The temperatures have already dropped significantly since the last summer days. The trees have turned a bright shade of brownish-red all over the country. The spiced pumpkin dishes and drinks are back in trend. There is no doubt about it: Winter is coming. There’s nothing wrong about the colder months of the year, except that they tend to be accompanied by runny noses and congestion.
Every household with young children knows that as soon as the days get shorter and colder, the kids are likely to catch a cold at school. If it were only a simple cold, you wouldn’t mind that much. But, unfortunately, kids are likely to spread their germs.
You can be sure that soon enough, the whole household will be sniffing, coughing, and shivering. It seems that winter puts a lot of pressure on your sinuses. But can you really blame your runny nose on the weather?
As surprising as it might sound, the answer is no. Indeed, regardless of the temperature drop outside, your congested sinuses are not systematically linked to the cold weather. In fact, more often than not, the answer to your problems lies under your very nose, so to say, at home. Indeed, the reason why most of us develop nose and throat complaints in winter is linked to the house.
If you’re looking for the best way to keep your family healthy, here are some essential tips to turn your household into a healthy haven for all.
6 Practical Tips for How to Avoid Sinus and Allergy Issues in the Winter
Beware of the hot and steamy shower
Can there be anything more satisfying than taking a hot shower at the end of a cold and rainy day? It’s always as if the water could take away your worries and weariness, as you let the warm drops wash away the soapy foam. A warm shower feels surprisingly soothing in winter. However, you need to be careful to keep your bathroom as healthy as possible. Indeed, hot showers or baths create a lot of steam.
Unless you’ve got the appropriate ventilation system, each lovely comfort bath you take might increase the moisture levels in the room. Within a few weeks, your bathroom will turn into the perfect terrain for mold growth. Unfortunately, if your bathroom is cluttered with toiletry bottles and a variety of combs, towels and other items, you may not notice the formation of mold patches on the walls.
Your nose, however, is likely to inhale mold spores, which can lead to respiratory issues, such as inflamed sinuses and sore throat. These can be easily confused with the symptoms of a mild cold! You will need professional mold remediation services to tackle the spores and get rid of the underlying issues. Black mold, especially can be problematic to remove without expensive tear-out processes.
Brrr, why is it so cold in there?
Old structures are vulnerable in winter when the cold air can infiltrate the house. It can be challenging to notice when the temperatures are still comfortable, but as the cold weather arrives, you might find the house difficult to heat. Cold air and water infiltration can be the result of failing insulation solutions. Indeed, with time, the insulation in place can develop weaknesses.
Besides, it’s fair to say that old insulation may not meet today’s standards. As a consequence, you might notice condensation on your windows and a sensation of dampness in the room. While you may not see any mold patches, the moisture can facilitate runny noses and cold extremities.
Turning the heater on can be dangerous
On the other hand, it would be foolish to assume that modern houses with high-quality insulation are safe. In fact, modern households struggle with the opposite issues, namely, low levels of humidity in the air. Indeed, recent structures tend to maintain the heat, which can sometimes dry out the air. As a result, when the moisture level drops below 40% in your home, the perceived temperature indoors feels cooler than it is. Therefore, you might find yourself reaching out to the heater to turn it up.
However, dry air can put your sinuses at risk of developing inflammation and allergies. If you struggle with blocked sinuses, you may be able to alleviate the issue by introducing an air humidifier at home, to maintain healthy humidity levels.
You can’t afford to lounge around with the pets
Housepets are the best friends you can ever get! However, spending too much time indoors with your beloved dog or cat can increase the risk of allergies among vulnerable people. Furry pets are, ultimately, the most common cause of allergies. Mild allergic reactions can be triggered by their winter fur.
When you spend more time indoors, as a result of the cold weather, it’s fair to say that you become more exposed to pet hair. You need to change your cleaning routine in winter to vacuum at least twice a week to make sure you can get rid of unpleasant effects!
Can you trust your indoor air quality?
Your indoor air is just as polluted, if not more, than the outdoor air. However, as pollutants are invisible to the naked eye, most households fail to tackle the issues. Unfortunately, when you spend the majority of your time at home during the colder months of the year, you can get exposed to a vast quantity of toxins, which can trigger asthma attacks and respiratory issues.
You can, however, control your air quality by reducing the use of chemical products in your households. Additionally, monitoring your air filters can also help to reduce risks.
Looking after your metabolism in winter
Last but not least, looking after your immune system in winter can also prevent many issues. Indeed, it’s easy to indulge in unhealthy, comforting meals when the weather is miserable outside! However, you need to fuel your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function. Additionally, maximizing your vitamin D intake, by spending time outside, can also boost your immune system, making you less likely to catch a cold.
Can you avoid runny noses this winter? The answer depends entirely on your household health routine. Indeed, keeping on top of your cleaning, heating, and insulating requirements can make a significant difference. Additionally, you need to monitor your indoor air quality, both in terms of toxins and air humidity.