It’s here. The holidays arrived without warning. And now you have to buy gifts and prep for in-laws. There’s no changing the chaos of the holidays, but you can absolutely change your mind and body’s reaction to it. How the holidays affect your ear, nose and throat is important to understand so you can remain healthy and energized for everything expected and unexpected.
We’ll talk about what’s causing issues and how to avoid those problems. Let us begin.
#1: The Holidays Affect Your Nose and Sinuses
There’s a lot to dig into in regard to noses and sinuses so let’s start with food. Anything with dairy products is bad for your sinuses, mostly while you have a sinus infection. It thickens the mucus. That’s the worst. Especially when it also affects taste. Sinus infections can be extremely painful as well, so let’s not add more pain to family get-togethers than there already is.
The solution: Cut out the pumpkin spice lattes (unless you change out the dairy milk) and eggnog. Replace it with water or hot teas. If you have chronic sinusitis, a balloon sinuplasty procedure can do wonders for opening up the nasal passages and relieving pressure.
#2: The Holidays Affect Your Hearing
This one’s a two-parter. First, any loud concerts or events can potentially damage our hearing, but that’s nothing new. The second part is that those with hearing loss may feel left out at gatherings. If they can’t hear you while they’re in the middle of a conversation, they might nod their head and smile. In the end, they’re not having a good time. This behavior may even lead to social isolation which then leads to depression.
The solution: Make sure you take care of your family and friends that have hearing loss and include them in the conversation. When it comes to being at loud events, always wear hearing protection.
#3: The Holidays Affect Your Sleep
Stress. That’s what people usually think of when Christmas rolls around. That and presents, but that’s not the point. With stress comes a lack of sleep. While we’re winded up and anxious, our bodies are on the alert. Not sleeping at night means being tired during the day which means being more stressed. It’s an endless cycle.
The solution: Work on stress management with breathing exercises. Make sure you take time for yourself at night by reading a book or taking a hot shower. Eat some walnuts or almonds, which can help the sleeping process as well. Avoid caffeine.
#4: The Holidays Affect Your Allergies
You just ate some popcorn but didn’t realize it touched the peanut brittle earlier. And now, you’re feeling it. Or you have natural tree allergies and didn’t know your Aunt Karen used a natural tree this year. There’s a first time for everything. You may not be able to change your surroundings, but you can change your reactions. This is the time for all sorts of allergens to deck our halls with holiday sniffles.
The solution: Avoidance is a great way to keep yourself from feeling sick, but with the holidays it’s hard to put this into action all the time. Take prescribed allergy medications as directed is also highly encouraged. Do not self-prescribe and self-treat. Another solution is getting an allergy test and then at-home immunotherapy.
Don’t let the holidays affect your ear, nose and throat. Call us at 770-740-1860 for same-day or Saturday appointments. If you’d like to learn about how our staff takes care of our patients, join the email list for free information and updates.