Allergy Season is Here! Don’t Suffer
Got Allergy? Don’t Get a Sinus Infection Too!
Every spring when the trees bloom, Jane sneezes, her nose runs, her eyes are red and her throat itches. Every year Jane intends to get shots to prevent her symptoms, but by the time she gets around to it, it is too late for the shots do much good. So, she manages with pills and expensive nose sprays. The doctors keep prescribing the latest sprays which are not covered by her insurance.
But, when the tree season ends, that is when Jane’s troubles get worse. Now her nose stays plugged, she aches all over, her head hurts, she can’t sleep, and she is so fatigued she misses work. Then the doctor prescribes six weeks of antibiotic and finally her sinus infection improves. But Jane could have prevented that sinus infection.
Allergy doesn’t cause sinus disease, yet many persons get a sinus infection when they have allergy either seasonal or perennial (have it all year round).
What is important is that
a. you can help the allergy symptoms
b you can prevent the sinus infection that follows.
For example during the oak tree season you sneeze, your eyes run and your nose stays stuffy. You go on http://www.pollen.com and they announce that the oak tree pollen season is over, the pollen count is very low. Yet, despite Allegra and Astelin Nasal spray, your nose is clogged, your cheeks ache, and you feel poorly. Then the doctor tells you that you have a sinus infection and puts you on an antibiotic.
What happened? Why get a PREVENTABLE sinus infection?
Several things cause a sinus infection after allergy season ends.
The nose is swollen and the sinus cavities are blocked. When the sinus cavities are blocked, bacteria are trapped inside and the body can’t eject them, so they multiply.
Your nasal cilia are tired and don’t move well. Normally your nasal cilia beat to remove bacteria, dust and pollen. When the cilia fail to move the bacteria out of the nose and sinuses, they remain there and multiply and you get a sinus infection. On the other hand, at the beginning of an allergy attack, the cilia speed up to remove the pollen. That is when your nose drips copiously and you need the Kleenex tissues. But after a while, the cilia wear out and quit doing their job, allowing bacteria to multiply.
Your resistance is lowered. After sleepless nights and constant stuffiness your natural immune system is lowered. On day 5 of the allergy, for example, your immune system was perfectly capable of handling invading bacteria, but not on day 24.
Perhaps most important, with poor sleep your defense is reduced. Remember, the best way to fight an infection is to get plenty of bed rest.
First, let’s handle the allergy problem.
Avoidance. Use your pollen watch to tell you when to stay out on the ocean in your yacht. When you drive, keep car windows closed. When you get home, your clothes have the pollen on them, so change clothing.
Avoid ice drinks. Before you get out of bed, drink lots of hot tea, lemon and honey. This warms the body and avoids the AM sneezing. With allergy you sneeze because your body thermostat is “crooked.” Instead of warming up in the morning normally, you sneeze and hack which does warm you up, but is bad for your allergy. Similarly, avoid getting chilled during the day. With allergy, you react to temperature change by sneezing and hacking. This makes the allergy worse. Carry a windbreaker with you to avoid getting chilled.
Which allergy pill is best? Unfortunately you have to try them all to see which is best for you. Zyrtec? Claritin? The advantage of Benadryl is that it also makes you sleepy, so if is ideal for allergy to help you sleep.
Does the cortisone spray work for you ? Flonase? Nasocort? Better find out which one is covered by your insurance.
The newer allergy nasal sprays such as Astelin or Astepro helps many allergic patients. These require a prescription.
Whether your allergy is due to tree or grass, you still need to dustproof your bedroom. Allergy is like arithmetic-dust + pollen,+ spicy foods, + poor sleep =symptoms. If you reduce the dust, you may not have symptoms.
There is a whole new science called psychoneuroimmunology which essentially shows that relaxation helps your immunity and anxiety makes it worse. Try to reduce your anxiety level.
To repeat, the allergy is not so bad if you avoid ending up with a sinus disease. Avoid that sinus infection:
a. Get those lazy cilia moving
b. Lower your bacterial count
c. Open the sinus cavities
d. Improve your immune factors
e. Only blow your nose GENTLY
Several things stimulate nasal cilia.
Tea Lemon and Honey. Green or Black.
Humming-low tone “oooommmm.”
Jump rope and jumping jacks.
The tea can be with or without caffeine. We are speaking of HUGE amounts- so much that your urine turns light. The humming should be done as much as possible.
Pulsatile irrigation with a warm saline solution has the advantage of pulsing in a manner so that the wave action moves the nasal cilia back and forth at a frequency designed to “harmoniously” get them back to moving naturally. Another advantage is that this action displaces material out of the sinus cavities and thereby lowers the bacterial count. In my practice, I have the patients add four teaspoons of Xylitol-the sweetener that diabetic persons use-to the 500 cc mark on the Hydro Pulse™ basin with one packet of Breathe.ease Xl for a 2% Xylitol/Saline solution. Xylitol can’t be digested by the bacteria, therefore they are easily swept away by pulsatile irrigation.
Remember Jane? I have her watch her nasal symptoms and as soon as there is any hint of sinus infection, she immediately increases her tea, lemon and honey intake, uses the pulsatile irrigation with the 2% xylitol saline solution and avoids her sinus infection.
It is very important to remember that the fewer sinus infections you get the better for your overall health. For more allergy suggestions seehttp://www.drgrossan.com
For those unfamiliar with Xylitol,it is just a sugar that diabetics use. It is available at any health food store and the internet and costs about five dollars a pound. Using it in the nose has no systemic effect on the user, but is bad news for the bacteria.