Days spent at the pool, nights around the bonfire, hours spent playing outside in the grass. While these are all wonderful things about summer, they can also cause inflammation of your sinuses, which then may lead to sinus problems.
At Excel ENT, we have many strategies to recommend and treatment options available that can provide significant relief.
More About Sinuses & Summer
Sinusitis occurs when the spaces inside your nose and head (sinuses) become swollen and inflamed. When this inflammation continues for three months or longer, despite treatment, it’s known as chronic sinusitis.
This common condition interferes with the way mucus normally drains, and makes your nose stuffy. Breathing through your nose may be difficult, and the area around your eyes might feel swollen or tender.
Many things can cause inflammation that leads to sinus issues in the summer, such as:
- Respiratory tract infections — These types of infections are most commonly colds, and they can inflame and thicken your sinus membranes and block mucus drainage. These infections can be viral, bacterial, or fungal, and they do occur in the summer even though they are most commonly associated with colder weather.
- Nasal polyps — These are painless, benign growths inside the nasal passages. Prolonged inflammation and swelling of the sinuses from infection and allergies may increase your likelihood of developing polyps.
- Allergies — Inflammation that occurs with allergies can also block your sinuses. Many weeds and grasses bloom in the summer, releasing high amounts of pollen.
- Temperature changes — On hot days, when the air is dry, the mucus in your nose may become thick and sticky, which blocks the sinuses and can cause stuffiness and/or headaches. Changes in barometric pressure, like when a summer thunderstorm pops up in the afternoon, can trigger sinus pain and headaches as well.
- Swimming — The big issue with swimming is the possibility of swimmer’s ear, which is when an infection occurs due to water staying in the ear canal for too long. This creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and is most common in children. Water in the nose can also cause inflammation of the sinuses.
It’s not always possible, but oftentimes the best and most effective way to deal with these summer issues that can cause sinus inflammation is to avoid the allergens or triggers. This might be accomplished through lifestyle changes and at-home strategies, such as:
- Using a cool-mist humidifier
- Nasal rinsing several times per day
- Wearing a pollen mask when mowing the grass or cleaning the house
- Keeping windows closed when pollen counts are high
- Using HEPA filters in your vacuum
- Changing heating and air conditioning filters often
- Avoiding nasal irritants, such as smoke, perfume, aerosol sprays, smoke, smog, and car exhaust
- Using a nose clip or ear plugs while swimming
- Washing bedding often; ideally weekly in hot water
With these strategies, summer sinus issues may be avoided or improved, but sometimes sinus infections do occur, and they certainly can happen in the summer. However, there is a difference between a once in a while sinus infection and constant sinus problems that last for months.
Treatments for Summer Sinus Issues
If you have been fighting off sinus infections for more than three months, it is time to seek medical attention to regain your quality of life. We are very happy that we have many options for treatment at Excel ENT!
Which treatment option may be right for you will vary greatly depending on your specific situation, including what is causing your sinus problems. Dr. Davis is an expert in diagnosing these problems and coming up with the best treatment options.
These include treatments such as RhinAer, SINUVA, and our new biologic option Dupixent to balloon sinuplasty and functional endoscopic sinus surgery, we are thankful to have so many options these days that can help us truly provide relief for our patients.
Discover how the team at Excel ENT of Alabama can help manage summer sinus issues, and sinus problems all year round.
If you are experiencing sinus issues this summer, don’t put off making an appointment with Dr. Davis. Especially while kids are out of school, it’s a great time to address these problems and find the best treatment plan. Schedule an appointment online, or call to discuss coming in at a time that’s best for you: 205-988-6858.