Although there is no proven preventative way to avoid infection with the coronavirus (other than vaccination to minimize the risk), several people are now trying and advocating inhaling hydrogen peroxide to avoid the risk of contract COVID and clean the passages of all traces of viral.
They’re gonna burn their goddamn lungs. 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide in a nebulizer or small syringe, you… https://t.co/wAFGTHxHOw
– Ryan Graney (@RyanEGraney) 1631920484000
The claims regarding hydrogen peroxide are similar to a disputed claim that circulated in India during Wave 2, where people started using nebulizers to increase oxygen levels in the blood, and then was dismissed as baseless rumors.
This is Dr Alok from Sarvodaya Hospital in Faridabad. He showed excellent technique using a “nebulizer” to improve… https://t.co/Dj6aiHY3Zl
– Awanish Sharan (@AwanishSharan) 1619180909000
From screenshots and posts shared on social media, users claim that putting hydrogen peroxide (an antiseptic chemical) in a nebulizer and then breathing in that spray mist can crush the virus and cure COVID-19 in a jiffy. There have also been claims from some doctors on social media, advising people with lung problems to use this treatment plan. The claim is having great success among people in the United States, who are currently battling a wave of the Delta variant. Take a look at these:
However, the social media claims are attracting a lot of criticism from experts and a hack that should not be attempted at all costs.
The buzz surrounding the trend for inhalation to treat and prevent COVID-19 has even led the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to issue strict warnings against its use.
We explain why
While hydrogen peroxide is regularly used by dentists for its proven ability to fight bacterial growth, inhaling this chemical can actually be very dangerous and should not be tried at all. It is not suitable for medical inhalation purposes or intended to be inhaled.
Simply put, hydrogen peroxide, if used irrationally, can be a toxic compound that could cause cell damage at the base level. As it is unstable and is not intended for medical purposes, inhalation of the compound could enter lung cavities, enter cell membranes, and permanently destroy cell DNA.
Using such powerful chemicals can actually irritate your airways and cause long-term damage. Remember that self-medicating for COVID-19 is never a helpful solution and can do more harm than good.
Even more so, absorbing too much hydrogen peroxide (which is not safe to inhale in the first place) could enter the lungs and lead to a buildup of fluid, which can cause pulmonary edema and impose severe breathing difficulties. As it has not been studied or known to be a safe COVID prevention / treatment strategy, it is not worth a try and could lead you to a medical emergency.
Isn’t Hydrogen Peroxide Used Against COVID-19?
One of the reasons the hack was spread on social media was because of people making reference to the use of hydrogen peroxide as an active disinfectant against COVID-19.
Solution sprays are often also used to clean and disinfect face masks after use.
Although the chemical solution has been used to kill surface level germs and SARS-COV-2 virus present on all surfaces, disinfecting it in this way, inhalation may be dangerous, and not a medically supported solution.
Doctors also add a warning note, adding that it is absolutely dangerous and threatening to use such agents while a person is recovering from COVID-19. Since people with COVID also have some level of lung inflammation, using hydrogen peroxide in any form could worsen the inflammation and make serious problems worse.
As such, it is always advisable not to trust such claims circulating on social media and to seek reliable medical advice from doctors. You can continue to use the solution as a disinfection aid or to help heal minor cuts and bruises, but believing widespread disinformation could turn out to be a fatal mistake.
COVID-19 can be a serious illness that could be potentially made worse by trying such hoaxes and can put your health at risk.