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Allergies, Cold & Flu

New Year’s Resolution: Rinse Your Nose Regularly

The start of a new year is a time when many choose to start new behaviors. Whether it’s beginning an exercise routine, making better nutrition choices or just planning to be kinder, many have resolved to do something different.

Consider doing something new for your nose.

Nasal irrigation has long been recognized as a beneficial way to clear the nose of mucus,small particles and even bacteria and viruses that can lead to discomfort and inflammation.

A nasal spray with simple saline can eliminate the allergic triggers that may lead to annoying symptoms that affect your quality of life.

The use of a saline solution that is streamed through the nose has been in practice since ancient times.  While often effective, the practice can be messy and uncomfortable to the squeamish.  A number of products are available to make it easier to practice and many prefer to mix their own solutions.

Medical practitioners tout nasal rinse therapy has helping to manage symptoms of rhino-sinusitis and rhinitis. Non-medicated versions can be effective and are generally safe. When practiced on a regular basis –daily even – the user may experience a significant reduction in symptoms associated with sinus issues such as congestion and itchiness.

Because saline has some anti-microbial properties, there are additional benefits in using a rinse or Neti-pot. Some over-the-counter nasal sprays are enhanced with herbs and essential oils which also have benefits including natural anti-bacterial as well as moisturizing properties which can help soothe irritated nasal passages.

Doctors warn, however, that contamination of the sinus rinse equipment can lead to nasal infections or worse in rare case so proper sterilization is recommended.

Bottom line: by getting into the habit of rinsing your nasal passages regularly, you can help avoid sinus symptoms that otherwise can be annoying or may even affect your quality of life.

Allergies, Cold & Flu, Sniffles

Avoid Holiday Sniffles

Having a runny nose certainly does not inspire holiday cheer. But a bout of the sniffles can be quite common during this season…and they can be avoided.

According to The Christmas Tree Association, researchers found that conifers can carry mold that cause allergic reactions in some people.

The suggest shaking out as much debris as possible out of the tree before bringing it inside. Another option is to decorate your home with an artificial tree.

The holidays can often be filled with allergic triggers that lead to sniffles.

When it’s time to store away your holiday decorations, be sure to wipe everything before you store them and when you unpack next Christmas-time so dust won’t irritate your sinuses.

If you like the smell of the holiday, take note before you use artificial sprays and candles. Those strong smells can also trigger sneezing and sniffles so you might want to tone them down a little, especially if your holiday guests seem uncomfortable.

Eliminating exposure to these potential triggers is the best way to avoid allergic reactions. One way is to use a nasal rinse after exposure to airborne pollutants to get rid of the irritants in your nose.

Using an herbal-enhanced nasal spray before you are potentially exposed to the airborne irritants at a holiday party will even help protect your sinuses by moisturizing passages so that you can focus on holiday cheer instead of holiday sniffles.

Cold & Flu

Prepare your Child for Cold and Flu Season

The cold and flu season is really kicking into high gear. Coughs and sniffles are likely unwelcome guests in your home, especially if you have children in school or day care.  Runny noses, uncovered coughs and sneezes, and unwashed hands are invitations to get sick.

Because colds are the result of a virus, there’s no cure. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, antibiotics may used to combat some symptoms but caution against giving medication to children under two years old.

A saline nasal spray can be very effective at helping your child alleviate nasal congestion.

Children who are suffering from nasal congestion should clean the nasal passages using a saline rinse. A neti pot or similar sinus rinses can be effective although possibly messy and unpleasant for a youngster and you can find products that have essential oils added to make the treatment more pleasant while moisturizing nasal passages.  The additional moisture will help preserve the natural protectants in your child’s nose.

Show your child how to safely and carefully insert the nasal spray bottle into her nose and to distribute the spray effectively.  Make sure she uses a tissue to wipe her nose afterwards and, of course, wash hands afterwards.

Non-medicated nasal saline sprays can be used frequently throughout the day to provide relief but consult with your pediatrician about how often it can be used.