Can Infrared Saunas Fix My Sinus Problems?

sinus pain

Fall will soon be here, signaling the start of sniffle season. But do you really need to brace yourself for nose maladies, or could you head some symptoms off at the pass? We all would rather avoid the discomfort and downtime caused by stuffiness, sneezing, or worse, painful headaches. While diet and lifestyle have some play, we get asked, can infrared saunas fix sinus problems, alleviating symptoms? The answer is, yes. The best part is, you can enjoy sessions at home, safely and comfortably.

But first, let’s discuss these conditions and some of the causes.

Is It Allergies or Sinus Infection?

Whether seasonal or ongoing, allergies can be hard to get a handle on. At best they’re distracting but at their worst can become debilitating and cause a loss of productivity. Here we’re mostly discussing those that relate to sinus discomfort. Amazingly, allergies, or allergic rhinitis, are listed as the sixth most common chronic illness globally.

Allergies can stem from a variety of things, like pollen, mold, hay fever, pollutants, chemicals, and also food, the latter of which if left untreated can lead to other issues. One cause can be fungal overgrowth from a poor diet, typically too much sugar and other foods that cause bad bacteria to reproduce at high rates.  Sometimes allergies are unavoidable based on where you live and the environment in general.

You might experience allergic rhinitis and no other sinus issues. However, it’s common for symptoms to overlap. Rhinitis can also lead to sinusitis.

So, what’s the difference in symptoms between allergic rhinitis and sinusitis?

Itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes are common with allergic rhinitis or allergies. Sinusitis symptoms can include nasal congestion, discolored nasal drainage, sinus pressure, headache, and fever.”

While allergies are typically treated with antihistamine medications and over-the-counter nasal sprays, sinus infections can be a little trickier. People are often confused about what causes sinusitis and more importantly, how to treat it.

“Viral sinusitis usually lasts less than 7 to 10 days and will resolve with supportive care. Antibiotics are not needed to treat viral sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis typically lasts longer than 10 days and may present with persistent fever. Bacterial sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotics.”

In general, inflammation is the root cause of each malady, and that’s where infrared comes in.

Infrared’s Role in Allergy and Sinus Relief

It might seem counterintuitive that an infrared sauna can help fix sinus and allergy problems since it’s an intensely warm, enclosed area. Infrared in particular has its benefits, though. Infrared therapy actually enhances our immune response, which is responsible for how our body fights anything foreign to our body, even airborne attacks. This includes reducing inflammation.

Our autonomic nervous system is affected by allergens, including those that assault our sinuses. Not coincidentally “the immune system interacts directly within brain regions that regulate autonomic function.”  While far infrared is particularly beneficial for building our immune response, the near-infrared treatment showed positive results in treating rhinitis as well. Near-infrared, or red light, is part of the chromotherapy feature in a number of Health Mate saunas.

Another study conducted with thirty-one patients of varying ages showed significant improvement in allergy symptoms over the course of just a week after infrared treatment. What’s especially significant about Infrared therapy is it produces no side effects, something commonly experienced with medications for the same issues.

A slightly smaller but longer study was conducted to learn if infrared could reduce the frequency of the common cold, and again, it proved helpful. Not only was the occurrence reduced, but those who did experience a cold reported quicker recovery.

You can gain an advantage by taking sauna bathing seriously and treating it like you would any other health regimen. Our immune system responds positively to intense heat.

To learn more about sauna benefits and how infrared saunas can help fix sinus problems, or to get started with your own infrared therapy at home, speak with our sauna specialists. You could be avoiding the worst of cold or allergy season simply by incorporating sauna bathing as part of your daily health routine.