Allergic Rhinitis Treatments: Over
Do you have mild allergic rhinitis — or symptoms that only strike for a few weeks a year? Then over-the-counter medicines may be enough. .
OTC treatments for allergic rhinitis include:
Steroid nasal sprays. These drugs work by reducing the swelling in the nasal passages. Doctors recommend this as your first choice for treatment because of effectiveness and simplicity of use. Many are available by prescription, and some — including budesonide , fluticasone propionate and triamcinolone acetonide — are available over the counter.
Antihistamines. These drugs work by blocking histamine, a chemical that causes many allergy symptoms. They help relieve itching and sneezing. Examples include cetirizine , fexofenadine , and . The antihistamines chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine are known to cause drowsiness. If your main problem is sneezing and itching, your doctor may recommend one of these, possibly also with other treatments, too.
. Though antihistamines can control many allergy symptoms, they donât relieve congestion. Thatâs where decongestants can come in. Some you take by mouth, and others are nasal sprays. They reduce swelling in the nasal passages, opening them up.
Don’t use nasal spray decongestants like naphazoline , oxymetazoline , or phenylephrine for more than three days at a time. If you use them for too long, they can make your symptoms worse. Doctors call that a rebound effect.
Three: Neti Pot Movements
Even though instructions vary by neti pot, the FDA divides neti pot movements into four clear steps. First, lean over your sink and tilt your head sideways, keeping your chin and forehead at the same level. Next, breathe gently with your mouth open and insert the neti pot spout in your upper nostril. This movement will cause the saline solution to drain out of your lower nostril. Then, gently clear your nostrils with a tissue to get rid of extra mucus and discharge. Lastly, repeat the steps above for the other side.
Get Treated For Your Sinusitis Or Sinus Infection At Allergy & Ent Associates
If you or someone in your family is struggling with always-uncomfortable sinus congestion, consider scheduling an appointment with Allergy & ENT Associates. Our experienced and compassionate ear, nose and throat experts provide exceptional diagnosis and treatment solutions. We would be happy to offer knowledgeable guidance on home remedies and treatments that may alleviate some symptoms and make life a bit more tolerable.
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What Is Nasal Rinsing
Nasal rinsing is a process of flushing your sinuses with a saline rinse. It can be helpful for many different sinus symptoms, including dryness, runny nose, allergies, cold, and sinus infections.
One of your noses primary functions is to filter air before it enters your lungs. The mucus lining your sinuses is vital to the filtration process. However, dryness and inflammation make it hard for mucus to drain, which leads to congestion and pressure.
Did you know that there are hair-like cilia in your nose that trap bacteria and particles? The cilia wave and pass particles to your throat. When you swallow them, they get destroyed by the acid in your stomach. However, when your mucus is too thick, the cilia arent able to move well. When bacteria and particles get trapped in your sinuses, you feel congested.
Nasal irrigation thins mucus and cleanses your nasal passages so that your cilia can function correctly. The saline solution used in a rinse also helps restore moisture in dry sinuses. If youre not sure whether nasal rinses are a suitable treatment for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Davis to discuss your symptoms and options.
Commercial And Homemade Rinses
Various nasal saline rinse kits are available commercially, including the Sinus Rinse brand, which contains pre-mixed salt packages.
Alternatively, a home-made salt-water mixture can be made and used in a Neti pot, squeeze bottle, or nasal bulb syringe.
Here is a saline sinus rinse recipe from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology :
To make your own saline, mix the following in a clean container:
- 3/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt, such as pickling or canning salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup warm water
Then, place the above mixture in a clean Neti pot or sinus rinse squeeze bottle, or draw up into a nasal bulb syringe.
While neti pots are typically considered safe, there were two deaths in the United States related to brain infection with the amoeba Naegleria fowleri from people who used tap water in Neti pots for nasal irrigation. This is why it’s critical to only use distilled or boiled water when performing nasal irrigation. Cleaning the device properly is also key to preventing contamination.
It is also not recommended to perform sinus rinses within at least 60 minutes prior to going to bed, as the saline will drain down the back of the throat, and could cause a cough.
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Safely Use Nasal Irrigation Devices
Second, make sure you follow instructions.
There are various ways to deliver saline to the nose. Nasal spray bottles deliver a fine mist and might be useful for moisturizing dry nasal passages. But irrigation devices are better at flushing the nose and clearing out mucus, allergens and bacteria, Mann says.
Information included with the irrigation device might give more specific instructions about its use and care. These devices all work in basically the same way:
- Leaning over a sink, tilt your head sideways with your forehead and chin roughly level to avoid liquid flowing into your mouth.
- Breathing through your open mouth, insert the spout of the saline-filled container into your upper nostril so that the liquid drains through the lower nostril.
- Clear your nostrils. Then repeat the procedure, tilting your head sideways, on the other side.
Sinus rinsing can remove dust, pollen and other debris, as well as help to loosen thick mucus. It can also help relieve nasal symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, colds and flu. Plain water can irritate your nose. The saline allows the water to pass through delicate nasal membranes with little or no burning or irritation.
And if your immune system isnt working properly, consult your health care provider before using any nasal irrigation systems.
To use and care for your device:
Talk with a health care provider or pharmacist if the instructions on your device do not clearly state how to use it or if you have any questions.
When To Use A Sinus Rinse
When should you use a sinus rinse? The truth is, everyone stands to benefit by using a sinus rinse — it just makes your nose healthier. It clears out pollutants, environmental allergens, and dried mucus. There are no drawbacks, and the health effects are proven and measurable.
Realistically, the best time for a sinus rinse is when you know you have a cold or a sinus infection. Done properly, a sinus rinse is a simple, naturopathic way to help the body heal without antibiotics.
Who stands to benefit most from a sinus rinse?
- People who suffer from recurrent sinus infections. Frequent sufferers of sinus infections should apply sinus rinses both when sick and healthy, to keep the sinus ossia open.
- People who are highly allergic, to keep allergies from building up in the nose. The longer allergens stay in the nose, the worse the nose will feel. Sinus rinses will help clear them out more often.
- Patients who get lots of colds.
- Patients who have had nasal surgery. Applying sinus rinses tends to improve results after surgery.
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Heed Your Allergy Symptoms
Despite the misery of allergies and their complications, many people donât take the symptoms very seriously.
They donât realize the impact that their allergies have on their lives, especially when added up over years and decades, says Leonard Bielory, MD, an allergy and immunology professor at Rutgers University.
They get used to the congestion, chronic sinus problems, and mouth breathing. They get used to disturbed sleep and fatigue. After a while, they just donât remember what life was like before allergies.
When symptoms get bad, they make do. They grab over-the-counter medicines at random at the drugstore. They make guesses at the cause of their allergies and try to avoid the things they think are their triggers. But they never actually get a diagnosis.
Thereâs a better way. Given the impact that nasal allergies can have on your life, you really need to get proper medical evaluation and treatment.
Do Nasal Sprays Treat Sinus Infection
Treating a sinus infection means unblocking and draining the sinuses. Corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Flonase and Nasacort are the best source for treatment because they help reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Its best to keep the nasal passages clear because nasal congestion can block the drainage of your middle ear space, causing an ear infection.
Most sinus infections can be treated with nasal sprays and antibiotics. Sometimes your doctors may add oral medications as well. If you have recurring sinus infections, you should see one of Allergist/Immunologists to see if you have allergies or if you have a defect in your immune system that is predisposing you to sinus infections. Your doctor may also want to do in-office imaging of your sinuses to see if you have a structural issue that is affecting your sinuses, leading to chronic sinusitis or recurrent sinusitis. In rare cases, you may need surgery to treat recurring sinus infections. One of our allergists will determine your course of treatment. If they determine you need surgery, they will recommend an experienced ENT specialist near you.
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Home Remedies For Pollen Allergies
The first step is to talk with your healthcare provider about getting tested to determine if, in fact, your allergy is caused by pollen and that it’s not something like a chemical sensitivity, Wright says. Every spring, millions of people seek out allergy relief through over-the-counter drugs without really knowing their diagnosis,” she says. “But weve seen firsthand how life-changing it can be when you finally know whats causing those problems with breathing, itching, rashes, or congestion.”
Do Determine What Triggers Your Symptoms
Knowing what you are allergic to may help you avoid these triggers. Do yousneeze whenever your cat cuddles up to you? Do your eyes water when you ventureoutdoors on a high-pollen-count day? Does a dusty environment make you feel allstuffed up?
You may have difficulty pinpointing your allergy triggers, but you must bepersistent. If you are completely mystified and uncertain of what causes yourallergy attacks, make an appointment with your physician. The doctor will askyou a series of questions, take your medical profile, and possibly order a skintest.
The most simple and minimally invasive test is a skin-prick test. Aminuscule amount of suspected allergen will be pricked onto an area of theskin. If you develop a reaction, such as redness, swelling, or itching, you areprobably allergic to that particular allergen.
Another type of allergy test is known as intradermal. With the intradermaltest, a fine needle is used to inject the trace of allergen into your skin.Your doctor may opt for this method if the skin-prick test is inconclusive.
Once you learn what causes your allergic reaction, you should do your bestto avoid the triggers. For instance, if ragweed or pollen is the culprit, tryto limit your time outdoors when the pollen count is high. Use your airconditioning with the windows closed, as this may help as well.
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How To Perform A Nasal Sinus Rinse
As Arizonas leading clinic for all things related to Ear, Nose and Throat, the providers at Sinus and Allergy Wellness Center recommend that their patients perform a sinus nasal rinse 1-2 times per day.
A sinus rinse is an easy process that you can do at home, in your bathroom or in the shower. It cleans out your nasal passageways and restores them to optimal performance. By restoring your nasal passages, you can prevent sinus infections.
During times like these with the coronavirus epidemic, its more important than ever to reduce your risk for sinus and upper respiratory infections. For this reason, Dr. Gergits even does a sinus rinse every morning and night!
As the leading provider in Arizona for sinus and nasal problems, Franklyn Gergits, DO, MBA, FAOCO, proudly offers state-of-the-art solutions, including balloon sinuplasty for chronic sinusitis. He was also the first doctor in Pennsylvania to perform the procedure. He understands the importance of optimal nasal health and provides personalized treatment plans for all of his patients which includes a sinus rinse that you can do at home.
A sinus rinse washes away mucous, dirt, pollen, and other allergens from your nose to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. Nasal rinses also improve breathing and increases the flow of mucous, allowing sinus passages to clear.
The Sinus Rinse can be safe and extremely effective, if you keep a few things in mind:
- Do it consistently
How Is Nasal Rinsing Beneficial
When you inhale, the mucus in your nose traps all sorts of undesirable particles from the air, like viruses, bacteria, allergens and pollutants, said Dr. Rakesh Chandra, a professor of otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Microscopic hairs in the nose then sweep those trapped particles, with the mucus, into the throat so they can be swallowed into the gut.
This filtering system generally works well, but sometimes, people react to that stuff thats getting caught up in the mucus, leading to inflammation that can cause symptoms like congestion, pressure and pain, Dr. Chandra said.
This is where nasal irrigations can be so helpful. One of their biggest functions is to sort of wash all that stuff out so that it doesnt collect in the sinus cavities and elicit those reactions, he added.
Nasal rinsing is also thought to thin the mucus and reduce swelling that can cause congestion, Dr. Patel said: Its like a sort of natural decongestant.
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Benefits Of Antihistamines For Allergies
Because antihistamines prevent the release of histamine, they dry up the excess fluids that lead to excessive tearing and a runny nose. Most antihistamines also include compounds that reduce the itching and irritation that can make your eyes feel as if they have sand in them. They inhibit the urge to sneeze and can also minimize irritation in the throat that leads to coughing.
Antihistamine medications should be taken once a day and will last for a full 24 hours. They have minimal side effects and can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. There are many different types of antihistamines on the market. The top four include:
- Zyrtec® – Zyrtec , comes in both pill form and liquid capsule. It’s used to treat upper respiratory allergies but is also effective for skin rashes and hives. It offers quick relief with few side effects or drug interactions.
- Claritin® – Claritin is a popular allergy medication because it can be taken safely by both adults and children. It comes in pill form and is used to treat seasonal allergies, skin rashes, and hives. It offers few side effects and can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription.
Remember that generics work just as well as brand-names. It’s important that you read labels carefully so you only by the products that address your particular symptoms. If you have questions, always speak to your doctor or a specialist before you buy a particular product.
Advice from the Sinus Surgeon himself :
Diy Sinus Rinse For Allergy Relief
Seasonal allergies flaring up? Gently rinsing your nasal passages with a saline solution helps to open up the nasal passages, clear out mucus and remove the pollen and other irritants causing all the problems in the first place. Performed with a neti pot or bulb syringe, sinus flushing has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine.
Want to give it a try? Our DIY Nasal Saline Rinse recipe makes for easy nasal irrigation.
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Analysis Of The Literature
In all, 10 original articles published from 1994 to 2010 were included in the closer analysis. They vary considerably with regard to study design, number of subjects, study duration, and in terms of the saline solutions used, mode of application, and the parameters assessed. Despite the heterogeneity of the studies involved, a congruent trend in the results could be established:
Benefits Of Nasal Steroid Sprays For Allergies
Saline nasal irrigations daily will help wash allergens out of the nose before they have a chance to become engaged with the nasal mucous membranes.
Nasal steroid sprays such as Flonase® , Nasacort ® or Rhinocort® and Sensimyst® will help to reduce nasal and sinus inflammation. These can be used in addition to oral antihistamines to treat upper respiratory allergies . They have few side effects but have been known to cause nosebleeds with extended use.
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How Sinuses Get Clogged
It can happen if the lining of your sinuses and the passages between them become inflamed. An allergy or a cold could cause that, for instance. The inflammation swells and blocks the sinuses from draining. Bacteria can build up, leading to a sinus infection. That causes more inflammation, swelling, stuffiness, and pain.