5 Strategies to Protect Your Sinus Health This Winter

If your sinus symptoms get worse as the temperatures drop, it’s not in your head.

While sinus inflammation may most commonly occur in spring and summer months due to seasonal allergies, there are many people who suffer from sinusitis year-round.   For some, sinus symptoms actually increase in the winter.

There are a number of factors that can aggravate the sinuses and trigger winter sinus flare-ups.

Cold weather often means drier air, both outside and indoors, due to heating. Breathing in drier air can cause your nose to dry out and produce extra mucus, which may thicken and lead to congestion and inflammation.

You can, however, take steps to help keep your sinuses healthy this winter.

Here are 5 strategies to help you avoid winter sinus flare-ups and protect your sinuses:

  1. Vacuum and Dust Frequently

Indoor allergens like dust and pet dander are common triggers of sinusitis. Rugs, blankets, upholstered furniture, and winter bedding tend to collect extra allergens, which can make sinusitis worse.  The effect may intensify in winter because there may be less air circulation in your home and pets may be spending more time indoors.

Vacuuming and dusting with a damp cloth on a regular basis can help reduce your exposure to allergens and other sinus-irritating particles.  It can also be helpful to ensure your winter bedding is dry and dust-free.

  1. Improve Your Air Quality

One of the most important steps you can take to help ease winter sinus problems is to make sure the air you are breathing is the best quality possible.

Using a humidifier will help combat the dry air that results from heating your home and to keep your sinuses moist. Additionally, running a HEPA air filter to get rid of irritating particles and allergens in the air can help your entire respiratory system function better.

  1. Get Steamy

Try taking a hot shower. Using steam is a simple and effective remedy that can help alleviate sinus pressure and headaches. The steam from a hot shower may help to thin and loosen mucus and congestion, allowing for better drainage. The combination of moisture and warmth can sooth the irritation of the nasal passages and in some cases, may help clear up a stuffy nose, at least temporarily.

  1. Keep Your Nose Clean

Using a neti pot or other nasal irrigation tool is an effective way to help relieve sinus congestion. With regular use, it can help to keep sinus symptoms at bay and to maintain sinus health.

It works by flushing out clogged sinuses and nasal passages with a saline solution. Rinsing daily helps to keep the nose and sinuses clear and moisturized, while also helping remove irritants, allergens and bacteria that can lead to infection.

It is very important to use only filtered, boiled, or distilled water and to properly clean the pot after each use. Do not use water straight from the tap.

  1. Be Germ Vigilant

Winter is the prime season for cold, flu, and other viruses that cause inflammation of the nasal passages, congestion, and the thickening of mucous.  Catching a cold can make you more susceptible to developing further sinus troubles and when symptoms linger, it may eventually lead to a sinus infection.

To protect your sinus health, take precautionary steps to avoid getting sick. Basic measures to help keep your immune system strong include, eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, getting regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and managing stress levels. Avoid contact with others who are sick if possible. It’s also important, of course, to wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, especially after coming in contact with surfaces frequently touched by others.

Feel like you’ve tried everything and are still plagued with chronic sinus symptoms? If your winter sinus flare-ups just won’t seem to go away, it may be time to see a doctor.

Call our office today to schedule your appointment. Together, we can create a treatment plan that will help you achieve the relief you deserve.