Most people connect sinus inflammation and infections with the spring and summer months when seasonal allergies are at their worst. However, sufferers will tell you that their sinus symptoms, such as headaches, runny noses, coughing, congestion, sinus pressure, congestion, and post nasal drip, often intensify during the winter. Here’s why:
Cold and Flu
A cold or the flu may produce extra mucus as well as cause the skin inside your nose to swell. This combination makes drainage difficult and mucus will build up. With built up mucus comes bacteria which, in turn, causes a sinus infection as well as some of those other pesky symptoms we mentioned above. Avoid getting sick this winter by being diligent with hand washing, getting plenty of rest, and be sure to get a flu shot every year.
There is less humidity in the air during the winter and the air in our home and offices becomes even drier as we run the heat. A lack of moisture in the air will dry out the lining of your nose and throat and ultimately aggravate the sinuses. Use a humidifier in your home to increase moisture levels to a point of comfortability.
Mold and Fragrances
The presence of live holiday décor like Christmas trees, wreaths, and plants may increase your allergies and sinus symptoms due to the mold that grows on them. Artificial décor may also carry mold if they’re not stored properly during the warm months. Be sure to shake out your real Christmas tree before bringing it indoors and store your artificial decorations in airtight containers.
Additionally, closed windows and doors combined with the fragrances from scented candles and decorations may irritate your sinuses. Try to avoid bringing scented items into your home or office during the winter.
Dust, Allergens, and Pet Dander
Dust, allergens, and pet dander get trapped inside during the winter. These irritants can trigger your sinus symptom. Get rid of carpets and very old furniture, switch out your air filters every six months, and be sure to take your pets in for regular grooming.
We here at Plymouth Ear, Nose and Throat are experts on sinus management. Please give us a call at 508-746-8977 to schedule your appointment!