Posts Tagged ‘high altitude symptoms’

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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The Air is Dry…so why is My Nose Running?

A comment to a recent blog post about distinguishing between a cold and allergies got us thinking.

During the winter months, people sometimes experience a runny nose. It could be due to extreme cold or from being inside in the heat. You might also experience in a dry environment such as in arid climate or on an airplane.

Why does this happen? We asked our resident expert, Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD, FAANP and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center.

airplane travel, nasal spray, nasal irrigation, saline spray, herbal-enhanced, dehydrated,

Being in a dry or very cold environment can cause your nose to run.

Neuzil says it’s a defense mechanism of sorts:

“It’s a compensatory response by the body in response to the dry air,” said Neuzil. “The purpose of the nose in essence is a filter. It filters out dirt, pollen and other contaminants it also moisture and heat to the air before getting to the lungs.

Basically, the nose is producing increased fluid to do what it was designed to do.

“If you notice many times a person’s nose will drain excessively during cold weather. For the most part, it’s clear and can be very excessive. When a nose becomes too dry it can become very congested as well so the nose will make extra moisture to compensate.”

One way to counter the excessive moisture is to add some to your sinuses. A moisturizing saline spray can give your nose a little extra fluid to keep it healthy while potentially avoiding an “overflow.”

Coincidentally, Neuzil developed an herbal-enhanced, non-medicate nasal spray. Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator nasal cleansing spray essential oils have natural moisturizing properties that help keep nasal passages healthy.

 

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.

 

Rocky Mountain High, Dry and Uncomfortable

 

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Our family has just returned from a fabulous vacation to Colorado where we spent a few days in the Rocky Mountains.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and we certainly took advantage of all the area has to offer.

I’ve visited that region before but this vacation was noticeably better because I was better prepared on this trip.

Living in Florida year-round means that I’m especially susceptible to the symptoms that come with being at a high altitude.  It takes a day or so to acclimate to the seemingly lack of oxygen once you’re there. It was unnerving our first day there because it seemed as though I was always gasping for air.

The other condition that comes with the territory is the potential for sinus problems because of the high, dry environment. These include sinus pressure, congestion and bloody noses and are caused by the combination of elevation, colder weather and low humidity. Overall, your body loses water in the high elevations and you become easily dehydrated.

Knowing all of that, I packed appropriately on this trip and definitely noticed a difference:

1)      We packed reusable, plastic (BPA free) water bottles that we refilled every day and took with us wherever we went so we could always hydrate.

2)      I brought my bottle of herbal-enhanced nasal cleansing spray which rinsed out pollutants while moisturizing my nasal passages.  My spray has natural essential oils which help soothe my irritated sinus passages.  It’s not medicated so I didn’t have to worry about the side effects that come with using a decongestant and it’s easier and more convenient to use than a Neti Pot or sinus rinse

3)      Two or three times a day, after rinsing with the saline spray, I applied eucalyptol oil inside my nostrils. Our ENT had given us the bottle to try. That provided extra moisture for my nose.

I still experienced some sinus comfort, ironically, on the day we headed back to Denver (a lower elevation).  My nose was congested, itchy and bloody. I had to rinse and blow my nose a few times before feeling better. Again, the eucalyptol oil helped a lot to keep my nose moist for longer periods.

This trip was a good reminder to try to think ahead when traveling and do your research so you know what to pack. Being as prepared as we were helped ensure that we stayed healthy and could maximize enjoyment.