Every Winter its the same thing. As soon as the heater starts running your sinuses and eyes start to get dry, you wake up with a dry throat and a headache and your skin gets dry.
This is because your heater removes moisture from your home when it heats the circulating air and in addition to that it circulates dust which you end up breathing.
If you find yourself waking up with eyes that hurt because they are dry and a sinus headache the quickest way to cure this is to drink a large amount of water. I am not talking one or two tall glasses of water .. if you are in pain drink a gallon of water. Sure it will go right through you but it will saturate the membranes and tissues in your body that are screaming for moisture.
That will get you through the next couple hours and do this without taking any medication and you will see that it was only the lack of moisture in your body that was causing you that insane sinus headache or eye pains.
Once you are back to yourself you need to evaluate the moisture in your home. Some wall thermometers have humidity indicators and the basic rule for me is that I need between 45% and 55% humidity to feel normal in the winter. Now my thermometer is basically a dollarstore type one it is not accurate in my mind but it gives me a relative reading of moisture in my house that I can use to know if its getting too dry. It might actually be 10 to 15% lower and probably is but I use what I have and work from there.
From what I have read many doctors recommend that you keep your humidity levels between 40% and 60% and your sensitivity to low moister will be different to some degree. However if you are breathing in dry air through your nose then your sinuses are going to let you know it.. and if you breath through your mouth you are going to wake up with a throat so dry its like you are dragging yourself through the desert looking for an oasis.
How do you add humidity to your home in the Winter?
This is really pretty easy but it will mean an investment on your part. Buying a humidifier can really change your look at life. Most personal to medium sized humidifiers cost under $50 and if that means you can wake up without pain after a good nights sleep you are going to love the money you spent.
A lot of other people will tell you to do stupid things like boil water on the stove.. that might help for an immediate problem but you can’t leave a boiling pot running all night.
Others will say Get some House Plants they put off moisture and they produce oxygen .. ok hippy yeah we have all been there in our 20’s with the house plants but heres a clue for you … if your sinuses are under duress because they are insanely dry and you might even get to the point where you have nose bleeds then breathing in all the spew that comes off a house plant is going to make things worse… not to mention they are living things and you can’t regulate their output of moisture..
Buy a Machine .. they work
What size Humidifier is best for my home?
This is an interesting question because when you go to purchase a humidifier there are going to be three different places where you find them.
Personal Humidifiers will be found in the Pharmacy departments of large stores. The ones for medical reasons are expensive and often include ways to introduce menthol or other medicated scents in the air.
Then they are likely to have One Gallon Humidifiers located near their personal heaters and fans in the hardware department.
Finally a contractor supply store might have whole house humidifiers that are attached to your heating system. I don’t suggest those for anyone. If you are in need of such a thing it will be something your doctor and contractor will suggest and it will be for something bigger than normal low humidity situations that the average home goes through.
My suggestion is that you go for the one gallon humidifiers found in your average hardware area in most big stores.
And stay away from the ones that use a filter wick system. You don’t want anything with parts you need to replace and clean that are made out of a filter or similar material because they will grow bacteria and you will end up making things worse rather than better.
Look for a design that uses ultrasonics to produce a cold vapor. They are easy to clean and cost less to use.
I also suggest that you go with something that is really basic looking and easy to refill because if you are like me you will be refilling it twice a day for about 3 months. That means nothing pretty or fancy or “high tech” just get the basic round one gallon tank humidifier. Some might be slightly larger or smaller but a gallon size humidifier should allow you to fill it once at night and once in the morning and not have to touch it.
Now I live in a single story ranch that is just under 2000sq feet so our primary living happens on the main floor of the house. If you live in a two story or split level then you may need more than one humidifier in your home but as for location you want to position the humidifier so there is good flow into the rest of the home. You don’t necessarily need a fan to help but I place ours central to the living area in a guest bedroom and keep that door open all the time. I could also see placing it in the living room but unless you are living alone you don’t want it sealed off in a closed bedroom.The spare bedroom is just easier because there isn’t a device pumping out water clouds in the living room while we are watching TV and it seems to work there so thats where it is.
Like I said you might need two but for our home a single one gallon that is cranked up to high puts out almost 2 gallons of water every day and that seems to work for us.
You should see relief for your sinus in one to two days and your skin should get better in about a week. Until that time and also constantly you need to drink more water than you might at other times of the year.
I keep a quart of water at my desk while I work and refill it at least twice a day in addition to an occasional soda or tea.
If you feel dry then you need to do something about it. There is no use in suffering and saying this is just winter.
In addition you will be much more healthy because when your mucus membranes are dry you are much more susceptible to catching flu which will enter through tiny bleeding capillaries in your sinuses or throat or lungs when they are dry.
You will see dry hack coughs disappear and you will feel so much better… No actually you will feel normal instead of feeling sick.. a mock sick that is due to headaches from dry sinuses.. dry eyes.. lungs and skin.