Most people know that the flu tends to strike during the winter months: starting in November or December and lasting until the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Simple colds are common in the spring and summer.
And in the fall? Sinus infections tend to be the most common pathogenic issue that Americans face.
To be sure, a sinus infection is no joke. If you’ve ever had one, you know how painful, uncomfortable, and annoying it can be.
So, this fall, have your defenses up and ready! Use the following tips to help fight against the onslaught of a dreaded sinus infection.
How to Prevent a Sinus Infection
1. Stay away from those with the sniffles or a cough.
Are sinus infections contagious? They can be if they are caused by viruses.
For this reason, it’s as good of an idea as any to stay away from people who have the sniffles, a cough, or other common viral symptoms. This goes for your friends and family members as well as your coworkers.
It also goes for strangers who you might see in the store. If you are on aisle nine, going to aisle 10, and you hear someone coughing away over there, skip it and come back later. There’s no sense in getting a long-lasting sinus infection just because you took a chance.
2. Wash your hands as much as possible.
Anyone who’s been around for the last year and a half knows the importance of handwashing. If we didn’t already understand how vital this small task is, since the onset of the pandemic, it’s been drilled into us.
With that said, it’s important to remember that even if you’ve had the vaccine or have already gone through the effects of COVID-19 yourself, you should continue washing your hands just as diligently as ever.
To properly wash your hands, first wet them with clean warm water. Add some soap, and scrub them together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies of your hands and even get your wrists and beneath your nails. Rinse your hands well when you’re done scrubbing, and dry them completely.
3. Carry hand sanitizer with you wherever you go.
Sometimes, you simply can’t be near a faucet and soap, and in these cases, hand sanitizer will have to do. To make sure that you have hand sanitizer near you at all times, make sure that you keep little bottles around your house, in your car, on your desk at work, and in your purse or backpack. You can never have enough hand sanitizer.
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Likewise, having sanitizing wipes around is also a good idea for cleaning not only your hands, but also things like your phone, your steering wheel, your desk and keyboard, and the strap of your purse.
4. Avoid touching your face — especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
When you’re out and about, always avoid touching your face as much as possible. Viruses often enter a human’s system through the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Therefore, even if you can avoid breathing in viral droplets from someone else’s cough or sneeze, you don’t want to touch something that has viral particles or bacteria on it and then put that substance into your body by rubbing your eye or touching your lips.
5. Cover any cuts or scrapes you have — especially on your hands.
Sinus-infection viruses can also enter your system through cuts or scrapes that you may have on your hands or fingers. For this reason, be sure to keep any open wounds you have — no matter how small — covered with Band-Aids or liquid bandage.
6. Consider wearing a mask in crowded spaces.
While we are all undoubtedly looking forward to the end of mask mandates overall, some people have stated that they’ll go on wearing masks in crowded spaces, and this might not be a bad idea.
If you have to be on a plane or in a large crowd of people at a concert or event, and you are concerned about catching a sinus infection, consider bringing a mask along as an extra precaution.
7. Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
Lastly, take care of your health in general. This should go for everyone at any time of the year. But if you’re susceptible to sinus infections and have had them before, you should be especially watchful of your diet and lifestyle choices during the fall when sinus infections are most common.
Start by eating a nutritious diet full of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains. Also, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
Next, get regular exercise. Just 10 or 20 minutes of walking every day goes a long way. Really, any daily movement helps. Consider doing an exercise video at home, going for a bike ride with a friend, or joining your local gym.
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Following these tips will help ensure you have a healthy, happy, sinus infection-free season this autumn!
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