Winter is just around the corner, and with the new season comes an increased risk for problems with your respiratory system. When it’s time to enjoy the holiday season with friends and family, no one wants to deal with the hassle of a respiratory infection. As a leading name in ENT doctors for the Clear Lake, Texas, area, Houston Physicians’ Hospital understands the importance of your respiratory healthy during the winter season, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you breathe easy:
- Increase Your Vitamin D Intake
According to the journal Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of developing respiratory infections (1). Vitamin D is produced in our body when the skin absorbs sunlight. During the winter, getting sunlight can be hard, as the shorter days and colder temperatures decrease the likelihood that people will be outdoors in the sun. A vitamin D supplement can be taken to counteract this problem. Search for a supplement that contains the recommended 2000 IU of vitamin D for adults.
- Be Aware of the Air Quality
Air quality is a term used to refer how polluted the air is outside. On days where the air quality is low and there is a high amount of pollution in the air, it is best to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid breathing in contaminated air. According to the American Review of Respiratory Disease, breathing in a high amount of air pollution is a significant predictor of upper respiratory symptoms (2). When the air quality index indicates that there is a high amount of air pollution in the air, be sure to close all windows in your home while staying indoors to prevent any outside air from entering indoors.
- Get the Proper Amount of Sleep
The European Journal of Physiology states that sleep is a strong regulator of immunological processes (3). Essentially, this means that not getting enough sleep can weaken the immune system, making your more susceptible to infections of the respiratory system. While adults typically require seven to nine hours of sleep per night, those with extremely active lifestyles may require longer periods of rest for their immune system to stay strong.
- Try a Saline Nasal Spray
Europe PubMed Central states that saline nasal irrigation is an effective form of care for patients with a variety of upper respiratory conditions, specifically, rhinosinusitis (sinus infections) (4). A nasal saline spray helps lubricate the membranes in the nose, eliminating thick mucous and allergens from the nasal passage. Saline sprays can be purchased over-the-counter or made at home with a combination of distilled water, salt, and baking soda.
Upper respiratory problems are common during the winter season, but these tips can help keep your respiratory system healthy. However, if symptoms do not improve, it’s important to visit an ENT specialist. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, our ENT doctors are here to help you breathe easy this season. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620 or search for a doctor here.