I got sick on Sunday, and our humidifier was conveniently broken. But thankfully, my mom had a Vick’s Steam Inhaler from last winter if we ever got sick or if our nasal passages get really dry.
It’s what it sounds like… a steam inhaler. You fill a small area with distilled water and turn it on, and a heating element boils the water to make steam, which then goes up to your face. You can adjust the amount of steam that reaches your nose/mouth because it can become uncomfortably warm. They also put air gaps on the side so that you are actually diluting the hot steam with some room temperature air.
Anyway, you breathe in the steam, and it temporarily helps you breathe and keep your nasal passages from drying so that you can sleep better. It also makes your nose run and it’s basically the equivalent of drinking a hot cup of tea in that you have to blow your nose a lot right after use. If you sickness does include a cough, it can temporarily relieve that, too.
I used it yesterday, and it is actually pretty good. I could breathe for about 30 minutes after using the machine, which was quite nice. On a scale from one to ten, I’d rate it a ten! They also have scent pads that you can place above the steam so that the steam is scented, but I didn’t try those. I liked it with just plain steam.
They do have a warning not to put anything in the water, though, especially Vick’s. My dad said that Vick’s can form a substantial film on top of the water, and if that film breaks, boiling water can splash up as you try to inhale. He believes this is what the makers are concerned about.
Anyway, this is a nice little gadget for colds. Yes, placing boiling water in a bowl and using a towel would do the same thing, but this keeps the water steaming for as long as you care to breathe it in. It also restricts the steam to a small area on your face if that matters to you.
If you want to view the product in detail and or buy it, click here.