As the temperature drops outside, heaters and furnaces are getting cranked up inside. While many people who have chronic sinus infections are glad to be bidding pollen farewell, winter presents its own air quality challenges.
The cold, dry air of winter can dry out the sinuses, irritating the mucus membranes and depleting them of the vital moisture that allows them to trap particulate matter.
Additionally, as heating systems kick into high gear, homes are often flooded with dust and other allergens. Finally, we tend to seal up our homes as much as possible in the colder months, so the nasty junk blowing out of our heating vents is simply recirculated instead of dispersing.
Keep yourself free of sinusitis, sinus infections, and sinus pain this winter:
- Drink plenty of water. Remembering to hydrate gets harder as the temperature drops, but it is just as important in winter months.
- Vacuum and do laundry frequently to reduce the number of allergens in your home
- Use a humidifier to combat dry air. Even moderate humidity—between 35 and 50 percent—can be helpful to the nasal membranes.
- While wood fires are beautiful and cozy, they’re also pretty toxic. Don’t use your fireplace, and avoid gatherings that include fires.
- Get your heating ducts cleaned, and make sure to be away from home for several hours after the cleaning.
- Consider using a HEPA filter in your heating system—but make sure you remember to clean the filter regularly.
Avoid sinusitis this winter with these easy steps. Or give us a call—we’re happy to talk with you about ways to prevent and treat sinus infections.