Archive for May, 2014

Natural ways to Open Up Sinuses

The sun is bright and weather is warm but still people are suffering with sniffles and nasal congestion due to the so called “pollen vortex.”

essential_oilsThe congestion, caused by swelling of nasal tissue that has been irritated by pollen, dust, mold and other allergens, can be extremely uncomfortable.

Doctors recommend clearing the nasal passages of irritants and to help decrease nasal congestion.  This is best done with some sort of a normal saline formulation which can be purchased in pharmacies or natural health stores. Using too much salt can cause an excessive dryness to the nasal tissue and possibly increasing the risk of nasal bleeding, too little can cause the water to be absorbed and increasing congestion. That is why a normal saline mix is preferred.

Certain essential oils can be nose openers. Think about the vapor rub that your mom put on your chest when you sick as a child. Menthol or eucalyptol essential oils can be effective at opening nasal passages and leaving you feeling refreshed.

In previous times, put a few drops of eucalyptol or menthol essential oil in a bowl of hot water and breathe in the vapors was a common practice, however the risk of burning to the face and eyes was a deterrent. Even better today is to try a saline spray that has essential oils added to it, such as Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator.

The oils have an additional benefit by moisturizing the nasal passages that may become “dried out” after using an over-the-counter decongestant or hypertonic nasal spray or nasal flush.

“A lack of moisture in your nose can cause other problems,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Central Florida. “Ideally, you want your nasal passages to be moist without having a runny nose.”




White House Report Impacts your Nose

A new White House report on climate change is not good news for your nose. The National Climate Assessment predicts an increase in “extreme weather conditions” due to global warning.

The “wild weather” predicted by top scientists and technical experts who have studied climate change over the last four years calculated impacts in regions across the United States that will contribute to environmental conditions that especially affect one’s sinuses.

In the Northeast, Southeast and Great Plains heavy rains are predicted. The extreme precipitation will likely cause flooding. The heavy rain is most concerning as it can create an ideal environment for mold growth. Mold spores are a common allergic trigger causing sinus discomfort.

Excessive heat and drought in the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains can lead to dry conditions (when it’s not raining) making it easier for dust and pollen to become airborne and inhaled.

Coastal areas are increasingly vulnerable to higher sea levels and storm surges and flooding which, again, could lead to mold problems if structures are impacted.

Allergy sufferers have been noticing extended seasons of discomfort as climate change has persisted over the past several years. According to scientists, it’s only going to get worse.