The days are shorter and the weather colder… and then you have a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, post nasal drip, inflammation, coughing, sore throats and headaches that never seem to go away so that you can enjoy playing in the snow with your family or skating on the lake…
Most people would like to believe that sinus problems are more prevalent in the spring and summer months, but research has shown that people often suffer just as much or even more during winter. This is due to the cold and damp weather and because doors and windows are closed up causing stuffiness and household allergies.
Damp carpets, walls and ceilings can become a perfect place for mold to grow which aggravates or even leads to sinus infections. It has been shown that during winter periods, influenza cases increase rapidly which makes people more susceptible to developing a sinus infection. Other conditions that also cause susceptibility towards sinusitis are allergies and nasal polyps.
Allergies can be aggravated by the festive foods we enjoy this time of year and consuming large quantities of alcohol which causes the skin inside our nose to swell. This is what leads to post nasal drip and headaches. Our sinuses can also be aggravated by the artificial fragrances that come from artificial Christmas trees, scented candles and decorations. Live trees can also cause sinus problems because of the mold that grows naturally on them.
Here are lots of sinus tips to help you ENJOY this winter season…
- If allergies are your problem this winter, try a natural approach and use our SinusWars1 formula. This super allergy product will help to desensitize your immune system against any allergens (things that you are allergic to), help treat your allergy symptoms (watery, itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing) and can also be used to help prevent allergy symptoms.
- If you have an acute sinus infection (sinusitis) with congestion, stuffiness and headaches then SinusWars7 or SinusWars14 is your answer. If you have chronic sinusitis then SinusWars8 or SinusWars9 is for you. These products help to treat sinus infections while draining and unblocking your sinuses to relieve pressure and treat sinus headaches.
- If you have post nasal drip and cannot seem to stop coughing then we have SinusWars2 which is one of our best remedies for this condition. It helps to control mucus flow and production and helps stop that mucus drip.
- SinusWars has a new product (coming soon) that helps treat colds and flues, this is our SinusWars3 remedy. It is a 100% natural product that helps build your body’s immune system to fight against viral and bacterial infection. This product contains Echinacea which often helps to get rid of colds or sinus infections within a few days.
- If you have a sore throat taking a lozenge with antibacterial properties will help. You should also drink a hot cup of water with a bit of lemon juice/lemon slices and honey. These are some of the best ways to help a sore throat.
- If you are suffering from pain around your sinus areas (forehead, cheeks, teeth, behind or in-between the eyes) then you may consider using warm compresses. Do this by applying a hot wet washcloth to your nose, cheekbones and eyes. This will help take the edge off the pain and the gentle pressure over the sinuses will help to promote drainage.
- Washing out your sinuses using a netti pot or nose bidet is one of the simplest and inexpensive ways to clear your sinuses. Using a solution of warm water and sea salt twice a day will help to keep your sinuses healthy and safely remove pollen, dust and other particles in the air that may be trapped in your nose.
- If you feel slightly congested and stuffy drink abit of apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water. Do this throughout the day to help thin your mucus so that it can drain properly.
- If you are seriously blocked and congested it is a good time to inhale steam. Add rapidly boiling water to a bowl, lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Breathe in deeply through your nose (even if it is difficult) and out through your mouth. Do this slowly until you feel your nose opening up. The steam helps soothe inflamed sinuses and unblock thick mucus. You can also add a few drops of antibacterial essential oils to the boiling water like eucalyptus, thyme oil or tea tree oil.
- Taking a hot shower when you are congested is another way of helping to drain your sinuses. The steam and the heat should help drain thick mucus that is trapped in your sinuses.
- To thin mucus and reduce inflammation; eat more plant protein (like beans, soybeans and lentils), omega-3 rich fish, whole grains and herbs (like garlic, ginger and turmeric).
- Drinking plenty of water is just as important in winter as it is in summer, so make sure that you get your eight glasses of water every day. If you are not a “fan” of drinking water, drink peppermint or ginger tea to help dilute mucus. Both ginger and peppermint helps to relieve and prevent headaches and congestion.
- Studies have shown that staying fit by exercising can help to boost the immune system. You can go to the gym for a few minutes a day, or do easy exercises at home this winter. Please be aware that over exercising will do the opposite and can make your body and immune system tired which makes you more susceptible to infection of colds, flues and sinusitis.
- Antioxidants help to build the immune system and prevent infections by getting rid of free radicals. Foods high in antioxidants include fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries (blueberries, cherries and cranberries), artichokes and pomegranates.
- Avoid drinking milk if you know your sinuses are bothering you. Milk makes your mucus thicker which will make it harder to drain.
- The first rule to avoiding germs and bacteria is to wash your hands! Wash, wash, wash… every time you go to the toilet, use a public phone, cough or sneeze, shake hands with someone, after shopping (especially after touching elevators and escalators) and definitely before eating anything. Make sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap and rub your hands together for at least 10 seconds before rinsing them off. If water and soap is not available make sure you have a hand sanitizer.
- To avoid the spread of germs you may consider using paper towels instead of cloth ones.
- Keep your bathroom clean by putting your exposed toothbrushes away in the medicine cabinet, frequently washing the hand towels and using a disinfectant to clean your toilets, bathrooms and showers.
- If you are feeling sick, use a brand new toothbrush once you are feeling well – this should ensure that you do not get sick again.
ALLERGEN AVOIDANCE TIPS:
- Avoid allergens (things that you are allergic to). Possible allergen areas are basements, fallen leaf heaps, barns and garage spaces.
- The best way to avoid allergens is to stay inside with the doors and windows closed BUT to have your air conditioning on for ventilation.
- Another way to minimize allergens is to change your bedding and pillow cases every 3 – 4 days and eliminate smoking in the bedroom.
- Keep humidity low to slow down or stop mold growth. Install a good air conditioner and dehumidifier in your home (maybe even in the basement) to do this. You may also want to install an extractor fan in your kitchen (over the stove) and in your bathroom to remove extra humidity.
- Check for mold in the bathroom, on carpeting, in the laundry room and basement.
- Put wet clothes immediately in the dryer or hang them up to dry before putting them away or in the laundry room. Don’t leave wet laundry in your machine for more than a week.
- After every shower ensure that the shower curtain is opened properly to dry (so that mold doesn’t fester) and wash the plastic curtain, bathroom tiles and grouting with mold removal products.
- Use machine washable mats in your bathroom and bedroom if possible.
- Don’t keep many pot plants or even dried flowers and wreaths indoors to avoid mold and pollen allergies.
- Limit the use of the fireplace to avoid fumes and drying of the air. If you are using your fireplace; open a window in the same room to help with ventilation of the smoke fumes. Remember as well to throw the ashes out as soon as the fire cools.
- Check the filter on your furnace or heating system (especially this time of year when you will be using it so much more).
- Near your fireplace or heating system you want to make sure there is a bit of humidity. A portable humidifier that can be used only when you need it is great for this. Since the weather is already wet and cold, you only need the setting on low to achieve good breathing air.
- If you or anyone in your family has pet allergies remember that cats can be more allergic than dogs simply because the allergens lie in the saliva or urine of your pets – and cats lick themselves often.
- Don’t allow tobacco smoking indoors and reconsider lighting those scented candles as they may irritate your sinuses. Rather use artificial candles or unscented beeswax candles to help your sinuses and still have that candlelight atmosphere.
- When choosing a Christmas tree remember these:
- Live trees have pollen, mold and resin on them which can cause allergies. If you prefer live trees over the artificial ones then remember to wear gloves when you handle the tree and wrap it up in a sealed plastic casing until you decorate it.
- Artificial trees may have that artificial pine scent on them and so may the decorations which can cause irritation in the nose. Artificial trees that have been kept in storage may be dusty and moldy, so make sure you wash or wipe them before usage.
- To avoid your nose and throat getting dry at night, make your bedroom well insulated from drafts. Close your bedroom door at night and seal off gaps around the window edges. Sleep with a thick blanket or an electric blanket and do not sleep with a heater on (as it will dry the air). You should save a lot on your heating bill this way.
- Keep your sinus and allergy medicines on hand; especially when you go out as you never know when you might need them.
- Get a flu shot to prevent colds and flues which is one of the main causes of sinus problems.
- Lastly – keep your spirits up by not only staying physically fit but emotionally as well. Keep your emotions running high by spending time with people you love (your children, your lover, your parents, your friends) and do fun activities (read WAYS TO HAVE FUN THIS WINTER) to entertain yourself and those around you.
Have a sinus free winter!
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