Humidity Can Have a Considerable Impact on Sinus Health

ENT Issues | Corpus Christi ENT Sinus & Allergy

woman blowing nose outside.

Do you find yourself fighting through muggy weather, battling the displeasure of humidity? The stickiness is bad enough, but it’s your sinuses that are the real issue. High humidity levels can often aggravate sinus infections, also known as sinusitis.

Symptoms of a sinus infection

Sinus infections, or sinusitis, can manifest in various ways, frequently causing discomfort and disruption to day-to-day life. These infections occur when fluid accumulates in the sinuses, resulting in infection, typically by viruses or bacteria.

Timely treatment depends on recognition of the symptoms:

  • Tooth Pain: Tooth pain is not uncommon with sinus infections.
  • Headaches: Pressure headaches are a prevalent symptom, signaling sinus inflammation.
  • Fever: A consistent fever or high temperature may accompany sinus infections.
  • Excessive Sinus Drainage: Another sign of a sinus infection is persistent sinus drainage.
  • Persistent Nasal Congestion: Sinus infections frequently result in stubborn nasal congestion lasting for ten days or more.

While not all symptoms will manifest simultaneously, if you have any prolonged or extreme cold-like symptoms, see your primary care physician to determine the possibility of a sinus infection.

Can a sinus infection be caused by humidity?

While sinus infections can stem from a range of causes, humidity plays a significant role in exacerbating the condition. Humidity can have a considerable impact on respiratory defense systems which, in turn, can contribute to sinus infections.

  • Effects on Cilia Function: Humidity has an effect on the tiny hairs in your nasal passage that help move mucus around known as cilia. The body’s defense against infection can be compromised when severe humidity decreases the functionality of these cilia.
  • Increased Vulnerability to Allergens: High humidity levels can result in extended exposure to allergens and irritants, aggravating sinus inflammation and fluid accumulation.

What are the ideal levels of humidity?

Maintaining an optimal balance of humidity is important for sinus health. While it’s important for the cilia and defensive mucus to be somewhat moist, too much moisture can become a real issue.

You can determine humidity levels by keeping an eye on the dew point and if it goes into or above the 70s, it’s time to take some safeguards.

How to reduce the risk of humidity-related sinus infections

There are a few preventative steps that can be taken to reduce sinus infections that are induced by moisture.:

  • Utilizing Nasal Sprays: Nasal sprays can help maintain optimal levels of moisture in the nasal passages, supporting healthy cilia function and decreasing susceptibility to infections.
  • Avoiding Allergens and Irritants: Sinus inflammation can be reduced when it’s humid out by trying to steer clear of any known allergens. The risk of an infection can be decreased by staying away from things like going into the woods and avoiding places that are smokey.

When to consult an ENT specialist

Chronic or repeated sinus infections, especially during humid periods, warrant consultation with an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Depending on your sinus physiology, you may be more vulnerable to a sinus infection if you have certain inherent medical conditions.

An Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist can offer personalized advice and suggest appropriate medications or interventions to promote sinus wellness.

Enjoying summer without sinus infections

Summer comes with bountiful opportunities for outdoor enjoyment, but the threat of sinus infections shouldn’t stop individuals from relishing the season. By understanding the impact of humidity on sinus health and employing preventive measures, individuals can protect against infections and fully engage in summer activities.

Give us a call for an appointment for an assessment today.

Call for an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Talk To Us.