One thing I can bet that we’ve all heard at least once this fall is something along the lines of, “This weather change has really got my sinuses acting up.” There is just something about colder weather that gets peoples’ noses running and I’m not talking about a Zac Brown Band song. So is the cold weather actually to blame for making us all sick? Kind of.
In general, allergies tend to bother people more going from one season to another because of the changes in pollens and other allergens in the air. For example, all the new flower pollen when things warm up in the spring or dusty heating units used in the winter that haven’t been turned on or cleaned in a year.
Another reason is that viruses tend to thrive in colder temperatures. And to make that point even worse, the cold, dry air of the winter combined with the artificial heating indoors make it difficult for the mucous membranes in our noses to stay adequately moisturized. Our mucus membranes are drier and more thinned out, allowing an easier time for these cold loving viruses to settle down and start causing problems.
Basically, that means that it’s not the cold weather itself that causes all of us to sneeze and sniff all day, it just lowers our body’s own natural defenses enough to allow the germs in. So make sure to get your flu shot, use a humidifier at night, and take allergy medicine if they start to bother you.
Joshua White PA-C