Archive for February, 2013

Rinse for Runny Nose Relief

sniffles, sneezing, chronic sinus problems,  runny nose, nasal irrigationFor people who suffer with chronic sinus problems, this time of year is especially precarious.

The potential for a runny nose increases due to cold weather, exposure to colds and viruses as well as the spring pollen season beginning to flare up.

“Sinus problems are caused by a breakdown in the normal function of the nasal cavity which has a natural protective role in our bodies,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida. “The mucous lining of the nasal cavity helps protect against infection from viruses and bacteria. When the mucous is inadequate, sinus symptoms can result.”

Neuzil believes using a cleansing saline spray regularly can provide long-lasting relief and can help in the prevention of nasal symptoms.

“Every day rinsing the nasal passages of the pollutants that trigger discomfort can provide long-term relief for sinus sufferers,” said Neuzil. “Most people bathe everyday for good hygiene and health. Cleaning your sinuses with that same consistency can also lead to a decrease in symptoms and reduced need for decongestants while improving quality of life.”

Some medical providers recommend using a Neti Pot or sinus rinse to effectively rid the nose of pollutants. These methods involve mixing a saline solution and pouring it through your sinus passages to rinse out irritants.

However, many people find the practice messy, inconvenient and unpleasant. This detours them from cleaning their nose on a consistent basis.

“A non-medicated saline spray versus a rinse can be just as effective and better tolerated,” said Neuzil. “There are even nasal sprays available with natural additives which can complement the therapy by moisturizing nasal passages providing even more relief. The trick is committing to the practice on a daily basis to provide more long-term benefits.”




Creepy, Crawly Sneeze-Causers

allergy triggers, dust mites, asthma, indoor allergens

Dust mite allergens are the most common cause of allergy and asthma triggers.

It’s enough that cold and flu season is rampant; plus parts of the South are battling pollen blooms that trigger allergy attacks.

Your efforts to stay indoors and avoid exposure to the pollutants and germs that cause allergy symptoms might further exacerbate the potential for feeling badly.

As clean as you think your home is, you likely still have tiny producers of allergic triggers inside.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, dust mite allergens are the most common triggers of allergy and asthma symptoms. These microscopic creatures eat human skin and can live in all climates. It is their excrement and exoskeleton which contribute to humans’ sinus misery.

Controlling them is key to limiting exposure:

  • Encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in special allergen-proof fabrics and wash linens weekly in hot water.
  • Keep humidity low by using a dehumidifier or air conditioning.
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting harbors dust mites so consider area rugs which can be regularly washed.
  • People with allergies should use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Cockroach droppings contain an allergen which makes it the most prevalent trigger for asthma symptoms, especially affecting children living in densely populated, urban neighborhoods.

Be sure to keep food in lidded containers and clean up floors and counters after meals. Cockroaches need water so make sure any leaky faucets and pipes are sealed and block areas such as wall cracks, windows and crevices to prevent roaches from entering the home.

Scientists attribute a growing number of allergy cases to Asian Ladybugs which can be found infesting typically rural and suburban homes in the Midwest and along the East coast.

The Asian ladybugs release a foul-smelling liquid when threatened and the proteins in that fluid become airborne causing allergic symptoms in susceptible people such as allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, chronic cough and asthma.

Avoidance is the best preventative measure and includes ensuring gaps around windows and doors are sealed to prevent the ladybugs from entering the home. Also clean up any dead insects you may find to reduce the amount of insect proteins in the home. You may need to contact a pest control expert for help.

An allergist can help you identify which triggers are causing your itchy eyes and runny nose and can help you strategize on how to make your home a respite from allergies again.