Farewell Pollen, Hello Dry Winter Heat

Farewell Pollen, Hello Dry Winter Heat

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, leading to a variety of winter sinus problems.

The cold, dry air of winter can dry out the sinuses, irritating the mucous 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 winter sinus problems with these easy steps. Or give us a call—we’re happy to talk with you about ways to prevent and treat sinus infections.

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During this time, our office remains open with limited scheduling for urgent ENT care only.
Other patients should not be seen, according to guidelines.
Patients with flu like symptoms or fever or known exposure to COVID-19
should go to urgent care or speak to their primary care physician.

Be well and don’t hesitate to reach out to us as needed.
The Staff and Doctors of The New York Otolaryngology Group