Colds and Airline Flights
Ever wonder why you’re more susceptible to a cold after a long flight? It could be all those people crammed into a small space, but what pushes us over the edge is the low humidity. Once in flight, the humidity drops into the teens and our moist nasal membranes start to dry up. Most people don’t notice this when they are flying less than 4 hours, but on international flights, it’s undeniable. Not only do our nose and lips go dry, but our hair flattens and we become unusually thirsty.
We can lose up to 8 oz of fluid from our body each hour we’re in flight. Some of the worst infections I’ve gotten check here as an adult have been after an international flight. Other places our nasal passages go dry are in arid regions like Denver or Tucson, or during the winter when our heaters kick on and the outside moisture levels drop.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, it’s important to stay hydrated, because moist nasal membranes help the cilia (tiny hair like structures) move things out such as bacteria or viruses that want to settle in. We often think too much mucous is the culprit for a cold but a dry nose is no better. game of war fire age cheats hack If overly dry, people can find it painful to breathe and experience nose bleeds. Think of a dry nose like dry skin which can feel irritated and crack. But unlike dry skin, the sinuses can become a breeding ground for infection.
What can you do to hydrate your sinuses? Keep the humidity in your home between 35-45%. With the correct humidity, the sinuses remain moist and easily rid themselves of infection and particulate matter such as pollen or dust. How do you know if your home is too dry? You can purchase a humidity meter. Or snap your bedroom sheets and see if they spark! If that doesn’t help or you are scheduled to take flight, the best trick I’ve found is to drink a lot of water, wash your hands often and avoid alcohol while in-flight.
Another suggestion, inspired by the Ayurvedic tradition, uses a combination of sesame seed oil and herbs/essential oils to soothe the nasal passages and get the cilia to move again. In a sense, it’s lotion for the sinus cavities! See our Dry Nose Oil for more share more content information if you feel a cold coming on use your neti pot regularly to flush your sinus cavities: