Cold Weather and Your Sinuses
With cold weather settling in here in New York, many people are finding that their sinuses are giving them trouble. Not all sinus issues in fall and winter are the result of flu season. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses and can be caused by infection, allergy, or injury. Cold weather typically brings in very dry air. Between the cold outside temperatures and the heating units inside, the air around us is depleted of moisture. Dry air can dry out the membranes in your nose, causing mucus that is located in the membranes to get dry and thick. Thick mucus gets trapped inside the sinuses, causing pressure and pain related to sinusitis.
Dealing with dry sinuses throughout cold weather involves a little bit of intervention and a good bit of at-home treatment.
- First, you need to identify the cause of your dryness. If your home temperature is set too high, it will dry out your sinuses quickly. For example, simply adjusting your central air can help you breathe better at home. If you can avoid the cause of your sinus dryness, you can often prevent problems with sinusitis.
- You need to reintroduce moisture into your nose.
There are many at-home remedies to dry sinuses:
- Place your face over a bowl of steaming hot water. As the steam rises, it will fill your sinuses with needed moisture.
- Use a nasal saline spray or mist. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) products available that can relieve your nasal dryness.
- Use a neti pot. A neti pot is a small pot with a spout that is used to pour water into one nostril while you hold your head with the mouth open at a 45-degree angle. The water will travel through the sinuses and out the other nostril, moisturizing the sinuses as it goes.
- Use a humidifier or vaporizer in your home. These devices add moisture to the air. You need to make sure that you use distilled or sterilized water – never tap water. And you need to clean your machine every few days to prevent mold and mildew from building up.
At New York Sinusitis Treatment, we understand the misery many people feel throughout cold weather. If you are not able to find relief for your sinusitis symptoms, please call our practice today.