Dry air sinus savers

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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A blast of warm, dry air from the heater feels toasty on a chilly night, but the lack of humidity can take its toll on your sinuses.

Dr. Michael Benninger is an ear, nose and throat expert at Cleveland Clinic. Once you start cranking up the heat, he says, many people are plagued with nasal and throat problems.

"Even patients who don't have allergies start having nasal and throat symptoms. You know, they feel dry, they wake up in the morning and their throat is a little bit sore," he said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, your home should be between 25-40% humidity during the winter. Sometimes a home that's not humidified can get down to about 10% humidity and may cause a sore throat, bloody nose and even make snoring worse.

A central humidification system may help or even a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air. 

Sipping water throughout the day to moisturize from the inside out may also help save your sinuses.  And if you're not sure you're getting enough fluids, Benninger has a fool-proof way to check.

"We say the term 'pee-pale', so if your urine is relatively clear, you're getting plenty of fluid in and that could be enough to keep those tissues nice and moist," he said.

Benninger says you can also use a nasal moisturizer or saline spray to moisturize your nose.

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