Air Travel can lead to sinus problems

If airline travel is in your forecast, you’ll want to arm yourself with a nasal cleansing spray to protect from the dry air when in flight.

airplane travel, nasal spray, nasal irrigation, saline spray, herbal-enhanced, dehydrated,

Airplanes can be like flying petri dishes because people travel with germs that can be dispersed throughout the cabin.

The low humidity can dry out nasal passages causing discomfort, especially during takeoff and landing.

A 2004 edition of the Journal of Environmental Health Research reported that the higher incidence of colds reported by recent aircraft passengers may be due to a decline in their ability to resist infection while flying.

“Your nose has a thin layer of mucus that actually helps traps germs and irritants. The in-flight air dries out that protective layer making you more susceptible to discomfort or even colds and viruses,” said Ed Neuzil, Ph.D., ARNP and owner of The Allergy, Sinus & Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Fla. “Cleansing your nasal passages of debris or germs with a moisturizing nasal spray helps maintain the natural protectants your body provides.”

Nasal sprays with herbal ingredients such as menthol or eucalyptol may also help open up your sinuses and alleviate some of the pressure you feel during altitude changes.

 

 

What are grass allergies?

During warm weather, our dog likes to spend time sitting in the grass under a shade tree. Sometimes, she’ll be allergies, grass pollenoutside for hours. We suspect she loves it because often she’ll stare blankly at us when we try to coax her indoors.

Once inside, however, the licking begins. Our dog is likely allergic to grass pollen. Seasonal allergies are common in pets but symptoms flare as skin irritation instead of the sneezing and itchy, watery eyes that humans experience.

Grass allergy season is strongest in late spring and summer. The pollen can be spread by wind and when the lawn is mowed. One challenge with grass is that airborne pollen from other plants can fall onto blades of grass and slide into the ground where it can stick to shoes or paws and be brought into the house.

If you or your child plays sports outside in the grass, you’re likely to get stuck with something irritating that could make you sneeze. And the skin irritation that animals experience? Humans can react that way as well. Some people will break out in hives and, in rare cases, can even have an anaphylactic reaction.

“Grass is hard to avoid so it’s important to recognize the allergy and be prepared for symptoms,” says Ed Neuzil, Jr., ARNP-BC, PhD, FAANP and owner of the Allergy,

Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Fla. “The best way to stay symptom-free is to avoid exposure and stay inside. However, an over-the-counter anti-histamine can provide relief if you so start to experience a runny nose, itchy eyes or skin irritation.”

Neuzil also suggested taking off your shoes once in the house so you don’t track it throughout and also consider washing your clothes and hair once inside to rinse out any irritants that may stick to you. And your pets? Wash their paws, too.

 

Don’t let allergies ruin your summer plans.

Ready to travel open suitcase with summer equipment isolated

Be sure to pack items to help prevent and treat allergy symptoms you might encounter during summer vacation.

Before you head out for your summer vacation, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared and protected from any allergy flare-ups and other symptoms that can make you miserable.

Few anticipate feeling lousy while on vacation or a business trip. Arming yourself is easy and you’ll be glad you are prepared. Traveling with kids? Ditto x 10.

  • Don’t leave home without it: Travelers should consider the “blooming” seasons of your destinations when making plans. Be sure to pack items that will help with relief: tissues, nasal irrigation, laundry soap to wash clothes that get particles trapped in the weave, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Give me moisture: The dry air in-flight or visits to high altitudes can leave nasal passages parched and irritated. Swollen sinuses can cause additional discomfort due to the change in pressure during takeoff and landing. A couple of sprays of an herbal enhanced nasal spray will soothe and moisturize your nose making it easier to breath.
  • Sunlight symptoms: Some people are allergic to sunlight which can cause itchy, uncomfortable rashes. In some cases, this allergy can develop over time or can be hereditary. Medical experts suggest avoiding the sun or wear sun-protective clothing if you do go outside. Keep moisturizer and creams with corticosteroids handy. If the skin reactions are severe, be sure to visit a medical professional.

Then there are those things that can cause allergic reactions that you may not recognize. Being allergic to chlorine is not uncommon. Also, some of the fruits that are in season may share similar proteins as the weeds and grasses that trigger your seasonal allergies.

All this doesn’t mean you should only plan “Staycations,” but be aware and prepared so you can enjoy your summer adventure.

 

The Air is Dry…so why is My Nose Running?

A comment to a recent blog post about distinguishing between a cold and allergies got us thinking.

During the winter months, people sometimes experience a runny nose. It could be due to extreme cold or from being inside in the heat. You might also experience in a dry environment such as in arid climate or on an airplane.

Why does this happen? We asked our resident expert, Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD, FAANP and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center.

airplane travel, nasal spray, nasal irrigation, saline spray, herbal-enhanced, dehydrated,

Being in a dry or very cold environment can cause your nose to run.

Neuzil says it’s a defense mechanism of sorts:

“It’s a compensatory response by the body in response to the dry air,” said Neuzil. “The purpose of the nose in essence is a filter. It filters out dirt, pollen and other contaminants it also moisture and heat to the air before getting to the lungs.

Basically, the nose is producing increased fluid to do what it was designed to do.

“If you notice many times a person’s nose will drain excessively during cold weather. For the most part, it’s clear and can be very excessive. When a nose becomes too dry it can become very congested as well so the nose will make extra moisture to compensate.”

One way to counter the excessive moisture is to add some to your sinuses. A moisturizing saline spray can give your nose a little extra fluid to keep it healthy while potentially avoiding an “overflow.”

Coincidentally, Neuzil developed an herbal-enhanced, non-medicate nasal spray. Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator nasal cleansing spray essential oils have natural moisturizing properties that help keep nasal passages healthy.

 

Saline Sprays Help Children with Sniffles

The cold and flu season is really kicking into high gear. Coughs and sniffles are likely unwelcome guests in your home, especially if you have children in school or day care.  Runny noses, uncovered coughs and sneezes, and unwashed hands are invitations to get sick.

Because colds are the result of a virus, there’s no cure. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, antibiotics may used to combat some symptoms but caution against giving medication to children under two years old.

saline nasal spray, irritated sinuses,

A saline nasal spray can help soothe irritated sinuses in children without concern about side effects from medicine.

Children who are suffering from nasal congestion should clean the nasal passages using a saline rinse. A neti pot or similar sinus rinses can be effective although possibly messy and unpleasant for a youngster.

A saline nasal spray can be very effective and you can find products that have essential oils added to make the treatment more pleasant while moisturizing nasal passages.  The additional moisture will help preserve the natural protectants in your child’s nose.

Show your child how to safely and carefully insert the nasal spray bottle into her nose and to distribute the spray effectively.  Make sure she uses a tissue to wipe her nose afterwards and, of course, wash hands afterwards.

Non-medicated nasal saline sprays can be used frequently throughout the day to provide relief but consult with your pediatrician about how often it can be used.

Why am I sneezing during Christmas?

We look forward to the holidays for so many reasons: the smell of a Christmas tree, a warm, cozy fire and delicious food to name a few.

For some allergy sufferers, these aromatic symbols of the season can actually make you say “ahchoo” instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho.”

  • According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, many people experience sniffling,
    Christmas tree allergies, mold, conifer trees, fragrance allergies, sniffles, sneezing

    Mold spores may be the other “gifts” found under your Christmas tree.

    itchy eyes and nose, and shortness of breath due to a Christmas tree allergy. That’s because some conifer trees carry mold spores that trigger allergic reactions or even asthma. Experts recommend putting the tree in the garage or an enclosed porch for several days until it dries. Give it a good shake outside before bringing it in to decorate.

  • Some will artificial sprays and candles to enhance holiday fragrances. But those strong smells can also trigger sneezing and sniffles so you might want to tone them down a little, especially if your holiday guests seem uncomfortable.
  • Many people may not realize that smoke from a fireplace or wood-burning stove is air pollution. The tiny smoke particles which are inhaled may cause coughing and congestion and can even affect your lungs.
  • Delicious holiday meals may be filled with certain foods that trigger allergies. Because a person may react with sniffles, sneezing and coughing after eating a meal, they may not realize they have food allergies.

Using an herbal-enhanced nasal spray before you are potentially exposed to the airborne irritants at a holiday party will even help protect your sinuses by moisturizing passages so that you can focus on holiday cheer instead of holiday achoo. If symptoms persist, consider seeking help from a medical professional.

 

Can I be having a Food Allergy?

 

Ah, the holidays!  Family… food… football… allergies!  That’s right.  The holiday season can be a dangerous time for people with food allergies – whether you are aware of the allergy or not.  And to compound the potential danger or discomfort, we tend to drop our guard during the holiday season festivities and, let’s be honest, eat things we wouldn’t normally eat in quantities we might not normally eat them.

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People with food allergies need to be careful about hidden foods on the holiday table.

Plus, who wants to insult the host by asking what the ingredients are in that holiday delicacy – even if it could put you or a loved one at risk?  The most common food allergies are egg, dairy, tree nut, peanut, soy, wheat and shellfish. By themselves, these ingredients can be very obvious.   But sometimes, they’re hidden in otherwise “safe” foods found at the holiday table.  So what exactly is a food allergy and how do you know if you have one?

Often times we think of a food allergy triggering something referred to as Anaphylaxis, a sudden and severe reaction involving two or more body systems. These symptoms can affect the skin (rash, hives, itching), the respiratory tract (tightness in the chest, wheezing or shortness of breath) or even gastrointestinal tract (stomach ache, pains or diarrhea). The symptoms may require a response by 911, emergency room evaluation and use of epinephrine.

What are some of the milder symptoms that you may experience? Some of the more common “healthy” food allergies are to peanuts, bananas, milk and strawberries. If you notice that after eating or drinking you experience any negative symptoms, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, a quick accumulation of mucus in the throat or a post nasal drainage, you can suspect a food allergy. You may notice an itching of your skin with or without a rash.

Difficulty breathing, symptoms of asthma or even shortness of breath may be triggered by a food allergy. Food allergies can trigger stomach aches or pains with or without diarrhea which may cause people to think that it’s more of an irritable bowel disease. It’s important to note that Irritable Bowel Disease may become worse with food allergies and people with Irritable Bowel Disease may benefit form an allergy evaluation.

If you experience, these symptoms, you should contact your medical practitioner. And in case you were wondering, yes, you can grow into or out of food allergies and the danger or severity of reaction can also change over time.

 

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