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...
One of the first posts I wrote when I joined MyAllergyNetwork.com was about how you could know which allergy medicine would be best for you. And to date, it is still one of the most popular articles on this site. Seems allergy medication is a hot topic for allergy sufferers!
I understand why. There is nothing more annoying than trying to get through your day and having to put up with constant sneezing, a runny nose, feeling like your head's going to explode, not to mention itchy eyes, nose and throat, or maybe watering, burning eyes. I've been there with you every step along the way and it is no fun. All we want is a little relief, right?
So, since it's been 3 years since I wrote that original post, I thought it was a good time to revisit the topic and update you on all the new choices you have available now. And that's the good thing about allergies -- they're so common, new medications are being developed all the time.
A Little Background...
Before I get ...
FOR AN OBJECT LODGED IN THE NOSE:
Do not probe the nose with cotton swabs or other tools. Doing so may push the object farther into the nose.
Have the injured person breathe through the mouth and avoid breathing in sharply, which may force the object in further.
Once it is determined which nostril is affected, gently press the other nostril closed and have the victim blow through the affected nostril.
Avoid blowing the nose too hard or repeatedly.
If this method fails, get medical help.
FOR A BROKEN NOSE:
Reassure and try to calm the injured person.
Have the injured person breathe through the mouth and lean forward in a sitting position in order to keep blood from going down the back of the throat.
Apply cold compresses to the nose to reduce swelling. If possible, the injured person should hold the compress so that excessive pressure is not applied.
To help relieve pain, acetaminophen is recommended.
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