Why is it fine to inhale water vapor but bad to get liquid water into your lungs?

When do you inhale water vapor? When it’s pure water that you are inhaling, it’s safe, but getting water into your lungs is another thing.

We all know that we inhale oxygen to survive, but in some instances, we need to inhale water vapor. Inhaling water vapor is also the same as a steam inhalation. It is a widely used home remedy to soothe and open the nasal passages and get relief if you have the symptoms of a cold or a sinus infection.

This steam inhalation is a sort of therapy because the warm moist air loosens the mucus that sticks in the nasal passages, throat, and lungs—thus relieving symptoms of inflamed, swollen blood vessels in your nasal passages. It’s not a cure for lung diseases, but it helps make you feel a lot better, and its natural way is truly safe to your health as long as it is applied correctly. (click here for more details)

The main benefit of steam inhalation is a temporary relief from irritation due to a stuffy nose triggered by inflammation in the sinuses’ blood vessels. Acute upper respiratory infections, such as a cold or a sinus infection, may irritate blood vessels. With the moisture from the steam inhalation, mucus will be loosened and will eventually empty your sinuses.

Steam therapy is also best for the common cold, influenza, nasal allergies, bronchitis, congested nose, throat irritation, headache, cough, and bronchitis. (click here for more details)

Children in their early years commonly experience obstructive bronchitis caused by viruses usually accompanied by respiratory distress, which can be severe or life-threatening.

According to Dr. Wolfram Rohland, inhaling hot steam is not suitable for children. There were cases of parents bringing their children to him for scalds due to hot steam. Although there are advantages in using inhalation over tablets taken orally, steam therapy for younger children is stressful. Making them sit bent over a bowl with hot water covered with a towel on the head can be harrowing. (click here for more details)

Steam inhalation is a safe home remedy if done right; however, it might cause burns and other harms if not administered properly.

Scalding is one of the risks if you make very close contact with very hot water. But the most dangerous thing is to accidentally knock over the bowl of hot water into your lap. It may cause severe burns in sensitive areas of your body.

Here are some ways to avoid burns.

⦁    Ensure the bowl of hot water is placed on a flat, immovable surface and can’t be knocked over.

⦁    Do not lean on the bowl, nor shake it.

⦁    If you have young children at home, make sure they are not around when you are doing steam therapy.

⦁    Closed your eyes to avoid allowing the steam to make contact with your eyes. (click here for more details)

However, inhaling vapors may also come in the inhalations from electronic cigarettes. The bad thing is you are not inhaling water vapors but nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, and other chemicals. Research shows that e-cigar aerosol often contains harmful substances, including flavoring chemicals like diacetyl, associated with diseases in the lungs, metals like lead, and other cancer-causing substances.

A battery powers the E-cigar. It works by heating a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales and exhales. (click here for more details)

Meanwhile, getting water into the lungs or medically called pulmonary edema is a different case. You cannot acquire it with steam inhalation.

Pulmonary edema is a condition wherein your lungs are filled with fluid. Other names include lung congestion, lung water, and pulmonary congestion. When it occurs, the body struggles to get enough oxygen resulting in shortness of breathing.

There are several causes, but the primary contributor to this lung condition is congestive heart failure (CHF). When the heart is unable to pump blood adequately throughout the body, it causes a backup of pressure in the lungs’ small blood vessels. Too much pressure in the blood vessels causes the fluid to leak.

If your lungs are generally healthy, oxygen is transported into the bloodstream. On the other hand, when fluid fills your lungs, it cannot put oxygen into your bloodstream and deprive your body of the oxygen, causing shortness of breathing. (click here for more details)

Other causes include less common medical conditions such as leaking, narrowed, or damaged heart valves, heart attack, or other heart diseases, sudden high blood pressure, kidney failure, pneumonia, lung damage due to severe infection, acute sepsis of the blood, or blood poisoning caused by infection.

Some external factors are exposure to high altitude, abusive drug use or drug overdose, severe trauma, lung damage caused by inhalation of toxins, major injury, or near-drowning can put extra pressure on the heart and lungs and will cause pulmonary edema. (click here for more details)