Do you find yourself humming this time of year? Well it may be good for more than getting the holiday spirit. Researchers say it can also help clear your sinuses.
Sinus infections afflict millions of North Americans every year — leading to pain, headaches and congestion. People with asthma and allergies are more vulnerable.
Keeping the sinuses healthy and infection-free requires ventilation — keeping air flowing smoothly between the sinus and nasal cavities. And what better way than by humming a tune?
I’m not kidding. In a study in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers examined this by comparing airflow in people when they hummed and when they quietly exhaled. Specifically, they looked to see if humming led to greater levels of exhaled nitric oxide, a gas produced in the sinuses. Ultimately, nitric oxides during humming rose 15-fold.
The researchers suggest that daily periods of humming might help people lower their risk of chronic problems. But further study is needed.