allow your skin to come in contact with damp wooden benches (especially in a traditional sauna), which may harbor germs.