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Stop the Common Cold with a Hair Dryer

Updated on March 18, 2017

Can a Blow Dryer Cure the Common Cold?

There is no known cure for the common cold but some people swear that blowing warm air into the upper respiratory passages of the nose and mouth with a hair dryer can actually stop a cold or at least lighten the symptoms. It sounded a little fishy to me, but after learning that the rhinovirus doesn't multiply well at normal body temperature, I am beginning to that there may be something to the practice.

(photo by breakfast for dinner CC2.0)

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Do you think it's possible for a hair dryer to slow down or stop a cold?

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How Could a Hair Dryer Stop a Cold?

Reasons that a Hair Dryer Could Work

  • The rhinovirus, which causes about a third of all colds, reproduces best at temperatures between 91 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (33-35 degrees Celsius). This is cooler than normal body temperature which is why the virus replicates mostly in the nose and upper throat where the temperature is relatively cool. Rhinovirus does not replicate well in the lower respiratory tract. It stands to reason that raising the temperature in the upper respiratory tract with a blow dryer can inhibit rhinovirus replication, at least temporarily.
  • Rhinovirus dies at temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Raising the temperature of the nasal passages and throat that high could actually kill the virus that causes colds.
  • Warming and drying the nasal passages with a hair dryer shrinks swollen nasal membranes, temporarily relieving pain and pressure, even if the replication of the virus is not stopped.

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But Wait a Minute

Reasons a hair dryer might not work

To be honest, I question the effectiveness of using a hair dryer as a cold remedy and here's why.

  • A blow dryer might stop replication temporarily, but wouldn't it start right back up as soon as the heat is taken away?
  • Even if you can get the very front of the nose heated enough to kill some of the virus, wouldn't it be very difficult and painful to heat deep enough into the nasal passages to kill a significant number?
  • And what about the dry skin and chafing?

Yes, it's worth a shot.

Yes, it's worth a shot.

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    • anonymous 3 years ago

      I have used this technique to stop congestion and slow a cold. I cup my hand around the blower nozzle and inhale the hot air into my mouth. Then I do the same for my nose. I do it about 5 huffs 3 times a day. I haven't suffered more than two days of a light cold since I started this

    • Michelllle 4 years ago

      Yes, hair dryer and chicken soup.

    • healthtruth lm 4 years ago

      ill give it a go

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been using the hair dryer since 1993 when I get that first "scratchy" feeling in the back of the throat and nose. I have not had a cold since 1993. IT WORKS!!!!.

      I dare you to prove me wrong!!!

    • Dipalika 4 years ago

      sure .. no ill side effect ..

    Willing to Give It a Try? - Next time you catch a cold, will you try the hair dryer remedy?

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        No the premise is flawed. Preferred temp for replication varies with serotype. Some replicate better at higher temperatures. See link in name.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Sounds suspicious. I caught a summer cold in Tucson of all places, the only summer cold I've ever had anywhere. Its hot enough in the air that technically the virus shouldn't exist.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Could use ralgex to heat up nose and throat

      • lemonsqueezy lm 5 years ago

        I'm afraid I'll burn my nose.

      • CCGAL 6 years ago

        I'd rather breathe hot dry air from a heat source that doesn't contain anything like asbestos. You can get the same effect by breathing in heat from an electric burner, without the possibility of breathing in asbestos or asbestos-like particles. Better safe than sorry.

      Try This Steam Inhaler - Recommended for colds and other respiratory ailments

      If a hair dryer is uncomfortable or dries your skin too much, try this well reviewed steam inhaler from Vicks.

      Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler
      Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler

      For cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and allergy sufferers, this personal steam inhaler restores sufficient moisture to the lungs and respiratory tract. The patented plastic hood is contoured to cradle the face comfortably and directs warm moist air right into the nose and throat to temporarily relieve nasal, sinus, and chest congestion. Water goes into the unit’s easy-to-fill base where a patented heater gently boils it. The adjustable control lets you choose the amount of steam that rises up into the hood. A short 5- to 15-minute treatment is all that is required to make nasal and throat passages feel clearer. (from the amazon product description)

       

      What is your favorite cold remedy? - Please share in the guest book.

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        • Michelllle profile image

          Michelllle 4 years ago

          Chicken soup. Lots of it. Vegetable juice, wheat grass juice too. sleep.

        • Dipalika profile image

          Dipalika 4 years ago

          My favourite cold remedy is here .. specially point numebr 3 :

          https://hubpages.com/health/cold-and-cough-remedy

        • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

          OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

          Sleep! Interesting lens!

        • daedrea lm profile image

          daedrea lm 5 years ago

          Chicken soup, tea, a lot of water and a lot of tissue as well

        • Keeah profile image

          Keeah 5 years ago

          I go with the Netipot, gargling with warm salt water, AND spreading raw minced garlic on whatever food you're eating. These will not help with the exhaustion but clear you out so you can sleep much better.

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