Heat, Humidity, and Sinus Infections

AdobeStock_241208213_small.jpgIt's August in Georgia, which means it's almost guaranteed to be hot and humid most of the time. While that's sure to make being outside uncomfortable for everyone, that's especially true for those of us who deal with sinusitis and other sinus issues. It turns out that the extreme summer heat can have an adverse effect on your sinuses, making you more susceptible to sinus infections or your lingering sinus infections worse. So, how do heat and humidity affect the sinuses, and what can be done to help curb sinus infections in the dog days of summer? Let's find out...

What Heat and Humidity Does to Your Sinuses

In extreme heat and humidity, the cilia (part of the mucous membrane in your sinuses) lining your sinuses don't function properly, which allows mucous to clog and bacteria to flood into your sinuses. The allergens, bacteria, and other irritants that invade your sinuses cause the mucous membrane to become inflamed, triggering the painful symptoms associated with mucous buildup and pressure - swelling, pressure, pain, headaches, etc.

Dealing with Summer Sinus Infections

While we can't always avoid the hot, sticky weather, there are some things that can be done to avoid or relieve sinus infections. 

  • Smoke is Not Your Friend - Smoke, whether it comes from a grill, bonfire, or cigarette, is a common sinus irritant and can do even more damage when combined with the heat and humidity. So, be sure to limit the time spent around smoke and other irritants this summer.
  • Manage Your Allergens - Allergy Testing and Treatment can help you determine exactly what you're allergic to and provide effective treatment for you and those particular triggers. Cleaning, vacuuming, and using HEPA air filters can also help clear the air in your home of allergens and irritants.
  • Use Nasal Sprays - A nasal spray can help to keep your nasal passages moist and your cilia in fighting shape. Nasal sprays can help you take early action if you are susceptible to sinus infections.
  • Get Treated for Chronic Sinus Infections - If sinus infections and symptoms are a recurring issue for you, you may be dealing with Chronic Sinusitis. It's best to have that checked by a medical professional. At Ashford Clinic, we specialize in the treatment of Chronic Sinusitis and other sinus issues.