After an unbearably hot summer, fall is finally here. The time for cozy knits and pumpkin spice latte has arrived. It is also a time when people start to spend more time at home where they will remain comfortably warm throughout the day.
People spend the majority of their time indoors throughout the year. In fact, a previous report revealed that Americans are inside an enclosed space 90 percent of the time. However, it is also no surprise that people tend to retreat indoors more during the colder months, especially in winter when the temperature can dip below freezing.
But, inside, when people take refuge from the cold, they should ensure that they are not breathing dry air because that would be bad for their sinuses and overall health.
There are four air pockets located in the bones of your skull and face. These air pockets are called your paranasal sinuses, and they play an important role in keeping you healthy.
Aside from making your skull lighter and improving your voice, the sinuses produce the mucus that blocks microorganisms, dust, dirt, and pollutants from entering your body through the nose. When the air you breathe enters your nose, the hair in your nostrils as well as the mucus in the sinuses traps any particles that may have come in. The layer of mucus then drains slowly back into the throat.
The moisture in the air helps the mucus in the sinuses to flow properly. So, when the air is dry, just like what happens indoors and outdoors during colder months, the mucus does not drain properly.
However, when the air is too dry, the mucus has trouble flowing. This causes congestion. When not addressed, congestion could lead to sinus pain and, eventually, sinusitis.
Sinusitis is a health condition in which the sinuses are inflamed. Its symptoms are often similar to the common cold and allergies. In addition to congestion, the person who suffers from sinusitis may also experience sneezing, runny nose, post-nasal drip, and itchy eyes. You may also feel pressure on your face, particularly around the nose, eyes, and forehead. While not as common, fever may also occur.
Sinusitis can also be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungus that have floated in the air and inhaled. In addition, polyps, or the abnormal growth of tissue, inside the sinus may also lead to sinusitis.
Your doctor can examine your nose, ears, and throat for any signs of swelling to confirm if you have sinusitis. For treatment, you may be prescribed decongestants, cold and allergy medication, or nasal saline irrigation. Moreover, drinking a lot of water and keeping your home humid will improve the condition.
What You Can Do
Everything that people do when the temperature outdoors starts to drop can contribute toward lowering the levels of humidity indoors.
From shutting the windows and doors tightly to prevent the warmth from seeping out to running the heating or firing the fireplace, these actions have the capacity to remove the moisture from the air you breathe.
But, of course, you do not have to suffer from the cold to prevent lowering the humidity. All you need to do is to inject moisture back into the air indoors, and there are a few ways to do it.
Using a humidifier is the most obvious example. These nifty and affordable devices release droplets of water into the air, preventing your sinus from becoming clogged with mucus and helping you breathe easier.
You can also care for indoor plants. In addition to its calming effects, indoor plants increase humidity in the air through the process of transpiration. The moisture from the soil travels to the roots, stem, and then leaves where it will evaporate into the air. This becomes humidity, too.
If you are experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, it is also worth checking for allergens indoors. Switching the filter on your furnace will guarantee that there will be no dust and dirt floating around the air you breathe. Regular furnace maintenance and repair should also be done before or in the fall to ensure that everything is working properly.
Allergens can also cause sinusitis (also called allergic sinusitis). It is most common in households with very young children and families with a history of sinusitis.
Sinusitis is not a serious health threat, but it is still a condition that should be prevented and, once it occurs, treated with the help of a medical professional. There are ways to decrease the risk of sinusitis in your home, and increasing indoor humidity is one important way to keep it at bay.
Meta title: Why Your Sinus Needs Humidity When at Home
meta desc: The air inside houses tend to be dry, especially during the colder months. When air is dry, the sinus is at risk of becoming inflamed, congested, and infected.