When the winter months roll around, it is the flu that most of us wish to avoid. Studies suggest that influenza viruses can survive quite well in cold, dry climates. This is because there are fewer water droplets in the air to trap viruses and take them to the ground. Because we are well warned by medical professionals that flu season is upon us, many people prepare by getting their flu shot or by pumping up their vitamin and supplement routine. Colds and flu may be common at this time of year, but they aren’t the only wintertime illnesses we should be aware of.
People with allergies may find that their symptoms flare up in the wintertime. One of the reasons this can happen is that we naturally spend more time indoors when the weather is cold, and we may have forgotten to do a thorough house-cleaning to decrease dust and other allergens. Indoor heating can also contribute to a rise in allergy symptoms. To decrease this risk, it is important to change heating vent filters regularly and to dust, vacuum, and sweep to eliminate dander and other debris. In addition to removing allergens from bed sheets and floors, allergy sufferers may also want to use a saline nasal spray as needed. Keeping mucous membranes moist during dry winter months can minimize the risk of allergens “sticking” in nasal passages.
From allergies to sinus infections to post-nasal drip, the cold months of the year present a few potentially frustrating problems. We can do a lot to avoid them, starting with staying hydrated and well-nourished. People who are prone to colds and sinus problems may practice sinus irrigation during riskier times of the year. Gently flushing the sinuses with lukewarm water is an easy way to moisturize, break up mucus, and send allergens and viruses packing.
If you struggle with sinusitis or wintertime allergies, you don’t have to find solutions all on your own. At St. Louis Sinus Center, we develop treatments based on each patient’s needs. Get the help you need to enjoy a healthy winter season. Call 314.473.5433.