As I bask in the sun here in Los Angeles on this January 10, worried that I may run out of sun block, my thoughts go to my fellow man in less sunny areas in the Mid West, and other snow blocked areas. I would like to remind you of what to do to stay healthy.
With the snow, you are subject to nasal/sinus conditions that are avoidable. For snow bunnies, here are some health tips.
Avoid getting chilled. When you get chilled, your immune system is lowered. If you are in wet clothes, get changed as soon as you can. By the same token, if you are going from hot to cold and back again, do cover up in the cold and do unbundled in the warmth. Best thing to do is to carry a back pack and keep extra tops, towel, jacket in there so you can change if you need to. These extras really help when you come in wet from the snow into an overheated room.
A cold nose is nothing to joke about. In cold, the nose works overtime to try to warm the air going to your lungs. In a short time the nasal cilia are just worn out and fail to remove bacteria from the nose. If your nasal cilia are dry, they can’t move the bacteria away. Then the bacteria remain in the nose and sinuses and you end up with a sinus infection.
Moisten the air you breathe. In cold weather the air is DRY. If you are in a higher altitude, the air is even drier. Do whatever you can to put moisture in the air: heat pans of water, fill the sinks and tubs with water; run a vaporizer, stand in a hot shower. You can hang wet towels or sheets- these evaporate quickly to moisten the air.
Moisten the nose. The product Breathe.ease XL nasal gel can be used several times a day to keep the nose moist. Breathe.ease gel was especially designed for persons who ski, to moisturize the nose and prevent nose bleed. This special formula moistens at a nasal and a cellular level. With proper moisture the nasal cilia can remove unwanted bacteria.
Drink plenty of fluids. Instead of plain water, add lemon or lime to the water. Add honey too, instead of sugar. This also thins mucus and has antibacterial properties. This will thin the nasal and chest mucus and aid in keeping you healthy. Add lemon to your salad dressing. Instead of coffee, switch to tea — green or black-with or without caffeine. Tea has anti-oxidants and stimulates good cilia movement.
Increase nasal cilia movement. In the nose and chest you have millions of microscopic “hairs” that act like oars to move bacteria, pollen and viruses out of the nose. These get trapped in a layer of mucus that is moved by the cilia to the back of the throat where it ends in the stomach and the stomach acid takes out the bacteria. Temperatures too hot or too cold slow the cilia. Measure to bring cilia to normal movement include tea, singing “oooommm” at a low tone, jump rope, and pulsatile irrigation.
Avoid smoke. Sitting by the crackling fire sounds great. However, some homes are not geared for the kind of cold weather many areas are experiencing. Electric heaters are great because they do not fill the air with smoke and ash. A fireplace that hasn’t been used in a long time can be dangerous because it may not be vented properly. Oil heaters are dangerous – they may not be vented properly and can produce carbon monoxide. Remember, every year someone is found dead in their closed garage, where they ran the motor to get warm and built up carbon monoxide. A recent study concluded that gas stove type heaters are not harmful to the nose and chest.
A frequent result of cold weather, is that persons may be in a brand new trailer home or a bedroom with a new rug and furniture. These new products – cabinets, wooden furniture, and manufactured rugs, are all treated with formaldehyde type preservatives. The lacquer or paints may contain solvents. When the trailer is heated and unvented, these materials evaporate into the air and are seriously toxic. If you are sleeping in a new trailer home or hotel room, make sure it is fully aired out before it is heated.
Avoid fashion. It is insane to see men walking with dress shoes that have slippery leather soles, or women with high heels and a short skirt in the snow and ice. Hundreds of persons slip on the ice and many die. Dressing for the climate means wide boots that don’t slip, pants, sweaters, and scarves. Be smart. Carry a cane or stick to help you with balance. When you walk in snow and ice keep reminding yourself that you don’t want to be the one to slip and crack your skull. Just because you are not 80 years old doesn’t mean you can’t walk with a cane that is best for balance.
Avoid caching cold. When everyone in the office has a cold and is sneezing and the cold virus fills the air, consider using pulsatile irrigation of the nose/sinuses with saline. Pulsatile irrigation is effective to remove ICAM-1. This is the product that the cold virus uses to enter into your body; if you wash out the ICAM-1, you may not catch a cold. Also, frequent hand washing is important because that is a number one vector for viruses entering your body.
Supplements: Doctors feel that Vitamin D and probiotics (yogurt) can help boost your immune factors.
Check you local driving conditions. Just as important as a cold nose is driving correctly. Most snow accidents happen to persons who didn’t know what to do when the car skided or how to stop on ice. Get information from your local sources about snow driving. In California, we recently had a traffic tragedy because the driver didn’t put his car into neutral when the motor accelerated! Learn everything you need to know about snow driving before you start your engine.
Snow? California? I will probably be heading to the mountains to enjoy the snow next weekend.