Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from summer sinus and allergy issues. If you’re among them, sometimes summer brings a respite as the cold viruses that often trigger sinusitis are less active. Other times, warmer weather brings additional irritants that trigger sinus problems.
Most of the country sees an increase in pollen in the summer months. While pollen is harmless to many, it can wreak havoc on those who suffer from sinus and allergy issues causing congestion, itchy and watery eyes, and sneezing. If you’re among those for whom pollen is a trigger, it can help to stay inside when pollen levels are at their peak and check levels before going out. It can also help to keep windows closed in your home and car and use your air conditioner and perhaps a HEPA air filter in your home.
When planning summer vacations and getaways, remember that pollen levels tend to be lower at the beach than in the mountains.
Pollen isn’t the only airborne irritant. Sinus sufferers can be triggered by smog, mold spores, smoke from a campfire, cigarettes or even Fourth of July fireworks, and chlorine—particularly in indoor pools with limited ventilation. Do your best to avoid these irritants. Unchlorinated water—like that in the ocean—won’t assault your sinuses.
Using over-the-counter saline nasal spray or practicing nasal irrigation are great ways to keep your nasal passages moist, rid the nose of bacteria and other pathogens, reduce inflammation and keep colds that can lead to sinus infections at bay.
For sinus sufferers who are traveling on family vacations, the cabin of an airplane can be a particularly hostile environment. Protect yourself from the dry, germ-laden air by staying hydrated with cool water and spritzing your nasal passages with saline nasal spray while in the air. A bit of over-the-counter nasal spray can be helpful if you’re already experiencing congestion before take-off, but be mindful of overuse as oxymetazoline can be habit-forming.
Consult the allergy and sinus professionals at Broward Sinus & Allergy Center, proudly serving South Florida’s allergy and sinus sufferers for more than 25 years.