Posts Tagged ‘airborne irritants’

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.

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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.

 

 

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Common Holiday Allergies

christmas tree, tree pollen, allergies, sniffles.

The holidays can often be filled with allergic triggers that lead to sniffles.

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’s post-holiday annual tradition to store away holiday decorations. Be sure to wipe everything well 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. Good saline rinses used after exposure airborne pollutants will help get rid of the triggers 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.

Year-round Seasonal Allergy Prep

seasonal allergies, sinus conditions, pollen counts, nasal irrigationWe know it’s coming every year, sometimes even two or three times, yet allergy season always seems to catch us off guard.

If only there was a way to minimize the annoying symptoms of seasonal allergies without much thought.

According to one Central Florida medical practitioner, there is.

“We know the best way to avoid the itchy, runny nose and sneezing associated with allergies is to avoid the irritants that cause them,” said Ed Neuzil, PhD, MSN, ARNP-BC, FAANP. “Because the likelihood of inhaling pollen, mold spores and dust in the spring and fall increases when certain offending plants bloom, cleaning out our nasal passages regularly can make a difference.”

Neuzil recommends that his patients use a non-medicated saline-based formula every day, throughout the year to keep nasal passages clean and healthy. He even developed an herbal-enhanced solution that helps to moisturize and soothe sinuses.

“It’s just like brushing your teeth every day for good hygiene and dental health,” notes Neuzil.  “Once you get in the habit of doing it every day, you don’t even think about it and it can absolutely make a difference.”

When the pollen levels are peaking, some people may need to resort to using medication to help with congestion but using the herbal enhanced saline spray in conjunction can even maximize the effectiveness of the medication because you’re getting rid of the allergic triggers.

“It’s important to know that over-the-counter allergy medications and sprays are meant to be used temporarily for maybe three or four days,” says Neuzil. “If you overuse them, you run the risk of becoming addicted to the medication and they can even do more harm than good.”

If your symptoms do persist, Neuzil recommends seeing a medical practitioner to determine whether you need allergy testing or other types of nasal therapy.

 

 

 

 

Rinsing the Right Way

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Using a sterile saline nasal spray is a safe, effective way to rinse nasal passages of irritants that can cause sniffles, sneezing, and discomfort.

As the ragweed season intensifies across the nation, many allergy sufferers turn to an often recommended approach to avoiding the symptoms by rinsing their nasal passages.

Eliminating pollen, dust, pet dander or any other allergic trigger from your sinuses can be the best way to avoid itchy nose and eyes, sneezing and sinus congestion and pressure often associated with seasonal allergies.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration issued a consumer alert about Neti Pots and sinus rinse kits that people use to clean out their nasal passages. The therapy works by filling the containers with saline and then pouring the water through the sinuses to get rid of pollutants.

The FDA’s is concerned about the potential for harmful bacteria to develop when people use non-filtered tap water or do not clean the containers effectively. Additionally, the FDA warns that some manufacturer instructions provide misleading or contradictory guidelines for using their products.

Medical practitioners like Ed Neuzil, PhD, MSN, ARNP-BC, FAANP and owner of an allergy, asthma and sinus practice in Central Florida often recommends nasal therapy for his patients but he is worried about suggesting the traditional sinus rinses.

“The reports of two recent deaths due to patients who used contaminated water in their sinus rinse containers is certainly concerning,” said Neuzil. “I’m hesitant to suggest these methods because of the potential risk. But I’ve also had much resistance from patients who don’t like the mess, discomfort and amount of time it takes to use the Neti Pot.”

Neuzil developed an easy-to-use, safe alternative to the traditional nasal therapy tools: an herbal-enhanced nasal cleansing spray that is made with a sterile saline-based solution with natural essential oils.

“There are so many potential risk factors with people mixing their own nasal rinse solutions,” said Neuzil. “Making the process convenient and safe is likely to encourage more allergy sufferers to be compliant with nasal therapy which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for them.”

Summer travel in your future? Protect your nose from dry air inflight

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

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.

flight.

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.

 

Building Up Allergies

The news that one of Norway’s Olympic athletes dropped out of competition due to allergies caught our attention.  We wouldn’t have expected that a man who spends his days on the ski slopes would be suddenly stricken with symptoms at what is now the most famous venue for his sport.

But Aksel Lund Svindal says he began to not feel well after arriving in Sochi and attributed it to a “dust” in the air. Doctor-prescribed allergy medicine to help Svindal also affected his performance.

 Prior to the Games’ start, the news media chattered about the Russians push to get host city Sochi ready for an influx of visitors. In fact, some journalists who arrived a few days before reported construction crews still working day and night to get new hotels and venues ready.construction, dust, allergies, chemicals, mold, Sochi, Olympics

 Construction can be a significant source of allergic triggers because it stirs up all sorts of pollutants including dust, mold spores and even chemicals that are used in the building process.

The fine, airborne particles can get into air ducts, on your shoes and clothes, and travel through open windows exposing people to triggers that can cause sinus discomfort and irritated eyes.

“Symptoms may include wheezing, sneezing, a runny nose and sore throat,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida. “For constructions workers, it’s a real problem that can be remedied somewhat by wearing face masks while working and removing clothing and showering thoroughly after work.”

The same tactics should apply if you are near ongoing construction work. Neuzil suggests carrying a saline spray with you at all times so you can discreetly rinse nasal passages of any irritants you’ve inhaled. He created an herbal-enhanced nasal spray called Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator which had natural essential oils that will also moisturize nasal passages while rinsing.

“It’s a good idea to have a saline spray with you wherever you go,” advises Neuzil. “Especially when traveling, it’s possible you’ll pass another city’s construction sites and expose yourself to a cloud of irritants.”

If rinsing doesn’t help, Neuzil recommends trying over-the-counter antihistamines to reduce symptoms; but should they persist, visit your medical practitioner for further assessment and suggestions on relief.

 

Soothing Sore Throats Caused by Allergies

Here in Florida, we are experiencing Chamber of Commerce weather with mild temperatures during the day and cooler at night, low humidity and little rain.

Some of us are actually giddy about what seems like a dramatic meteorological change for the better, until the suffering begins.

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These pretty flowers, called Ragweed, can produce one billion pollen particles every day.

The ragweed season is already in full bloom in Florida due to our warmer temperatures; plus, fall usually brings an increase in mold spores after the warm, rainy summer.

While sniffling and sneezing are common symptoms of allergies, some sufferers experience throat irritation that can be painful and may feel like strep. There may not be other symptoms associated with this allergic outbreak, but it can be just as debilitating as the viral infection.

The main culprit in an allergy-induced sore throat is postnasal drip caused when sinus drainage flows down the throat triggering frequent episodes of throat clearing.  The increased drainage may be triggered from exposure to airborne allergens which, when inhaled, can cause a scratchy, raw feeling in the throat.

The most important thing to do when you start to experience symptoms is to remove yourself from the irritants as much as possible. Recognizing that it can be a difficult thing to do, Frances “Ed” Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida recommends other tactics for relief:

  • Use a saline based nasal spray to clean your nasal passages of the allergens and irritants that may be trapped in your sinuses.
  • Avoid dairy products at this time as they may have a tendency to thicken the nasal drainage.
  • Avoid hot or spicy foods as well as food higher in acid content such as fruits and tomato products.
  • Gargle with an antiseptic throat gargle; and, for irritation, an over the counter throat spray (check with your pharmacist for assistance) may reduce the painful irritated feeling.

While not dangerous or contagious, the allergy symptoms can be enough to keep someone home from school or work. Neuzil recommends seeing your medical practitioner if symptoms persist.