The Santa Ana winds made a recent visit to Southern California, making many people miserable during their short stay. The Santa Anas are a southland weather phenomenon that occurs in the fall and winter months when hot, dry wind blows down from the high desert to the ocean. After they have blown all the smog around and then out to sea, the Santa Anas blow in dust, pollen and God knows what else down to the coast… the results wreaking havoc on the sinuses of those who live here. And it doesn’t seem to matter if you have allergies or not; everybody is affected by what the natives called ‘devil winds’. There’s still some debate as to whether they ever actually said that, but you could certainly understand it if they did. The Santa Ana winds can feel like the breath of hell.
This may not be the best place to whine about our hot, dry wind out here on the Left Coast when the East is getting buried under snow. It may only serve to reinforce the many East-Coasters who like to make fun of us for complaining about the weather. True, many Southern Californians freak out at the possibility of having to change from shorts to long pants, as we whimper at for the threat of light rain (we wish) while the rest of the country brace for the real winter.
Meanwhile, the east winter is bearing down in full force bringing bone-chilling temperatures, several feet of snow and freezing all the humidity out of the air. No comparison to our Santa Anas – I get that, and our hearts go out to all those who are trapped in the clutches of Old Man Winter. Believe me; nobody in the world is more terrified by a snow shovel than your average Southern Californian. But there are similarities to our relative suffering when it comes to the lack of humidity in the winter air. Again, the east trumps west when it comes to the driest air. When you’re getting an electric shock from everything you touch… you know the air is dry!
The flu has steamroller its way across the country this year. The freezing temperatures and dry desert winds make up a super highway for germs. A major contributor to the spread of illness is the lack of moisture in the air that we breathe, drying out our sinuses and opening the pathway to viruses and pathogens. If you can keep your respiratory system hydrated by using the right germ mask you run a much greater chance of staying healthy through the cold and flu season. Here’s the best defence in this battle against the flu and colds you will ever need:
- Get a Flu Shot (if you can)
- Wash Your Hands Frequently
- Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water is always a good practice, but it doesn’t prevent the winter air from drying out your nasal passages. Keep your hands clean (you can’t avoid that slimy door handle at the store) and cover your nose and mouth when you’re outdoors. One of the best ways you can protect your nose and mouth is with the MyAir Comfort Mask (myairmask.com). A shameless plug – I know. But, with advanced hydration retention and filtration (down to 0.1 microns) the MyAir reusable face mask can help your respiratory system stay healthy through the toughest times of the year.