Have you or your kids been experiencing nosebleeds, headaches, or a sore throat? It may be due to dry sinuses – just one more unpleasant ENT problem brought on by winter. There are many at-home remedies you can try to alleviate your symptoms, but you’ll need to see a doctor if it’s turned into a sinus infection. Find out how to treat your dry sinuses and when to seek medical help.
Symptoms of Dry Sinuses
Your sinuses rely on the right amount of mucus in order to function properly. When you don’t produce enough mucus, your nasal cavity becomes dried out, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Sinus pressure
- Sore throat
- Dry nose and mouth
Causes of Dry Sinuses in Winter
There are several reasons dry sinuses are more prevalent in winter, including:
Dry Indoor Air
When the furnace is running, humidity levels in your home start to drop. This is why a lot of nosebleeds and sinus infections happen this time of year.
Decongestants and Antihistamines
Since so many germs are circulated in winter months, many people get colds and other respiratory illnesses and often take medications to dry out excess mucus. But antihistamines, decongestants, and some prescription medications can dry out the sinuses too much.
Chemical Cleaning Products
When it’s cold outside, we don’t open windows to ventilate the air while we’re cleaning. No ventilation means irritating chemicals stay in the air we breathe and can cause dry sinuses.
Spending more time indoors also means more time with dogs or cats, and if you’re allergic to dander, you’ll definitely notice symptoms that affect your nose and throat.
Your damp, humid basement and bathroom are perfect breeding areas for mold this time of year, and if you’re allergic, you’re more likely to experience dry sinuses along with other symptoms like coughing and itchy eyes.
Complications of Dry Sinuses
Not only are dry sinuses painful and annoying, but they can also lead to sinus infections after prolonged irritation. You can suspect you have a sinus infection if you have:
- Facial pain
- Nasal congestion and thick cloudy nasal discharge
- Sinus headache
- Sore throat
- Hoarse voice
Treating Dry Sinuses
There are many ways you can treat dry sinuses at home to alleviate discomfort, such as:
- Using a humidifier in your room at night or installing a whole house humidifier
- Asking your doctor or pharmacist for an allergy or cold medication that won’t dry out your sinuses
- Lubricating sinuses with nasal spray
- Staying hydrated
- Switching to natural household cleaners and opening windows to let fresh air in
You’ll need to see a doctor if you are unable to get relief on your own. An ENT doctor may recommend the following treatments:
- If he suspects your symptoms are due to allergies, he’ll test you for mold or pet dander allergies and may recommend allergy medications or shots.
- If your dry sinuses are due to a sinus infection, he will prescribe antibiotics.
Sound Health Physicians Treat Sinus Infections Throughout the Year
Winter viruses and dry sinuses often lead to sinusitis. If you’re dealing with sinus pain and discomfort that won’t go away, call Sound Health to schedule an appointment at (314) 729-0077 in MO or (618) 235-3687 in IL. We’ll help you feel better so you can enjoy the rest of the season.