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Suffering from cold, took steam for 2 weeks, nose bleeding. Any damage?

I recently had a cold and on a daily basis I inhaled hot steam from a large bowl with my head under a towel to keep in the steam. I did this daily for about 2 weeks, and for about half an hour per session. The problem is that I noticed a strange smell from the bowl, but ignored it out of desperation to get better quickly. On reflection, I realised that I had recently soaked the plastic bowl with Dettol liquid to clean it, and must not have rinsed it thoroughly. From day to day inhalation , the smell became weaker an weaker. I have stopped the steam sessions now. My nose is quite stuffy and I have a nose bleed every few days. (My nose may have been bleeding prior to these sessions - I just can t remember - I had recently undergone a nasal endoscopy which irritated it). Is it likely that regularly inhaling a small amount of Dettol diluted with a large bowl of boiling water has done any permanent damage to my nasal cavities?
Asked On : Wed, 6 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  53
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response

Hello and welcome to health care magic. Thanks for your query.

I guess you have injured your nasal mucosa by inhaling hot steam for half an hour every day.

It is not correct method to take steam inhalation by adding disinfectant solutions ( dettol) . Even half an hour exposure to hot steam will damage the inner lining epithelium of the nasal cavity and makes the thin and fragile blood vessels to bleed.

I would suggest you to stop taking steam inhalation at present and pinch your nose with your index finger and thumb for few minutes when you have nasal bleeding . and apply ice packs to arrest bleeding. and in spite of above measures if bleeding does not stop you have to consult ENT specialist immediately.

Hope i have answered your question.

Wish you all the best

( Emergency consultant)

Answered: Thu, 7 Mar 2013
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