Do you feel like you’re more susceptible to colds, the flu, allergies, and sinus infections this time of year, even though you know you’re doing everything in your power to keep your immune system strong? Can’t quite figure out why you keep getting sick? The culprit may be due to living in a warm dry environment due to indoor air heating.
Now that we’re in the thick of winter, everyone seems to have the heat running full blast to keep warm, which undoubtedly leaves you feeling toasty all over, but it sure does a job on your nasal and sinus passages. You’re left feeling like you just spent a month in the Mohave Desert. Parched and not quite functioning at your best, the lack of moisture throws your delicate respiratory system out of balance, leaving your more open to health problems.
Because your nasal cavity is one of your body’s natural protective barriers and first line of defense, keeping it soothed and lubricated is key. Otherwise, if it’s too dry, your mucous can become much thicker, resulting in your nose being unable to cope effectively with sweeping away bacteria, dust, and other allergens. In other words, one of your barriers to being healthy and fighting off sickness is compromised. Therefore, germs and allergens can take hold, causing your mucous membranes to become inflamed and congested. You then start feeling sick and downright miserable. You might even just have sinus pain and pressure. If it continues for too long, a sinus infection may develop. And in some cases, you might even get an ear infection since too much thick mucous may create a back-up.
One of you first thoughts might be to reach for over-the-counter decongestants, but they often make things worse if you don’t take steps to counter their negative effects. While helping decongest you, they also dry out your nasal passages even more. And so a vicious cycle may begin. You might not be able to kick what’s making you sick. Why? Your body is still dry and imbalanced and trying to compensate, because you haven’t gotten to the root cause of the problem — the fact your nasal passages are dried out and that they need more moisture to flush out what’s ailing you. Until you fix that, you’ve got problems. But how?
In addition to staying well hydrated by drinking lots of water and soothing herbal teas and staying away from things that dehydrate you (e.g., alcohol), there are a few simple changes and really effective, at-home remedies that you can do to re-moisturize and soothe your nasal and sinus passages. Check out what they are in my upcoming blog post and keep clear of allergy symptoms, colds, and more for the duration of this winter!
Illiades, Chris, MD. “Nose Sprays: A Bit of Relief for Sinus Problems.”EverydayHealth.com. Ed. Pat F. Bass III. N.p., 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 21 Feb. 2015.
“Your Nose: The Ultimate Air Cleaner | Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics.” Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics RSS. N.p., 4 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2015.
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