VERIFY: Can your air conditioner cause sinus congestion?

We decided to take the question to an ENT specialist.

You typically don't associate summer and sniffles.  Allergies, you think, come with the high pollen.  So if you're feeling congested right now, what's to blame?

We spotted this question in the New York Times.  Do air-conditioners cause sinus congestion?

To answer this question, we went to Dr. Andrew Mallon at Ear, Nose and Throat Associates in St. Petersburg.

“Change in temperature from a coolng aspect can irritate the lining of the nasal mucosa, which is basically skin,” he said.  “So just like if you go into an environment that’s cool and may dry your skin out, the same thing can happen to your nose, theoretically, as it’s lined with mucosa and it has receptors that can respond and they can get congested.  Any change in the environment, the nose does respond to that, so whether it’s cool or warm, the nose is going to respond accordingly.”

We were able to verify that your air conditioning can cause congestion.

Likewise, in the winter, you can have the same problem.  The doctor recommends using a nasal saline moisturizer, changing air filters often and take a small antihistamine like Claritin or Zyrtec if you notice that your nose is irritated.

SOURCE

Dr. Andrew Mallon at Ear, Nose and Throat Associates in St. Petersburg

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