As winter approaches, many people savor the thought of getting cozy with their favorite warm beverages and comfortable winter clothing. But for many, the colder weather brings a different set of challenges: dry nasal passages, stuffy or runny noses, and sinus issues. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways to soothe your symptoms and enjoy the wintertime in this article.
First, we’ll talk about what causes dry nasal passages and then discuss some of your treatment options.
What Causes Dry Nasal Passages?
The most apparent reason for a dry nose is dry weather. Your nose serves the important function of filtering, warming, and humidifying the air you breathe. But when the weather is extra dry, it can sometimes have a harder time doing its job. Consequently, the mucus that normally moisturizes your nasal passages may dry out or decrease in quantity. And, this is exacerbated if you’re constantly blowing your nose to get rid of it. Eventually, there’s not enough mucus left, and this can lead to pain and discomfort. Other symptoms include:
- Sinus irritation and inflammation
- Sinus congestion
- Coughing or sore throat
- A stuffy or runny nose
- Headache and pain around the eyes or cheeks
But, remember that it’s not just dry weather that can cause these symptoms. Other reasons for dry nasal passages include pet dander, pollen, mold or mildew, and exposure to smoke or other irritating aerosols or vapors.
How To Treat Dry Nasal Passages
Here are some of the best ways you can treat dry sinuses and nasal passages at home.
- Use a humidifier.
A humidifier moistens the air to increase the level of relative humidity in a room. It’s a great tool to have in your bedroom or living space, especially if you’re going to sleep. Moist, damp air can alleviate your symptoms if you live in a dry, arid climate.
- Stay hydrated.
Most people don’t drink as much water in the winter as they do in the summer. But it’s important to stay hydrated not because you’re going to sweat but because it allows for freely-flowing fluids such as mucus and saliva to remain in production. So, the recommended daily amount is 16 cups of water a day for men and 12 cups for women.
- Use petroleum jelly.
It can help retain moisture where it’s needed. Use a small amount, spread thinly on your finger, and apply it to the inside of your nostrils. Note that this is a temporary solution, as long-term use can cause lung problems in rare cases. Nasal sprays are a better long-term alternative.
- Use a nasal spray.
They’re specifically designed for regular use and help dampen nasal passages. Plus, they’re available over-the-counter at any pharmacy. A gentle saline spray or mist can help clean out foreign debris, pollen, dust, and allergens as well.
If you’re having trouble treating your symptoms at home, it helps to know that a primary care physician can best treat dry nasal passages. First, they will ask you to describe your symptoms and medical history, after which they might conduct some tests. Then, a nasal exam, allergy test, or other diagnostic tests will help locate the source of the problem.
Aqeeq Internal Medicine offers the best primary care in Houston. We aim to give you personalized, compassionate, high-quality care, and our focus is always to put your health first. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation or diagnosis, please give us a call at (832) 786-8195.