Archive for the ‘saline spray’ Category

Sniffle insurance for uninterrupted summer travel.

Surely you’ve experienced this.

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.

You’ve been anticipating a getaway. The time has arrived. Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. Then something happens that can ruin your trip. You’re sneezing, eyes are itchy, and sinuses are clogged.

You are allergic to your dream destination.

Pollen, dust, mold spores, air pollution, etc. all cause nasal irritation, making you miserable. You run to a drugstore to get allergy medicine; but that may make you drowsy or feel out of it.

It’s no way to sight-see.

Removing irritants that cause discomfort can provide relief. Nasal irrigation – as gross as it sounds – is a long-used, effective therapy.

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 really 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. Its essential oils will help open you up, too, relieving pressure.
  • Flying Petri dish prophylactics:  Your nose has natural protectants which help fight airborne bacteria and germs. When nasal passages are dried out, as when you’re on an airplane, those natural protectants don’t work as well. By moisturizing nasal passages, you can help ward off the germs your fellow passengers brought on board with them. Saline nasal sprays can help. Also, drink lots of water, bring a mask to wear, and antiseptic wipes for surfaces you’ll touch.

 

How are you treating Allergic Rhinitis?

nasal spray, nasal spray addiction, saline rinse, sinus rinse, allergy spray, The first step to manage this condition is to avoid allergens that cause symptoms. For instance, if you are allergic to dust mites, it is important to take steps to prevent exposure to dust mites, such as frequently washing bed linens in hot water. The same is true for outdoor allergens. Limiting your exposure during times of high pollen and mold counts may help reduce symptoms.

Nasal corticosteroid sprays (i.e. Flonase® or Nasonex®) treat inflammation and reduce all symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including itching, sneezing, runny nose and stuffiness. Antihistamines (i.e. Benadryl®) in the form of liquid, pills or nasal sprays block histamine and may relieve itching, sneezing and runny nose. But they may not be as effective in reducing nasal stuffiness. Anti-leukotrienes (i.e. Singulair® or Accolate®) in pill form can also reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Decongestant pills or nasal sprays can be used as needed if nasal stuffiness is not relieved with other medications. Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for long periods of time because they can cause your congestion to return and worsen. In fact a new website, www.NoseSprayAddiction.com has helpful information for people who have become addicted to certain medicated nasal sprays.

Consider another alternative. Saline sinus rinses can bring relief to patients with chronic sinus or rhinitis problems without the use of medication.

If you suffer from chronic or acute sinus infections, sinus rinses can be helpful in removing and thinning out excessive mucus. If you have allergic rhinitis, these rinses can bring relief by removing allergens from the nostrils and sinuses.

Your medical practitioner may recommend allergy testing and if appropriate allergy shots if your symptoms are constant, if you do not want to take medications or feel that they are not enough, or if you want long-term control of your allergies with less need for medications. This treatment involves allergy testing to determine your allergic triggers and receiving injections periodically—as determined by your practitioner—over a period of three to five years.

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.”

 

 

 

2013 Resolution? Get Better Sleep.

snoring, sleep apnea, trouble sleeping, sinus passages, saline nasal spray, nasal obstructions, A column in today’s newspaper cited several local community leaders who shared their New Year’s resolution plans. Surprisingly, many said they will try to get a better night’s sleep in addition to the usual “lose weight and exercise more.”

There is no disputing the health benefits of getting enough sleep. What many may not know is how one’s weight and health can influence how you sleep.

According to Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida, sinus obstructions can make it difficult to breathe at night whether caused by colds, allergies, and other nasal obstructions.

“When you have to breathe through your mouth while sleeping, it prevents your nose from filtering and moistening the air you breathe which can lead to sleep disturbance,” said Neuzil. In addition to infections or allergies which cause nasal blockage, excess weight can be a factor.

“The extra weight crowds your airway and interrupts the flow of air,” explains Neuzil. “In some extreme cases, it can result in pauses in breathing called ‘apnea’ and can lead to many other health problems.”

If you are sick, have allergies or suffer from other factors which affect breathing, the potential for sleep disturbance intensifies.

Neuzil’s encourages adding the following to your 2013 resolutions to help reach the goal of more restful sleep:

  • Avoid exposure to allergic triggers which means keeping pets out of your bedroom, washing bedding regularly to get rid of dust mites and staying inside when pollen peaks.
  • Use an herbal-enhanced saline nasal spray before bed to help soothe and moisturize your nasal passages. The spray will also open up your sinuses so that you are more likely to breathe through your nose, as intended, instead of your mouth.
  • Make lifestyle changes so that you eat healthier, stay active and lose weight.
  • If sleep disturbances continue, see a practitioner to address any medical issues which could be contributing to your problems.

 

 

Help for Holiday Allergies

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

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

You may be miserable this holiday season but not necessarily because of stress or visiting family.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, many people experience sniffling, itchy eyes and nose, and shortness of breath due to a Christmas tree allergy.

Some Conifer trees carry mold spores that trigger allergic reactions or even asthma.

If you and your family prefer a real tree over an artificial one, then try 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.

For many, it is a post-holiday annual tradition to store away holiday decorations. Wipe everything thoroughly as you unpack items from storage before displaying the decorations in your home so dust won’t irritate your sinuses.

We traditionally associate certain fragrances with the holidays and will use artificial sprays and candles to contribute to the holiday spirit. 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.

Of course, eliminating exposure to these potential triggers is the best way to avoid allergic reactions, but that’s not very festive. A good saline rinse used after the exposure to airborne pollutants will help get rid of the irritants in your nose.

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.

Sorting Out Saline

A staple for the medicine cabinet during the holiday season (or even year round) should be  a saline spray to help with any sinus issues related to congestion and irritation due to colds, allergies, inhaled pollutants or a chronic nasal condition.

Saline solution is a sterile mix of salt and water. But did you know there are different types of saline? Which one is best to use?

First, it is important to know that salt or sodium is very important for normal nerve and muscle function and is required to maintain normal fluid balance in and around the body’s cells. When sodium levels become too high or too low, it can cause imbalance which may lead to disease.

Isotonic or normal saline is the main saline used intravenously because it has the same salinity or level of salt as bodily fluids. It closely mirrors the sodium that is in the body’s cells and is also used in some nasal sprays to relieve sinus congestion and pressure.

Hypertonic saline has higher salt levels than normal bodily fluids. It may be used intravenously to treat spider and varicose veins because the additional salt causes blood cells to shrink. It may also be used to treat people with edema or cystic fibrosis. Some nasal sprays have hyertonic saline because it is thought to reduce swelling of the mucous membranes.

Hypotonic saline solution has less salt than normal body fluids and is used to treat infections, often intravenously.

There are other saline solutions—Ringer Gleichenberger and Ems̶ that contain additives and are often used as nasal sprays and washes.

For some people, a hypertonic solution will more likely dry out nasal passages when used as a rinse, whereas the isotonic solution helps restore moisture.

It’s best to consult with your medical practitioner if you have a chronic sinus condition to know which type of saline is best to use for nasal therapy.

Sniffling and sneezing? You might blame your parents.

Do your sinuses flare up at the slightest exposure to pollen, dust or mold spores? It is likely due to an allergic reaction where the human immune system overreacts to a foreign substance that is eaten, inhaled, injected or touched.

The immune reaction may cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and a scratchy throat. In severe cases, inhaling these allergens can cause asthma attacks, difficulty breathing or worse.

If this diagnosis is familiar to you, there is a good possibility that one or both of your parents share the same problem.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies have a genetic component. In fact, if only one parent has allergies of any type, the likelihood of each child having an allergy is 1 in 3.  If both parents have allergies, the likelihood of the children having the allergies increases to 7 in 10.

“If your allergies are severe,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, MSN, PhD and founder of Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator nasal cleansing spray. “Then you’ll want to visit your medical practitioner and try to determine what allergens prompt your discomfort. Once you find out, it will be important to try to avoid exposure to those pollutants as much as possible.”

allergies, sneezing, saline spray, non-medicated, snifflesWhat is that old saying? “A family that sticks together, sniffles together?”

To Blow or Not to Blow

Recently, while attending a religious service, I sat next to a young woman who was really congested. She was seriously sniffing every 20 seconds. I felt bad for her discomfort while hoping whatever she had didn’t get passed on to me.

 After a little while, I offered her the travel pack of tissues that I always carry. She was grateful and took them. I was taken aback, though, when she didn’t use them. Huh?congestion, cilia, saline nasal rinse, blow nose, mucous, sinuses, nasal congestion, mouth breathing, sniffles

 I can certainly understand not want to disrupt those around you by blowing your nose but she seemed miserable.

It made me wonder how humans even came up with the notion of blowing ones nose and is it really good for you.

The truth is that ignoring nasal symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, runny nose or thick nasal discharge can lead to other problems:

  •  Nasal congestion reduces the sense of smell.
  • When you can’t breathe through your nose, you resort to mouth breathing which can increase the risk of mouth and throat infections. Mouth breathing also pulls all the pollution and airborne germs directly into the lungs.
  • Breathing cold dry air into the lungs will make secretions thick, slows the cleaning cilia as well as the passage of oxygen into the blood stream.

So, yes, blowing your nose is important but there is a right and wrong way to do it.  If you blow too hard, you’ll cause pressure and some mucus to build up in the sinus cavities. That may lead to further infection.

According to experts, the proper method is to blow one nostril at a time, gently. You should also use a saline nasal rinse to remove excess mucous.

If the congestion lingers for a long time or develops into something more, that’s the time to visit your medical practitioner for a consult.

 

 

The Annual Ragweed Ritual

itchy eyes, sneezing, allergy season, ragweed season, Ed Neuzil, sinus rinse, saline spray, natural allergy reliefThe headlines are probably telling you what you already know. The fall ragweed season is upon us and it is likely to be worse than previous years.

Symptoms may include itchy eyes and nose, a scratchy throat, frequent sneezing, maybe a cough and just feeling yucky.

Visit your local drug store and you’ll see they’ve stocked the shelves with antihistamines, a variety of saline sprays and more to help you get relief.

According to Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida, people who suffer to the point that the pollen is affecting their quality of life and the symptoms appear consistently each allergy season, then they should meet with a medical professional to determine the best plan of action.

But Neuzil also advises taking precautionary steps to avoid symptoms. It can be as simple as:

  1. Keep your windows and doors close so that the airborne pollutants don’t come inside.
  2. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, remove your clothing, wash your face and even wash your hair to get rid of any pollen that may have gotten on you.
  3. Install HEPA filters in your home. They’ll do a better job of filtering out pollen and can be found at most home improvement stores.
  4. Rinse your nose! Seriously. It’s the same as washing out anything else that has trapped dirt and other pollutants.

Some opt for using the ancient saline rinsing system called the “Neti Pot.” This natural therapy involves making a saline concoction that is poured through the nose and helps rinse out nasal passages.

Recent cases of people getting very ill from bacteria in the water got lots of media play.  So doctors recommend that you use distilled water if this is your therapy of choice.

Still, Neuzil cautions Neti Pot and saline rinse users that the simple saline alone can lead to other sinus problems if used too much and he suggests you consult with a practitioner if you use them frequently.

There are other methods, however. In fact, Neuzil developed a non-medicated saline nasal spray that is enhanced with essential oils which help moisturize nasal passages.

Whatever your allergy therapy of choice, it’s important that you don’t try to suffer through season without getting appropriate relief.