Many people think of colds and respiratory infections and winter maladies. However, sinus infections and other respiratory problems can happen any time of year. For some people, summer brings together many factors that can make this the worst time of year for them. Do you find that you suffer sinus infections more frequently in the summer? These could be some of the causes.
Allergies and Sinus Infections
In some cases, sinus infections are a complication of summer allergies. This is a time of year when common allergens, such as grasses, are in bloom. Summer rain and humidity means that mold spores have time to grow and spread. Also, many people are just outdoors more often in the summer, which means they are more likely to be exposed to their allergens, whether they are pollen, outdoor mold and mildew or even dander from dogs at the park.
When you are exposed to seasonal allergens such as pollen, your sinuses may become inflamed. This inflammation, irritation and congestion mean it is harder for irritants and fluids to move through and out of your sinuses. The result can be a sinus infection.
If summer allergies are causing your symptoms, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the incidence of allergy attacks. Some people are able to find relief with the use of over the counter antihistamines. Others find inhaled steroids can reduce inflammation and symptoms. For others, treatments like allergy shots or sublingual allergy drops or procedures like balloon sinuplasty can provide lasting relief without the need for daily medications.
Summer Heat and Humidity
Texas is known for its summer heat.
Hot weather can lead to dehydration. This dehydration can affect all tissue in the body; however, the delicate mucous membranes of your nasal passages and sinuses are especially vulnerable.
Sometimes, the ways we battle the heat can be the problem. Indoors, air conditioning cools the air, but it also dries it. This drying effect can also make the insides of your nose and sinuses drier, as well.
Inside the nose and sinuses, there are tiny hair-like structures known as cilia. These structures sweep excess mucus out of your nose and sinuses. However, they can’t do their jobs when hot conditions make mucus thicker and stickier. As a result, mucous can linger in the area, trapping bacteria and viruses that can lead to infections.
Work on staying well hydrated when you are outside in the Texas summer heat or inside in the air conditioning. Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere can help. Many people find they are more likely to drink water when they set an alarm on their phone to remind them. It also helps to limit outdoor activity to the cooler parts of the day.
If you find you suffer frequent sinus infections, advanced treatment may be needed. Balloon sinuplasty, for instance, can help permanently open up narrow sinus cavities and provide lasting relief from sinus issues. Looking for relief? Get in touch with us today to learn more.