The Claim: Humming can ease sinus problems.
The Facts: When a cold leads to a sinus infection, the misery can double.
Some researchers have proposed a surprising remedy: Channelling your inner Frank Sinatra.
Sinus infections generally occur when the lining of the sinuses - hollows in the bones of the face around the nose - becomes inflamed.
It then traps air and pus and other secretions, leading to pain, headaches and congestion.
And what better way to keep air moving through the sinuses and nasal cavity than by humming a a tune?
In a study in The American Journal Or Respiratory And Critical Care Medicine, researchers examined this by comparing airflow in people when they hummed and when they quietly exhaled.
They found that the level of nitric oxide - a gas produced in the sinuses - exhaled during humming rose by 15 times.
Another study a year later in The European Respiratory journal found a similar effect: Humming resulted in a large increase in nasal nitric oxide.
Since reduced air flow plays a major role in sinus infections, the researchers suggested that daily periods of humming might help people lower their risk of chronic problems. But further study is needed, they said.
The bottom line: Studies show that humming helps increase airflow between the sinus and nasal cavities, which could potentially help protect against sinus infections.
- The New York Times