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Nasal Allergies: When Should You Worry?

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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
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose
  • Feeling of phlegm or mucus inside your nose and throat
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Watery and itchy eyescan
  • Light-headedness and frequent headaches
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Hives
  • Eczema

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.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Health

AgeRejuvenation: Your Partner in the Pursuit of Ageless Living

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In the age-old quest for longevity and vitality, physicians are now beginning to attack the signs of aging from multiple fronts. “At AgeRejuvenation Functional Medical Clinic, we offer cutting-edge treatments and strategies to promote cellular repair and mitigate DNA damage,” says Brett Markowitz, the clinic’s CEO and founder. “We also offer guidance on the lifestyle changes that will enable you to maintain your health, function, and appearance.”

Understanding the two types of aging

Two classifications distinguish aging and its impact on the human body. The first, primary aging, refers to the natural and inevitable changes that occur over time, regardless of external factors or lifestyle choices. 

Secondary aging, on the other hand, refers to the aging processes that occur due to lifestyle choices and environmental factors. Unlike primary aging, secondary aging is not inevitable, can vary significantly among individuals, and is influenced by factors such as diet, exercise, exposure to toxins, stress, and the development of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis.

“Our personalized plans for each patient combat both primary and secondary aging,” notes Markowitz. “This requires an integrative and proactive approach. By combining regular physical activity, a balanced diet, good sleep hygiene, stress management, and social involvement with healthcare’s preventative measures, you can now influence the pace of your own aging process. Primary aging factors are less within our control, but the synergy of these strategies buffers their impact. And secondary aging can be significantly slowed with lifestyle and environmental changes.” 

AgeRejuvenation Functional Medical Clinic recommends certain practices to slow the effects of primary aging, such as regular exercise to maintain muscle mass, reduce the risk of age-related diseases, and improve cognitive functions.

“A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides essential nutrients that protect against cellular damage and combat oxidative stress,” Markowitz says. “Additionally, consistent, quality sleep supports cellular repair processes, regulates metabolism, and reduces inflammation to mitigate the effects of aging.”

As Markowitz explains, relaxation practices can help combat chronic stress, which can accelerate cellular aging by shortening the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes called telomeres. Using sunscreen and protective clothing also reduces the aging effects brought on by UV radiation.

Unlike primary aging, the rate of secondary aging is influenced significantly by lifestyle choices. For example, quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can significantly reduce the risk of developing diseases that speed up the aging process.

“Certain nutritional supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, resveratrol, and Coenzyme Q10, have been proposed to support cellular health,” says Markowitz. “Mental exercises like reading, puzzles, and games challenge the mind, which can help preserve cognitive function and may even delay the onset of conditions like dementia.”

Markowitz goes on to explain that a robust social network with family, friends, and community reduces stress and decreases the risk of conditions that promote secondary aging. Furthermore, air purifiers, water filters, and choosing to live in less polluted areas can minimize exposure to pollution and environmental toxins that contribute to non-genetic aging.

“Advances in genetic testing can offer deeper insights into one’s susceptibility to age-related diseases,” Markowitz notes. “The results of these tests allow clinics like ours to tailor health strategies to prevent or delay their onset.”

Hormone optimization holds the key to vitality

The broad field of anti-aging treatments incorporates everything from topical skincare products to sophisticated genetic interventions. In this rapidly evolving field, hormone optimization has become a cornerstone of personalized anti-aging strategies since hormones act as the body’s chemical messengers and regulate virtually every major system, from metabolism to mood.

“As people age, these hormones can become unbalanced, leading to a myriad of health issues,” says Markowitz. “Hormone optimization seeks to restore hormonal balance, improve overall well-being, and slow the aging process.”

Unlike synthetic hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapies, bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those produced by the human body, offering a more natural solution to restoring hormonal balance. This can be particularly transformative for battling menopause and andropause symptoms.

“As people age, many recognize the need for thyroid function optimization,” Markowitz says. “Our thyroid gland influences metabolism, energy levels, and body weight, so it’s no wonder that we contribute to a sense of vitality and well-being when we optimize its function.”

Markowitz also finds that many people find renewed vigor through testosterone and estrogen balancing. “For men and women alike, maintaining the right balance of testosterone and estrogen is crucial for health because these hormones impact everything from bone density to libido,” he says.

The synergy between anti-aging treatments, hormone optimization, and a healthy lifestyle

The intersection of targeted anti-aging treatments, hormone optimization, and lifestyle adjustments represents a synergistic approach to aging gracefully. Hormone optimization and a healthy lifestyle enhance the effectiveness of anti-aging treatments by ensuring the body is in its best possible state for repair and regeneration. For instance, balanced hormones can improve skin elasticity, making cosmetic treatments more effective. 

Combining these strategies allows for a holistic approach to aging and an increasing degree of personalization. Clinics like AgeRejuvenation tailor treatments to each individual’s unique hormonal profile and aging concerns, resulting in targeted and effective interventions.

“The pursuit of ageless living is a multifaceted journey that intertwines cutting-edge scientific discoveries with tried-and-true lifestyle practices,” Markowitz concludes. “The path to longevity and vitality is as much about embracing a holistic lifestyle as it is embracing the newest anti-aging treatments. These advancements can add years to your life, but more importantly, they can add life to your years, enabling you to age gracefully and with dignity.”

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