Spring is here, and climate change has already brought on unexpected shifts in weather patterns across the country, resulting in longer pollen seasons and worsening spring allergies. The strongest effects were seen in Texas, the Midwest and Southeast.
During spring season, other environmental factors such as frequent shifts between sun and showers bring changing barometric (atmospheric) pressure, which can also worsen spring allergy symptoms.
Our bodies are acutely sensitive to pressure shifts, and when these atmospheric pressure shifts impact the nasal mucosal membranes lining the interior of your nose, you may experience sneezing, runny nose, teary eyes, headaches, sinus pressure, and sinus pain.
According to Dr. Michael Foggs, M.D., Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Advocate Medical Group of Advocate Aurora Health in Chicago, “Changes in barometric pressure can heighten sensitivity in a patient’s dysfunctional nasal nerve endings, resulting in nasal and sinus congestion, sinus pressure, and sinus pain. In some instances, these symptoms can also occur when a patient is exposed to extreme changes in temperature, such as entering and leaving a warm building from freezing cold outside temperatures.”
If you’re experiencing sinus pain and/or nasal congestion from a cold, flu, or allergies, Dr. Foggs recommends these natural, drug-free interventions:
- Sleep elevated at 45-degrees to minimize swelling of the nasal passages. This also reduces pain and discomfort from mucus buildup in the nose and sinuses.
- For standard-size bedrooms: use a modern, 2-gallon humidifier to keep indoor relative humidity levels between 40-50%. Close the bedroom door and turn the humidifier on at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.
- For large rooms with high ceilings, use a console whole-house humidifier will be necessary to establish an indoor relative humidity in the optimal range of 40-50%.
- Use a personal steam inhaler with sterile water to shrink the nasal passages and allow mucus to pass through.
- Consider a low-pressure intra-nasal sterile saltwater wash – but exercise caution if your nasal passages are blocked, to prevent trauma from forcing the solution through the nose more freely.
If you’re tired of using medications, consider alternative treatments such as 100% drug-free ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief– advanced microcurrent (low-level electrical stimulation) for reducing sinus pain from allergies and congestion from a cold, flu, or allergies.
In some cases, treatment may require a combination of natural, over-the-counter, and other alternative interventions.