If your sinus symptoms get worse as the temperatures drop, there’s one thing that’s certain — it’s not just in your head.
While sinus inflammation most commonly takes place during the spring and summer months because of seasonal allergies, there are plenty of people who suffer from sinusitis year-round. For certain individuals, sinus symptoms actually increase during fall and winter.
There are several factors that can aggravate the sinuses and trigger winter sinus flare-ups. Cold weather usually means drier air, both outside and indoors, due to heating in the home. Breathing in drier air can make your nose dry out and develop extra mucus, which can thicken and result in congestion and inflammation.
You can, however, take steps to help keep your sinuses in check this winter.
Today, your local McAllen certified physician assistant, Jonathan Lerma, and his loyal team of sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group of Valley ENT will list 5 strategies to help you avoid winter sinus flare-ups and protect your sinuses.
Top 5 Tips for Protecting Your Sinuses This Winter
1. Vacuum and Dust On a Regular Basis
Indoor allergens such as dust and pet dander are common triggers of sinusitis. Rugs, blankets, upholstered furniture, and winter bedding tend to collect extra allergens, which can make your sinusitis worse. These triggers may intensify during the winter months since there may be less air circulation in your home and pets may be spending more time indoors.
Vacuuming and dusting with a damp cloth frequently can help lessen your exposure to allergens and other sinus-irritating particles. It can also be beneficial to make sure your winter bedding is dry and dust-free.
2. Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
One of the most important steps you can take to help ease winter sinus issues is to make sure the air you’re breathing is of the best quality possible.
Using a humidifier will help fight the dry air that comes from heating your home and to keep your sinuses moist. Also, running a HEPA air filter to eliminate irritating particles and allergens in the air can help your whole respiratory system function better.
3. Get Steamy
Taking a hot shower and using steam is a simple, effective remedy that can help relieve sinus pressure and headaches. The steam from a hot shower may support the thinning and loosening of mucus and congestion, allowing for better drainage.
The combination of moisture and warmth can soothe the irritation of the nasal passageways, and in particular cases, may help clear up a stuffy nose, at least temporarily.
4. Keep Your Nose Clean
Using a neti pot or other nasal irrigation tool is a great way to help alleviate sinus congestion. With regular use, it can help to keep sinus symptoms at bay while maintaining sinus health.
These instruments work by flushing out clogged sinuses and nasal openings with a saline solution. Rinsing daily helps to keep the nose and sinuses clear and moisturized, while also ridding your passageways of irritants, allergens, and bacteria that can cause an infection.
It’s critical to use only filtered, boiled, or distilled water, and to properly clean the pot after every use. Don’t use water straight from the tap.
5. Steer Clear of Germs
Winter is the prime season for the cold, flu, and other viruses that provoke inflammation of the nasal passages, congestion, and the thickening of mucous. Catching a cold can make you more susceptible to having further sinus troubles, and when symptoms persist, it may result in a sinus infection.
To protect your sinus health, take precautionary measures to avoid getting sick. Basic measures to help keep your immune system strong include:
- Eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet with a generous amount of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercising on a regular basis, sufficient sleep, and managing stress levels.
- Avoiding contact with others who are sick.
- Washing your hands often or using hand sanitizer, especially after coming into contact with surfaces frequently touched by others.
Sinus Relief Specialists in McAllen
Feel like you’ve tried everything and are still stuck with chronic sinus symptoms? If your winter sinus flare-ups just won’t seem to disappear, it may be time to visit your local ENT at Glatz Group of Valley ENT.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise this winter, we will keep offering alternative methods to have your symptoms addressed with telemedicine, where you can be assisted without leaving your home. For in-person appointments, we ensure that all precautionary steps are being taken every day — and we also take calls.
Take control of your sinusitis this winter. Enjoy the season without sinus troubles when you stop by The Glatz Group of Valley ENT!