December 20, 2010

Can Humming Ease Sinus Problems?

Well... according to a recent New York Times article published Dec 20, 2010, the answer is yes...

Apparently, humming can keep air moving through the sinuses and nasal cavity which suggests improved ventilation. Good sinus ventilation means healthy sinuses.

Their conclusion is based on two studies listed under the references below. Unfortunately, the conclusion can't extend to stating humming prevents sinus infections. The only way to evaluate that hypothesis is to do a study comparing two groups of patients with chronic sinus infections and instruct one to hum and the other not to and see if there's any difference in the intervention group over time. Even better would be to do a prospective double-blinded study, but not sure how one can perform a double-blinded study in this case.

Read the NYT article here.

Humming greatly increases nasal nitric oxide. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Jul 15;166(2):144-5.

Assessment of nasal and sinus nitric oxide output using single-breath humming exhalations. Eur Respir J. 2003 Aug;22(2):323-9.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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