My son came home with a sore throat last week. His fever was low grade at 99.8 and he seemed like he could fight it off himself. He was tired but able to keep up with his normal activities. By the next day, he had a full throttle head cold, felt much worse and was barely breathing through his nose. Instead, he took in air solely through his mouth and sounded noticeably stuffy. Without the use of his nose, when he spoke, he was out of breath. What was oozing from his nose could only be described as unscrambled eggs mixed with lemon yogurt. And it wasn’t stopping no matter how many times I helped him blow his nose.
A quick run to the pediatrician confirmed what I knew — he had a sinus infection. He had already had one back in early November and was put on a five-day Biaxin treatment plan. It cleared up quickly. Now since this was his second sinus infection in two months, he was given Omnicef and will be on antibiotics until January 2011.
Maybe he just should have hummed.
In a report in The New York Times, researchers say that may have just found that humming is an easy way to keep your sinuses clear. This is important not only because sinusitis affects over 37 million people in the country annually but also because, if found to be true, this would be a very simple way to keep sinuses ventilated. When not circulating the proper amount of air, the sinuses get inflamed and pus gets trapped. The result is throbbing pain, infection, fever, and congestion. It’s worse for those with asthmas and allergies, like my son, because they are more vulnerable.
In a study in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers found that people were able to significantly improve their nitric oxide levels while humming. The European Respiratory Journal performed a similar study and found participants were also able to produce more nitric acid and a higher airflow when they hummed. While they both say more investigation is needed, for those suffering with sinus infections, it can’t hurt to hum.
So turn up those Christmas tunes and start some merry humming. Best case scenario: it takes your headache away and helps you avoid a sinus infection. Worst case: it puts you a festive mood!