For many of us, fall allergies with the typical congested, itchy and runny nose is right around the corner! It has been estimated that a single mature ragweed plant can release a Billion pollen granules.
So What Can You Do to Help Decrease Your Allergic Symptoms?
Avoidance and limiting contact with the pollen is essential. But who wants to stay indoors and miss the fabulous Oklahoma fall weather? The first and most important proactive step is to eliminate the pollen from the nasal passage and sinus cavity as soon as possible. The most effective means of accomplishing this, is to rinse the nasal cavity with normal saline (balanced salt solution). So, for those who engage in outdoor activities, try to rinse the nasal cavity as soon as possible after the exposure, as well as wash your hair and shower.
Once the allergens contact the nasal and sinus mucosa, the allergen sets off an exponential inflammatory response with histamine release and other inflammatory mediators. The sooner the allergen is removed from the nasal cavity, the less inflammation will occur. Many allergy sufferers will benefit from twice or even three times a day nasal rinses. However, for others, this is not sufficient.
The Next Step of Therapy is The Addition Of Nasal Steroids
Add either over the counter topical nasal sprays to your routine or better yet, nasal steroids to the normal saline rinse bottle. For some allergy patients, even irrigation with steroids is not sufficient. I will address further options in the next Santos Sinus Center BLOG.
I am a big advocate for minimizing the amount and frequency of medication usage to obtain the desired clinical response. So, when the allergy symptoms are controlled, consider decreasing the steroid use to maximize the allergic symptoms and minimize medication usage. This is called titrating the medication. Each person has different symptoms and levels of allergic sensitivity, learn to listen to your body and titrate accordingly! Enjoy the beautiful God-given colors of autumn.