Steamy Atmospheres: Hello I’m hoping... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

46,583 members54,985 posts

Steamy Atmospheres



I’m hoping someone can help me, but not very optimistic as some of the posts I’ve read seem to contradict my symptoms.

I have IPF and am just on the edge of the final stages. I can’t complain, I was diagnosed in 2009 and have had a good run, but daily living is now becoming a strain. One of the main problems I have is steamy atmospheres, which means I struggle in the shower because once the room fills with steam I start to cough and get very breathless. The same is true for the kitchen. Even standing in front of the microwave sends me off, because when I open the door to get food out the steam rushes right up and off I go again with the coughing. Yes, I do open windows and have extractors, but they don’t seem to solve the problem. My long-suffering husband has now had to add cooking and helping me shower to his list of caring duties, and I’m left feeling a useless burden.

From the posts I’ve read, most of you seem to find steam beneficial, but even the small amount coming off a hot cup of tea can set me off. Does anyone else suffer like this? If so, what can I do about it? Or is it just like other symptoms, learn to live with it?

12 Replies

hi, I don't have IPF but someone will be along soon who will know more about it. Having said that I have seen people on here who have the same problem with steam so you're not alone.

Take care x

You are not a useless burden GreenhillGirl and l sure your husband would not want to hear that. I have not heard of your problem but hopefully someone else can help. I just want to send you hugs and love. Xxxxx


sorry I don't have IPF, hope someone can answer your question xxx😊

Have you tried a face mask in shower? Medical type I mean!


A lot of people here struggle with steamy atmospheres greenhillgirl, so you are not alone in this. One practical suggestion could be taking a bath instead of a shower. My mother always insisted we run cold water in the bath before running the hot water. This means you don't get a steam filled room. To this day, I always do this when having a bath and it definitely cuts the steam down. Maybe this would be easier for your husband to help you with and a soak in warm water is very soothing for aching muscles.

In the kitchen, keep away from the microwave when it's opened, or from pots or kettles boiling. Make sure the extractor on your cooker works properly and that there is adequate ventilation in the room.

Hope you find some other answers to your problem and that these suggestions help a little.

Hello. I cannot tolerate steamy atmospheres and for that reason chose to bathe instead of showering. I run the cold water in first before warming it up with the hot so that there is no build up of steam and it helps enormously. In the kitchen I use an extractor fan built into the cooker hood to keep steam at a minimum.


Steam is only beneficial to people with a mucus problem.

I have emphysema and steam is a burden, in fact just come from having a shower.

If you are use in a standard shower cubicle this will not help, to confined.

If practical consider a walk in shower or wet room.

If using over bath shower like me, with adequate ventilation and extraction steam should not build up. Try leaving bathroom door open , I do.

A extracter upgrade may be in order.

Another consideration are you using a multi spray shower head, the ones with the green/blue-grey rubberised insert. If so change for a all metal or chrome finish.

The former emits a fine mist on the edge of spray area, which contains water droplets, not good for the lungs. Could also look like excessive steam.

As for the microwave just reach to press door open button and walk away.

Hi GreenhillGirl I too suffer with IPF was diagnosed about 12 months ago condition moderate/severe, the problems with steam filled rooms affect me in the same way , I to thought that steam was suppose to be a help with breathing not a hindrance and living on my own it is difficult to escape from the environment especially in the winter months, I don't know what the answer is, if someone comes up with a solution I am sure you I and other fellow suffers would be most gratefully. Take care my friend and Best Wish's.

Sonny X

ps just thought of a solution perpetual sunshine

I have copd and I cant tolerate a steamy room my husband has to do most of the cooking now to .I have to shower in luke warm water with window open and exctractor going I know how you feel xx

I can't do steam either - I leave the bathroom door open when I shower so the room doesn't steam up and I have to open the windows when cooking to get the air in and not stand over the pans where possible. I have found that I adapt to situations you just have to find what works for you. I can't have baths due to RA and I get stuck so I have had to find a happy alternative.

Just want to say thank you for all your suggestions. It's really nice to know that I'm not on my own with this, because when you try to explain to someone who doesn't have difficulties breathing they look at you as if you have two heads!!

It was the first time I've ever posted on a website like this, and I am so grateful to you all for taking the time to reply. I wish you all the best, and thank you again.

Hello GreenhillGirl . I also cannot tolerate steam. Like Stone , my shower door is open. I hope it gets better for you.

I just want to say you are NOT a useless burden. If it came down to it you'd be doing the same for your husband and probably have.

Sending you much love.

Cas xx 🍀☀🍀

You may also like...