Sinus allergy relief

Allergies and sinus infections are very common problems that affect millions of children and adults each year. Statistics show that as many as 20% percent of the population will suffer with some type of allergy problem during their lifetime. Those who have allergy problems are very prone to having sinus infections. The number of cases of sinus infections reported in the United States can be as many as 37 million in any given year. Sinus infections can affect as many as 30% of the given population at any one time.

Allergies are the result of the human bodies reaction to an allergen of some sort in the environment. The body builds up a certain amount of histamines against the allergen which causes a reaction to occur. Reactions to allergens that appear in the environment include itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, headache, sneezing, scratchy throat, itchy nose and itching on the skin around the eyes, nose and mouth.

These symptoms can develop into a full blown sinus infection. The sinuses are the cavities that act as air pockets inside the bones in the skull. They are located under the cheek bones on either side of the nose, in between and behind the eyes, and in the forehead of the face. The sinuses are filled with hair like substances that are called cilia. The cilia’s job is to move mucus from the interior of the sinuses to the area or ostium where the sinuses are drained.

Sinusitis occurs when the sinus cavities are blocked. The blockage may be due to several different reasons. One reason is that the sinuses are swollen due to allergic reactions that have been noted above. Other reasons are swelling due to the common cold or upper respiratory infection, mucosa becoming overly dried out or the sinuses can become blocked due to the presence of a foreign body.

Bacteria is usually present in the mucus of the sinuses. When blockages occur, it is a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria to multiply and grow. This causes an infection to occur which in turn becomes sinusitis. Acute sinusitis lasts from a few days to three weeks. Chronic sinusitis is classified as sinusitis that lasts over three weeks and is much more difficult to treat than acute sinusitis.

So how can the average person prevent flare ups with allergies or sinus problems? The most effective method is to avoid or remove the allergens from the environment that the person is in. This can be a very effective tool when it is possible to do so. So what are some of the most common allergens in the environment and what are some ways to remove them or render them harmless?

Some of the most common allergens are dust, dust mites, mold, animal hair, animal dander, tree pollens, and grass pollens. Cigarette smoke and pollutants in the air are other environmental toxins that can cause problems with people who have allergy and sinus issues.

The most effective way to remove environmental allergens that are in the home which include, dust, dust mites, mold, smokes, animal hair and danders include cleaning the home from top to bottom. Removing carpets and rugs will help to remove the amount of dust and dust mites. Removing books and other articles that can house dust and mold will help as well. Covering mattresses and pillows to keep down dust mite problems will help as well. Wearing a mask while cleaning will help to reduce the amount of allergens that are breathed in. These efforts will not completely remove these problems but will go a long way to reducing the amount of allergens that can cause a histamine response to them. Using special hepa filters on the heating and air conditioning systems in the home will keep down the amount of dust and allergens in the air as well.

Other environmental problems that are harder to remove are tree and grass pollens. Most people have to go outside sometimes and breathe the air which will be full of pollen at certain times of the year. Molds are prevalent in the spring and summer in all of the United States. They are prevalent in the fall of the year in the South and on the West Coast. The only time molds are not present are in the winter months. Ways to control these problems are to keep windows closed in the home and use air conditioning.

People can use antihistamines and decongestants to reduce the symptoms that are caused by allergy and sinus problems. It is not recommended to use antihistamines with sinus infections. The bacteria that is present in the sinuses can grow much quicker if the mucosa in the sinuses is dried out which is the main action of antihistamines. If sinusitis is present, antibiotic therapy is usually necessary. This means having a consultation with a medical professional to get a diagnosis and treatment. Other things that can be done include using eucalyptus oils or camphor oils in either a hot mist or cool mist humidifier to help thin mucus secretions in the sinuses. This will help relieve sinus pain and pressure. A hot shower with some oils on a cotton ball placed in the shower will help as well. When using these humidifiers please remember to clean them frequently as they can harbor mold and cause further problems.

There are some ways to boost the bodies immunity so that it is not as apt to fall prey to infections and other illness. Garlic is an excellent preparation that can be taken to ward off infection and give the immune system a boost. Other herbal preparations that can be used to boost the immune system and keep illness away are cayenne pepper, and ginger. These herbal preparations can be taken year round unless advised otherwise by a medical professional.

Last updated on Dec 11th, 2009 and filed under Immune System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Sinus allergy relief”

  1. GDC says:

    I am a broken record here but I have to say again, try a neti pot! Keeping the nasal passages clear can go a loooong way toward helping w/ any ENT issues.
    I have also seen a number of people who still need additional measures after having sinus surgery. This is another case where “options” become key and many are turning to newer alternatives like balloon sinuplasty.
    Take care.

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