Archive for December, 2013

Did you Plan for the Holidays?

The holidays are filled with plans. We make plans to shop for gifts, see friends and family, hopefully take time off from work and

Christmas tree allergies, mold, conifer trees, fragrance allergies, sniffles, sneezing

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

school and even anticipate how we’ll welcome in 2014.

But we often don’t consider how getting sick can ruin all of our plans. By taking preventative measures, a healthy, happy holiday season is more likely.

If travel is in your holiday forecast, you’ll want to pack items that help you stay healthy.

A saline spray helps moisturize your nasal passages when you’re on an airplane or experiencing cold temperatures. Moisturized sinuses can help support the natural germ filters in our noses. The saline spray will also rinse irritants from nasal passages which can contribute to congestion and itchy noses.

Anticipate your allergies.

Does a festive holiday setting make you sniffle? Some conifer trees carry mold spores that trigger allergic reactions or even asthma.  Additionally, dust can accumulate on ornaments that were stored during the year and, if not wiped well before being placed on the tree, can get airborne and into your nose.

Other holiday traditions such as a roaring fire in the fireplace and holiday parties can expose you to sinus troubles. Smoke from the fire can cause irritation for those who are allergic and can be especially concerning for people with asthma.

Since holiday parties often include getting dressed up, it’s not uncommon for party-goers to spray perfume or cologne, to which many people can be sensitive. Combine those aromas with scented candles added for a festive atmosphere and you have a recipe for seasonal sniffles.

Hopefully this doesn’t persuade you to stay at home in order to avoid the potential for not feeling well. Just being aware of these possible triggers which can lead to illness, and planning for them, will help ensure you holiday is merry, indeed.



The Rainbow in your Nose

To many, especially this time of year, the thought of mucus brings images of sniffles, sneezing, dirty tissues and fears of germs.

Made up of salt, cells, water and mucin, Mucus is a thick slimy, usually clear-colored fluid, which the body produces to lubricate and protect your nasal passages. An adult produces about four cups of mucus each day from the nose and sinus cavities alone.

Mucus is present in our bodies whether we are sick or healthy and actually has a beneficial role in our wellness:congestion, cilia, saline nasal rinse, blow nose, mucous, sinuses, nasal congestion, mouth breathing, sniffles
• It makes it easier to swallow by moistening food,
• Mucus moisturizes air when we inhale and lubricates nasal passages,
• It protects our lungs from harmful bacteria and helps get rid of foreign particles from the body.
Without a normal amount of mucus in our bodies, we wouldn’t function properly.

So how do you know what’s “normal?” A change in mucus color is usually a sign of a health problem or infection developing in the body.

White Mucus. Clear is good but any change to white or cloudy indicates a possible health problem. The whitish color may be caused from certain foods, such as dairy products, viral conditions or even GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).

Yellow Mucus maybe a sign that the body is fighting off a virus or sinus infection.

Green Mucus may indicate that a person has a bacterial type infection. Green mucus tends to be thick and can lead to nasal congestion, sinus pressure and headaches. In an effort to rid our bodies of the infection we’re programmed to produce more mucus when something is wrong. The extra mucus drips down the back of the throat triggering irritation and coughing. It’s a good idea to see your medical practitioner if green mucus persists so that an appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

Reddish Brown Mucus often occurs from an irritation to the sinus lining which causes it to become inflamed and bleed and appear brownish in color. Smoking and consuming a lot of alcoholic drinks can damage the lining and cause bleeding as well. Also, being in a sandy or highly-polluted environment can cause the mucus in your nose to become darker due to dirt particles that become trapped in the mucus when you inhale.

Excessive mucus can be a sign that something is going on. Typically, allergy sufferers will experience runny noses with clear mucus. Use of a nasal spray/rinse can help keep the nasal passages clear and moisturized and will result in an overall good healthy nose.