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Millions of Americans in pursuit of a remedy for stuffy nose and sinus pressure turn to over the counter (OTC) nasal sprays because of their quick action, availability and presumed safety. But did you know prolonged use of topical nasal decongestants (TNDs) often leads to addiction? Case in Point: A 32-year-old male was referred to me because of complaints of chronic nasal blockage. The patient suspected his problem was hay fever (allergic rhinitis). During the interview, he revealed that a year ago he began to have trouble sleeping because of a stuffy nose. He felt considerably better after using a TND before going to bed. Within 2 weeks he began to awaken in the middle of the night requiring another dose of his nasal spray for relief. One month later he required doses 4 times daily in order to avoid severe nasal congestion. By the time I saw him, he was going through almost a bottle of nasal spray daily. His diagnosis was Rhinitis Medicamentosa (RM) which means nasal inflammation (rhi...
We've visited this topic many times over the years here on HealthCentral, but since there's always a lot of interest in what are viewed as more "natural" treatments, I thought it might be useful for our community if I pulled all the information together here in one post and also updated it with the latest knowledge about alternative or natural approaches to treating allergies.
Why Do We Want to Go Natural?
I read on another website, in a post written by a doctor, that people often seek natural treatments because of a mistrust in the medical establishment, and I suppose that may be true, but I think it's only part of the story.
Some of us just don't like putting foreign chemicals into our bodies, no matter how helpful they are in controlling our symptoms. Nor do we enjoy spending hundreds of dollars a year on prescription and over the counter medications!
So, we look for alternatives that feel safer, more "back to nature" and that are a whole lot cheap...
Recently there have been a lot of questions posted about the “less common” symptoms of reflux such as chronic cough. It seems as though when people think of reflux they think of the symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, gas and chest pain. But, there are a lot of other symptoms that we don’t think of as reflux and chronic cough is one of them.
Why does reflux cause a chronic cough? The research has shown that when the acid comes up in the throat the esophagus can become inflamed. For some, that inflammation is going to show as pain/heartburn but for others, the body is going to respond to the irritation with a cough. The body doesn’t know what is causing the irritation and it goes about trying to rid itself of this irritation.
Another possibility is that in addition to the irritation in the esophagus, throat and nasal passages, the sinuses can also become inflamed. When this happens, the sinuses may react by producing mucous. The mucous can then ...
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