Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Stuffy Nose!

A stuffy nose around this season is a sign of seasonal hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis! Well, some people suffer from this problem all year round. This is usually mistaken for flu or cold. It’s quite common and can make your life miserable.

This occurs when you inhale something that your body labels as harmful. The lining of the inner structures of the nose react to these substances and become inflamed and swollen. Around this period, the air we breathe is polluted with dust particles and pollen grains from the flowering plants and grasses. Air conditioners tend to pollute the air in the office with dust and this may cause blocked nose in those allergic to dust.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Signs of hay fever are similar to signs of a common cold. These often confuse a lot of people and they often believe they have cold or flu. The signs and symptoms include:
A blocked or runny nose.
Itchy nose, itchy and tearing eyes.
Itchy nose, palate, throat or ears.
Facial pain
Decreased sense of smell.

What causes a stuffy nose?

Many triggers can be found both indoors and outdoors. They are so small and are carried by air we breathe. These are called allergens (allergy triggers). One can have seasonal attacks, especially in spring or summer when air borne allergens such as dust, pollen from flowering plants and grasses are responsible. Some people do have all year round attacks, and in these cases house hold allergens are the causative factors. These include air conditioners, animal fur (dogs and cats), droppings of cockroaches, house dust mites from mattresses and mats.

What you need to know!
There is usually a causative factor for your stuffy nose.
Plants, flowers, dogs and cats in your yard can be responsible for your symptoms.
You need to consult a doctor to rule out other possible factors not mentioned here.

Is there any treatment available?

The best treatment for stuffy nose is to avoid the causative factor if you can. That can mean getting rid of your favourite flowers, plants, or lawn if possible and replacing them with other breeds. However if your symptoms are worrisome, your doctor may consider to give you some medicines to curb the suffering, and may give you some medicine to prevent further attacks.

There are different types of medicines available in the market. Sometimes you may be given symptom relievers, or medicines that prevent attacks if your symptoms are worrisome. They come in different forms and most of them are prescription medicines.

Antihistamines: they are prescription drugs. These decrease the body reaction to allergens and reduce the itchiness, swelling and the inflammation that results thereof. Their side effects include tiredness or drowsiness.
Corticosteroids: they are available in the form of nasal sprays. These decrease the body’s sensitivity to the allergens, and thus suppress reaction to them.
Decongesants: used to unblock the nose and available in liquid forms, with different active ingredients.

How can I prevent it?

You may have to change some things in your yard or house to be free from stuffy nose:
know your allergy triggers and try to avoid them!
Keep windows closed. If possible, get an air conditioner and run a dehumidifier, so that there will not be so many pollens and moulds in the house.

If your symptoms are all year round, do the following:
Avoid pets in the house, if you can’t wash them regularly
Always wear musk when cleaning your house.
Avoid mats in the house, use tiles
Don’t remove mattress plastic covers. If your mattress is bare, you need to regularly steam it or expose it to sunlight to destroy dust mites
Use warm water for your pillow covers
You may need to get rid of your flowers and replace them with other breeds

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