Sinus Allergy

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sinus-allergiesThe best natural remedies for sinus infections are alternative treatments you can do at home. People are more commonly seeking these remedies due to the side affects normally associated with traditional medical treatments.  Sinus infections are systemic which means it affects the whole body, as you probably know if you have ever suffered from sinus problems.

Sinus infections affect over 36 million United States residents every year.  Sinus infections is also called sinusitis and is usually caused by allergies, a cold, a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, bacterial infection or an abnormal growth that is blocking the nostrils. Immune System Disorders is another less frequent cause of sinus infections.

Here are some great natural remedies for sinus allergies and their related infections:

Neti Pot – A popular natural remedy for sinus infections is a neti pot. Fill the neti pot with warm saline solution, then place the tip of the pot into one nostril, tip your head slightly and let the solution flow through the nasal cavities and the other nostril. In doing so, you wash the allergens, irritants and other mucous membranes and moisturize the sinuses. Neti pots come from India, which have been used to unclog infected sinuses for centuries. Known in Yoga circles as “Jala Neti”, the term is refers to an ancient cleansing technique that literally means the “water purification”.  However, some people have reported ear problems when using a neti pot because they must turn their head to the side when using allowing water to flow into their ear tube.

Neil-Med Sinus Rinse – This plastic bottle is filled a with warm saline solution similar to a neti-pot and is actually easier to use. This device is very good for both prevention and cures. Effective results have been reported by most users and even the editor-in-chief of this web site uses this method regularly with great results.

Humidifier with Essential Oils -You can also add eucalyptus in your humidifier every night during the worst spells. However this method only seems to work for mild cases.

Apple Cider Vinegar – One of the most popular natural remedies for sinus is apple cider vinegar which can be effective in helping dissipate the mucosal infection. Take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, mixed with a teaspoon of honey in 8 ounces of warm water and drink 4-6 times per day. Once again, this method is reported to help in only the mildest cases.

Goldenseal Extract – One of the simplest natural resources for sinus infections since they are often the result of a weakened immune system, is using the herb goldenseal.  Goldenseal can boost immunity. and helps reduce mucus congestion. Goldenseal is known for its antibiotic properties that may help the body to get rid of the infection. The root of the goldenseal plant is a powerful astringent that helps reduce the flow of mucous into nasal cavities. However, this method may take up to 3-5 days before results.

Garlic – One of the most effective natural remedies for sinus infection is using garlic. Garlic is both a antibacterial agent and an antimicrobial agent. It’s great for people with sinus problems and also increases your immunity system. However, it can be hard to get into your diet in sufficient amounts needed. With that said, garlic is always a good additive to any diet and can help prevent all types of infections.

Doctors refer to “acute sinusitis” as lasting 2-8 weeks while sub-acute infections may last from 1-3 months long. Sinus infections which last longer than 3 months are considered chronic. Reducing indoor allergens which can cause sinus problems while at the same time using prevention techniques is paramount to the cure and the prevention of sinus allergies and their related infections.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

To learn more about how to make your home a allergy-free haven, please sign up for our sponsor’s Free 10-Part Email Mini-Course on this page or click here to read more.

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Sinus Allergy Relief

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sinus-allergyMillions of people are familiar with the stuffiness and painful pressure of sinusitis, one of the most common chronic ailments.

Your sinuses are air-filled pockets located above your eyebrows, under your eyes, between your eyes, and behind your nose. Normally, mucus from your sinuses drains into your nose and down your throat, where stomach acids destroy it. When your sinuses clog up, the tissues swell, and mucus does not drain prop­erly. This results in a buildup of mucus, which can quickly become infected.

The symptoms of sinusitis include a stuffy or runny nose, painful pressure around your eyes, earaches, and coughing which becomes worse when lying down. It is usually caused by bacterial infection. People with asthma or allergies are more likely to have sinusitis. It may also be brought on by environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and weather conditions. Many people find that their sinusitis is worse right before a storm. Some people may have a deviated septum, which means the wall of bone and cartilage between the right and left nostrils is crooked. This can interfere with mucus drainage.

Steps to Stop Sinusitis

  • Wash your sinuses out with a neti-pot or sinus rinse product using a balanced saline solution.
  • Get the right amount of sleep. Too much or too little sleep may make you more likely to suffer from sinusitis. Sleeping with your head elevated may also help. If you only have sinusitis on one side, try sleeping on the other side. This may help open your nasal passageway.
  • Change your diet. You may have food allergies which could trigger your sinusitis. Try eliminating foods like wheat, milk, or red wine. Spicy foods like garlic, horseradish, and cayenne pepper may help clear sinuses.
  • Use a nasal spray. Saline nasal sprays help moisten and soothe nasal pas­sages. Over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays should not be used for more than three days in a row. A rebound effect may occur if you use them too much, which means your symptoms will get much worse when you stop using them.
  • Exercise. Most people with sinusitis find that exercise opens nasal passages by increasing the flow of mucus. However, some people may find that exercise makes their symptoms worse.
  • Make sure your glasses fit. Improperly fitting glasses can pinch the bridge of your nose and cause congestion.
  • Inhale steam. Breathing in steam may help. You can add pine oil, eucalyptus, or menthol for a little extra nasal-opening power. A warm facial pack (hot tow­els) can have the same effect.
  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier may prevent your sinuses from becoming dry and irritated, which could lead to swelling and infection. A humidifier is partic­ularly helpful during the colder months.
  • Use a HEPA air purifier and HEPA vacuum to reduce the amount of airborne allergens in your indoor air. Regular use of HEPA technology can drastically improve allergies symptoms in a home environment.
  • About the author:
    Stan K. Hall has been a recognized specialist in indoor air pollution for 25 years and has performed over 400 in-home environmental evaluations. He has been recommended by doctors, nutritionist’ as well as other health professionals for his expertise in diagnosing and remediating sick houses. He has more information about indoor air quality on his official Sick House Doctor website.

    Medical Sources:American Family Physician (53,3:877)
    The Asthma and Allergy Advance (January/February 1994)

    How to Use a Neti Pot

Weed Allergy

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weed-allergy Up to 30% of the population suffer from allergic rhinitis, and this number seems to be growing. Most people are treated by their primary care physician for their allergies. There are two elements involved in a true allergic reaction. The first is the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE), an antibody that circulates in the blood things like germs attacking. The second is the mast cell, a type of cell found in the body in the places where they cause allergic reactions, including the nose, throat, lungs and skin. There have been tremendous improvements in the underlying medical treatments developed by allergists. Antihistamines help reduce the sneezing, runny nose and itchy allergies. Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that helps prevent the body’s reaction to allergens.

Several herbal supplements have been used in the treatment of allergies and asthma, some showing benefits. Dry your sheets and clothes in a dryer rather than hanging them outdoors where they can collect pollen and spores. Wash your hands after contact with your pet. Keep pets out of the room or other rooms you spend lots of time. Avoid using carpeting in your home from allergens collected there.

Other Allergy Treatment Tips

1. Endotoxin exposure reduces peripheral blood leukocyte cytokine release inflammation after lipopolysaccharide.

2. Shower and wash your hair every day. The airborne pollen can collect on your clothes, skin and hair.

3. Many families are giving their children safe nutritional supplements such as vitamin B6 with magnesium and Di-methyl-glycine (DMG).

4. Many drugs used to treat various medical problems derived from plants and herbs, such as theophylline.

5. Several herbal supplements have been used in the treatment of allergies and asthma, some showing benefits.

6. Dry your sheets and clothes in a dryer rather than hanging them outdoors where they can collect pollen and spores.

7. Wash hands after contact with your pet.

8. Keep pets out of the room or other rooms you spend lots of time.

9. Avoid using carpeting in your home from allergens will collect there.

10. Some popular calming techniques include: vigorous exercise, which would act as a release from his great excitement, the level of vestibular stimulation.

About the Author: Juliet Cohen writes articles for

Spring Allergy Season

Sinus Pain

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sinus-painYour sinuses are lined with a membrane that manufactures a sticky substance known as mucus. When the membrane swells – most likely because of an infection or an allergy, mucus production kicks into overdrive. The combination of inflamed membrane and excess mucous blocks those tiny passages between your sinuses and nose. That’s when you feel the pressure build behind your forehead and eyes.

Breathe a Sign of Relief

For most people decongestants are the treatment of choice for sinus pain. “If a blocked nose is your only symptom, an over-the-counter oral decongestant can help,” says Salah D. Salmon, MD, director of the Sinus Center at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.  Dr. Salmon also stated “Be sure to choose a product with an antihistamine if your sinus pain is associated with allergy.”

What about localized decongestants such as sprays and drops? “They can be extremely effective, too.” Dr. Salmon says. “But you shouldn’t use them for more than three days in a row. They can be habit forming if you use them for too long. And once their medicinal effects wear off, they can produce rebound congestion.”

But decongestants are not your only option for dealing with sinus pain. The following strategies can help ease the pressure and keep you breathing easy.

Just add water. “Dryness often sets the stage for a sinus infection,” Dr. Salmon says. You can keep your sinuses moist by drinking plenty of water every day. A saltwater solution, administered as either a nasal spray or nose drops, can also help, he notes. You can make your own solution by mixing 2 tablespoons of salt into a glass filled with 8 ounces of warm water. Use this preparation three to four times a day.

Hold your head high. Elevating your head while you sleep promotes sinus drainage, experts say. Prop up your bedposts ath the head of your bed on books or bricks and see if it helps.

Clear the air. Anything that irritates the nasal passages is an ally of sinus pain. “Pay close attention to air quality,” says Dr. Guillermo Mendoza, MD, chief of allergy for Kaiser-Permanente. “Avoid smoggy environments, cigarette smoke and any other pollutants that you’re sensitive to.” You may also need to stay away from seemingly harmless items such as scented laundry detergents and scented tissues.

“C” your way clear. Dr. Mendoza recommends a daily dose of vitamin C as a preventative against sinus pain. “If you are prone to sinus infection or you have a chronic sinus problem, take 1,000 milligrams of times-release vitamin C a day,” he advises.

Don’t catch a cold. If you have a chronic sinus problem, a cold will only intensify your sinus symptoms, Dr. Mendoza says. So do what you can to steer clear of cold-causing viruses: Eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, practice good hygiene (as in lots of hand washing), and stay away from people who have colds.

Excerpted from: Pain Remedies by Philip Goldberg.  Rodale Press

Balloon Sinuplasty Provides Quick and Easy Relief to Chronic Sinusitis Sufferers

Ragweed Allergies

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ragweed allergiesThe spring and fall is a time that most people consider to be wonderful times of year. Spring brings a fresh start after the winter months. Trees regain their leaves, flowers and blooming flowers and autumn leaves change color of a sample making fun of color in preparation for winter to come. However, for ragweed allergy sufferers, it is a time of terror and fear. Spring and autumn are the two important times of year for seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies are classified by certain substances in the air, which only appear at particular times of year, most often during spring and autumn, although summer allergies are also common.

More commonly known as hay fever, allergies do not always coincide with the summer when hay is harvested and rarely, fever, so the term “hay fever” may be a little misleading. Ragweed is one of the most common of all hay fever causing allergens.

Hay fever usually causes itching of the roof of the mouth, nose, back of the throat or eyes. This itching can come very rapidly. Symptoms include runny nose, as well as a filler in nose and sneezing. It often causes watery eyes, sometimes very very watery and possible redness of the eyes and eyelids. The nasal lining in the nose may inflamed and swollen. It can also cause headaches, irritability and wheeze. Many who experience these types of allergies may also have asthma.

Treatment usually depends on the type of allergy and severity, but usually this kind of allergies can be controlled through the use of antihistamines in the counter decongestants section of your local drug store. Bathing the eyes with eye wash regularly can also help alleviate any irritation of the eyes.

In the spring, hay fever is known to be triggered in the southern, eastern and the midwest parts of the US.  Trees like cedar, birch, oak, alder, maple and elm can release much pollen into the air.  In summer, grasses, such as red top, timothy, bluegrass and orchardgrass, are the main culprits, and in late summer, ragweed usually becomes the worse allergy trigger of all.

In the fall, and russian thistle sagebrush are known to cause major problems for hay fever sufferers in the western part of the U.S.  Between December and March, cedar (also known as juniper) is an important pollen producer. Grass in the south-western U.S. has a long period of pollination, which makes for a longer allergy season for the southwest region.

If you think you may be suffering from any form of hay fever, you can try any of the countless over the counter (OTC) allergy drugs on the market. In most cases, these drugs will do the trick. However it is always wise to consult with an allergy doctor for diagnosis and treatment.  Allergy shot regimens can drastically improve hay fever and other allergies.

Michael Russell is an independent writer who publishes articles on allergy related subjects.

Fight ragweed allergies, naturally

Tree Allergies

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tree-allergiesMillions of people suffer from tree allergies around the world every year.  While there are some trees allergy symptoms during the fall months, spring is normally when tree allergies are at their worst. Trees actually pollinate before other plants and weeds and may start releasing their pollen as early as January in the southern states and as late as June in the northern part of the United States. Tree pollination is critical for the reproduction process and certain tree species such as mountain cedar are known to create havoc in people with allergies and even some who have never had allergy symptoms.

Trees can produce large amounts of pollen which can travel miles away from the original source before causing an allergic reaction. Tree pollen reactions can range from mild to severe with mild symptoms consisting of hives and sinus (runny nose) problems.  Severe reactions to tree pollen may be coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing and hoarseness.

Tree Pollen Allergy?

There are believed to be at least 48,000 different kinds of trees identified worldwide. However, only about 100 of them have been proven to cause allergies.  Here are the most common trees which can cause allergic reactions:

  • Catalpa
  • Cedar
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Olive
  • Pecan
  • Sycamore
  • Walnut

Tree Allergy Strategies

When buying trees for your yard, consider species that are known not to aggravate allergies, such as:

  • Ash
  • Box elder
  • Cottonwood
  • Crape myrtle
  • Date palm
  • Dogwood
  • Fig
  • Fir
  • Maple (red)
  • Maple (silver)
  • Palm
  • Pear
  • Phoenix palm
  • Plum
  • Poplar
  • Redbud
  • Redwood
  • Willow

Note: Some people are known to have ‘cross-reactivity allergies’ with trees in the beech, birch, and oak family, as well as the juniper and cedar families.

About the author: James Singbush owns and operates the Growing High Tree Nursery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Achoo! High Pollen Count Boosts Allergies