Many patients observe an increase in their post-nasal drip and runny noses after exposure to cold temperatures. When exposed to cold, the mucus within the nasal passages warms and moisturizes air inhaled through the nose. The mucus protects the nasal passages from dryness and other damage due to the cold, and also protects the lungs. Some scientists believe the increase in post-nasal drip during the winter months may be related not just to the temperatures outside but also to the temperatures inside. Many buildings and homes are overheated during the winter season, and this often dries out and irritates the nasal passages, potentially making them more vulnerable to post-nasal drip. Patients should cover their mouth and nose with a scarf when venturing outside during particularly cold weather to avoid post-nasal drip due to cold temperatures. Inside the home, patients may wish to use a humidifier to keep their nasal passages moist and avoid excessive mucus production.
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