Colder air brings relief from sweltering summers and their attendant humidity problems which spell trouble for allergy sufferers. Air that's too humid causes dust mite populations to thrive and can lead to mold colonies proliferating.
However, heated indoor air poses its own issues for allergy sufferers. Heat generated by forced air heating systems (the kind found in most homes) dries out the air and leads to humidity levels that can be too low for comfort.
In addition to symptoms like dry skin, itchy throats, and watery eyes, allergy sufferers may notice that their nasal passages and sinuses may become irritated in enivornments that are too dry. This is of special concern for those who experience recurring sinus infections, or sinusitis.
As WebMD recommends, those who are prone to sinusitis can take the following measures:
- Keep sinuses moist by using saline sprays or nasal irrigation
- Avoid very dry indoor environments. To keep the air in your home from becoming over-dry, use a humidifier to restore proper moisture levels to the air.
- Avoid exposure to irritants, such as cigarette smoke or strong chemical odors. Using natural cleaning products and avoiding home fragrances and other unnecessary chemicals can help keep indoor air unpolluted. Air purifiers filter the air of airborne particles and chemical fumes you can't control.
Staying on top of potential dry air problems before they actually become issues will help you breathe better all winter long.