Why do people suffer more from sinus issues in the winter season?

As winter arrives, lots of people start dealing with annoying sinus problems. You might notice your nose getting stuffy and your head feeling heavy. 

Why does this happen more in the winter? Let’s find out. 

In this blog, we’ll explore why winter brings more sinus issues, what causes them, and some easy ways to feel better.

What is the sinus issue?

Sinus issue or sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the tissues in your sinuses – the air-filled spaces in the forehead, cheeks, and nose. This condition leads to symptoms such as facial pain, nasal congestion or discharge, and occasionally fever, among other signs.

Depending on the symptom duration, a sinus infection could be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is a short-term condition, while chronic sinusitis persists for an extended period.

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

Common symptoms of sinus infection include:

  • Nasal blockage
  • Nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • Altered sense of smell
  • Pain around your eyes, cheekbones, nose, or forehead
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Throat irritation
  • Breathing problems
  • Fatigue
What is sinus issue?-Dr Mustafa Kapadia (ENT Specialist in Dubai)

What causes sinus issues in the winter season?

Various factors can influence sinus issues during the winter season. While not everyone experiences sinus infections in the winter, some individuals may notice a worsening of symptoms or an increased likelihood of sinus issues due to the following reasons:

  • Dry Air: Cold air and indoor heating systems in winter often result in dry air, which can irritate nasal passages and sinuses, causing congestion and discomfort.
  • Viral Infections: Winter sees a higher prevalence of cold and flu viruses, leading to inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses, increasing the likelihood of sinus infections.
  • Low Humidity: During winter, cold and dry air often results in low humidity, drying nasal passages, and increasing vulnerability to irritants, leading to inflammation and sinus problems.
  • Slowed Immune System: Exposure to colder temperatures may affect the immune system, potentially making individuals more susceptible to infections that can cause sinus issues.
  • Airborne Irritants: Spending more time indoors during the winter may expose individuals to indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold. These indoor allergens can trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate sinus issues.

How do I prevent a winter sinus infection?

Preventing winter sinus issues involves minimizing exposure to common triggers and maintaining good sinus health. Here are some tips to help prevent winter sinus infections:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink ample water to keep your body and nasal passages hydrated. 
  • Use a Humidifier: Keep a humidifier in bedrooms to prevent nasal passages from drying out, reducing the risk of irritation and infection.
  • Practice Good Hand Hygiene: Maintain proper hand hygiene by washing hands frequently, especially after exposure to public places or individuals with respiratory infections.
  • Saline Nasal Sprays: Regularly use saline nasal sprays to keep nasal passages moist and clear irritants, providing a natural way to soothe and hydrate nasal tissues.
Sinus Infection Treatment-Dr Mustafa Kapadia (ENT Specialist in Dubai)
  • Decongestants: Over-the-counter decongestants prescribed can help reduce nasal congestion. 
  • Nasal Irrigation: Clear your nasal passages by using a saline solution with a neti-pot or nasal rinse kit. It can help remove mucus, allergens, and irritants. 
  • Inhaling Steam: Relieve sinus congestion by inhaling steam from hot water or during a warm shower.
  • Balanced Diet: Support your overall health and immune function with a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

How to treat sinus issues?

If you frequently experience sinus issues, consider consulting an ENT specialist for a comprehensive assessment and targeted treatments or interventions.

For recurrent or chronic cases, nasal endoscopy and CT scans may be conducted to assess sinus anatomy. 

Acute sinusitis is typically managed with antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers. Antibiotics are reserved for bacterial infections resistant to these measures. Chronic cases may necessitate Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) to enhance drainage and ventilation, providing lasting relief. 

Consider an ENT specialist’s expertise for a comprehensive approach to your sinus concerns.

Contact Dr. Mustafa Kapadia, an ENT specialist in Dubai

Dr. Mustafa Kapadia is a highly regarded and board-certified Indian ENT specialist based in Dubai, bringing over ten years of clinical experience to his practice. 

Renowned for his expertise, Dr. Mustafa specializes in diagnosing and treating sinus diseases, making him a trusted choice for individuals seeking effective and personalized care.

If you are suffering from sinus issues for a long time, book your appointment here.

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