Allergies, Nasal and Sinus Conditions
A healthy nasal passageway filters, warms and humidifies the air we breathe making it much healthier for the bronchial tubes and lungs. Healthy nasal membranes serve as a first line of immune defense against airborne invaders such as allergens, bacteria, flu and other respiratory viruses. We need to have free and easy nasal breathing for comfortable and restorative sleep.
“Sinus” “Clogged nose” “Stuffy nose” “Post nasal drip” are common expressions people use to describe symptoms which usually involve nasal congestion, post nasal drip and pressure over the lower forehead and cheekbones. Some of these patients may have a sinus infection but all have inflammation of the membranes lining the nasal passageway. The medical term “rhinitis” is derived from the Latin (rhino = nose, “itis”= inflammation).
What is Rhinitis? Rhinitis: inflammation of the mucus membranes of the nasal passageway. Inflamed membranes become swollen causing nasal congestion. Activation of mucus glands produce excessive amounts of mucus which causes post nasal drip. The inflammation irritates the nerve endings within the nasal membranes triggering headaches and other troublesome reactions of the ears, eyes and throat.
“I’ll just live with it“. People who do not suffer with the condition have difficulty understanding the misery of the rhinitis patient. There are consequences for those who try to ignore the symptoms of rhinitis or rely on temporary treatments When symptoms of congestion, post nasal drainage, sinus pressure, cough and difficulty sleeping continue day after day, other parts of the body can be affected. For some who suffer with hronic rhinitis, the symptoms go beyond congestion and drainage eventually leading to chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, emotional irritability, even depression.
Chronic inflammation weakens this first line of defense which normally protects us from allergens, irritants, viruses and bacteria. The result? More colds, more sinus infections, more sensitivity to allergens and irritants and more misery for those who try to ignore the symptoms of Rhinitis.
What causes Rhinitis? Seasonal rhinitis is caused by airborne pollens which trigger nasal membrane inflammation in the allergic patient. The symptoms worsen during pollen season. Perennial rhinitis, also called chronic rhinitis, refers to conditions with symptoms persisting throughout the year. The first step in treating both types of rhinitis is to reduce symptoms (“put out the fire”). The second step is to identify the cause. Allergy skin testing can help identify an allergen cause. Sometimes, it is necessary to look beyond allergies to identify the factors causing nasal membrane inflammation. New research now suggests hidden rhinitis triggers that often go unnoticed.
The three pillars of treatment – symptom relief, healing and prevention. You will learn which medicines give quick relief. More importantly, you will learn to use medication to safely deactivate inflammation. As inflammation resolves, membranes can heal and strengthen. Whether you suffer with seasonal rhinitis or perennial rhinitis, our advice and encouragement is the same – “learn to listen to your body”, “spot treat flare-ups early” and “don’t settle for ‘just OK’, go for perfect”.
You are invited to join with us to find your way back to normal health. Reaching the goal of full control and prevention takes effort but brings rewards which are well worthwhile – symptom relief, prevention of flare-ups and freedom from the need for antibiotics and steroids.
For more information concerning our treatment of allergies, nasal conditions, or sinus pain, please call the Allergy & Respiratory Center at 330-479-3333.