Nasal Allergies: When Should You Worry?
Nasal allergies or allergic rhinitis is a common condition in both adults and children. Your quality of life is greatly reduced due to allergic rhinitis and it can take a significant toll on an individual due to constant sneezing, tearing, itching and difficulty breathing due to nasal congestion. Many people with nsal allergies find it difficult to sleep well. In some cases, one may also suffer recurrent dizziness and headaches.
Did you know that nasal allergies can be treated and well managed? Nasal allergies may also lead to sinus problems, like sinus infections. An experienced ENT physician will help you to regain control of your nasal allergy.
How to identify if I have a nasal allergy?
If you have any of the following symptoms, then you might have allergic rhinitis.
- A runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose
- Feeling of phlegm or mucus inside your nose and throat
- Sore throat
- Watery and itchy eyescan
- Light-headedness and frequent headaches
- Dark circles under the eyes
When exposed to allergens, you may experience one or more symptoms. Longterm exposure can cause fatigue and headaches. Symptoms can be persistent all year round or occur when exposed to large quantities of the allergen. If the symptoms do not settle after a week or so, then it is advisable to consult an otolaryngologist.
What causes allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis occurs when your body is exposed to allergens. It could be pollen, grass, house dust mites or animal fur. When one comes into contact with these allergens, it causes the body to release histamine, which is a natural chemical helping the body to defend against allergens. Histamine release leads to the allergy-related symptoms of sneezing, itchy nose with watery eyes, runny nose and blocked nose.
Many people seem to get used to the chronic nasal congestion and sinus problems, without realising the impact these allergies have made to their lives. People forget what it was like before developing these allergies and wrongly assume that it is “normal” to have a blocked runny nose. To relieve a flare up of symptoms, many generally grab over the counter medications. A recommended allergy specialist like Dr. Annabelle Leong at the ENT Clinic in Singapore can help you with a long- lasting treatment plan and relieve you of nasal allergy symptoms.
What are the risk factors of nasal allergy?
Allergies can affect both young and old, but individuals who have a family history of allergies have a higher chance of developing the condition. Atopic eczema and asthma can increase the risk. Other external triggers could be long term exposure to air pollution, cigarette smoke, chemicals, smoke from burning plastics and wood, perfumes and weather changes including cold and windy conditions.
How is nasal allergy diagnosed?
Your ENT doctor will take your medical history and do a physical examination. In addition, allergy testing may be performed. A skin prick test is the most common while an allergy blood test for allergy-related antibodies to various allergens may be undertaken by your ENT doctor.
What can I do to prevent nasal allergies?
Keeping your home free from allergens can help. Use of an air purifier instead of opening the windows will help to filter allergens. Keeping fabrics and curtains clean and vacuuming carpets will be useful at reducing the number of allergens at home. A dehumidifier can also help with excessive moist conditions to reduce the growth of moulds at home. Washing your pillows and bedlinen in hot water at 60 degrees and drying them in direct sunlight can help to reduce the presence of house dust mites, the most common trigger for nasal allergies and allergic rhinitis in Singapore.
Can over the counter medications help allergic rhinitis?
Mild allergic rhinitis can be treated by using over the counter medicines. Nasal sprays help in reducing the inflammation caused in the nasal passages. Antihistamines can also help in relieving sneezing and itching. Decongestants are also available as over the counter medications. These medicines help if you only have mild symptoms once in a while.
What are the prescription treatments for allergic rhinitis?
If you are suffering from persistent symptoms which are not responding to over the counter medications, then prescription treatment is needed.
Doctor-prescribed nasal steroid sprays can help to relieve congestion, itchiness and sneezing. It is safe with very minimal absorption into the body and is effective since it is directly applied on the affected area. Prescription antihistamines and decongestants also help in relieving symptoms and controlling the condition. Desensitisation treatment in the form of sublingual immunotherapy may also be suitable for those suffering from severe house dust mite allergies, where a small amount of the allergen in the form of a tablet or spray is applied daily under your tongue to gradually and safely build immunity towards the allergen. This usually takes 3-5 years to achieve and is quite successful for house dust mite allergy.
What are the self-help steps for allergic rhinitis?
Apart from medications, a simple but very effective method to help relieve symptoms includes nasal irrigation with a saline douche. This involves squirting sea-salt water with sodium bicarbonate into the nose to keep it clear of allergen buildup. It could also help in relieving sinus symptoms.
Cleansing the nasal passages with saltwater clears out allergens which trigger symptoms. A simple squeezy bottle, syringe or a neti-pot can be used. A warm shower and applying warm compress over the nose may also be helpful.
What complications can arise from nasal allergies?
If nasal allergies persist or become severe, complications may occur, such as frequent sinus infections, facial pain or headaches, worsening asthma with difficulty breathing and wheezing, and inability to sleep. Nasal allergies or allergic rhinitis can also lead a persistent drip of mucus flowing down your throat which can result in throat irritation, sore throat or even throat infections. Ear infections with buildup of fluid behind the eardrum and earache can also occur due to the congestion of the Eustachian pressure tubes which open up at the back of the nose. Eye infections with puffy red sore eyes, as a complication of allergic rhinitis may also be something to worry about.
The True Benefits of Decluttering for Your Mental Health and Wellness
There’s no doubt that we are all busy with things to do and tasks to accomplish, not just in our work but also, more importantly, in our personal lives. And in our increasingly busy and demanding lives, clutter can accumulate quickly. This clutter can be overwhelming and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety, especially over time. It can- and will- affect us greatly if we’re constantly surrounded by it, whether in our workspaces or living spaces. On the other hand, it’s no secret that a tidy working and living space can create a sense of calm – but the benefits of decluttering go far beyond just having a neat workspace and home. So what are the true benefits of decluttering for your mental health and wellness? Let’s find out.
Reduced anxiety and stress
Clutter can be a significant source of our stress and anxiety. Imagine how a cluttered space can make it difficult to find what you need, and being surrounded by chaos and disorder can quickly overwhelm us. But when you declutter your space, you can reduce the visual stimuli around you and create a more calming environment. You’ll be able to find what you need more easily, and you’ll feel more in control of your surroundings. And it’s easier to declutter nowadays with help from a skip hire service (such as www.betaskips.co.uk, which will remove all the clutter and clear out your surroundings much faster.
You can also enhance your creativity when you are not surrounded by clutter at all hours of the day. A cluttered space can stifle creativity, and when there’s too much clutter around, it can be difficult to come up with new ideas, much less think clearly! But by decluttering your space, you’ll have more room to think and create. You’ll be able to see things more clearly, which can lead to new and more innovative ideas.
Improved focus and productivity
It can be a real challenge to focus on the task at hand when your space is cluttered. The clutter can distract you, and you may find yourself constantly shifting your attention to different items or belongings around the room. But when you declutter, you can create a more focused environment that allows you to concentrate on what you’re doing.
Improved sleep quality
Did you know that too much clutter can also impact the quality of your sleep? A cluttered bedroom can make it difficult to relax, and it can even contribute to insomnia. But when you have a cleaner and more organized bedroom, it results in a more serene environment conducive to rest and relaxation. You’ll be able to fall asleep more easily (and stay asleep for a longer time), which can lead to greater energy and productivity during the day.
Decluttering your space requires a certain level of mindfulness because it involves being aware of your surroundings, identifying what’s important (and what’s not), and making intentional decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. This level of mindfulness can extend beyond just decluttering your space and can help you cultivate greater mindfulness in other areas of your life! By being more mindful, you’ll be able to make better decisions and live a more intentional, fruitful life.
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