"Doc, it seems like I can't ever breathe out my nose. The pills help my sneezing but I always feel congested"
Many people identify with the above complaint. Nasal congestion is one of the most common symptoms of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. "Rhinitis" means inflammation of the inside of the nose. Allergic rhinitis is caused by allergy triggers such as pollens from trees, grasses or weeds. Other allergy triggers include mold spores, dust mites, pets (cats and dogs head the list), feathers and, believe it or not, insects such as cockroaches. Non-allergic rhinitis may be triggered by weather changes, indoor or outdoor pollution, cigarette smoke or ash, fragrances, fumes and a host of other small particles in the air.
Why is nasal congestion so difficult to treat?
The inflammatory process that results in nasal inflammation (rhinitis) is very complex and involves several different cell types and substances released from these cells.
Sneezing is a universal reflex which has many different styles and intensities but in most people, serves the same purpose. The first sneeze may occur at any age often starting in infancy. Although sneezing can be annoying, especially when it occurs repetitively, it is an important defense mechanism.
Why do we sneeze?
Sneezing is a reflex response (occurs without conscious thought, through nerve networks between the brain and the upper airway) to a trigger which is often an aerosolized particle. It begins with a trigger stimulating nerve endings in the upper respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract (URT) includes the nose, mouth, sinuses and throat.
Have you ever eaten something that made you sneeze? The reason why this occurs is because there are nerve based sensors in the nose and throat area which upon being stimulated by certain substances, rapidly send signals to the sneeze center of the brain. The sneeze center is located in an area of the brai...
Hi, I hope that everyone is doing ok with his or her spring-time allergies. Frequently I am asked which is better to treat allergies : pills (oral anti-histamines) or nose sprays. For many people, putting medication in the nose may not be very appealing and they would rather take oral medications. However, several well-done studies have suggested that the first medication one should use to treat allergies to environmental proteins is the steroid nose sprays. Steroid nasal sprays have been proven to more effectively reduce nasal stuffiness, sneezing and post-nasal drip than allergy pills (anti-histamines). In fact, allergy pills on their own do not help with nasal congestion. Some allergy pills contain a decongestant in them, and are labeled with a “D” after their name, which will help with nasal congestion. These pills contain both the allergy medication and pseudophedrine. Although these are good medications (the combination allergy/pseu...
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