If you have allergy issues, frequent sinus infections, or generally small nasal passages, then you may begin to develop nasal polyps. These formations involve the thickening of the mucous membranes in the nose. Once the membranes increase in size, they form lumps that succumb to gravity and form dangling formations in the nasal passages. Long term inflammation usually leads to the formation of polyps, and these protrusions can fill the openings in the nose and make it difficult to breathe. Sinus pressure is common when polyps form as well and infections may increase since mucus, bacteria, and debris get stuck around the formations. Laser surgery is required to completely eliminate the polyps from the nose, and lasers are often used for this purpose. However, surgery is sometimes not a permanent solution. Inflammation can occur just as easily after the treatment and cause new polyps to form. Thankfully, you can prevent this from happening with a few simple tips.
Continue Using Steroidal Nasal Sprays
If you have indoor or seasonal allergies, then nasal and sinus swelling will be seen as a natural reaction of the body to the allergens that enter the nose. The inflammation occurs specifically as the body detects an intruder, the allergen, and sends white blood cells to the region to remove or kill the offending organisms or substances. Allergists and general physicians will typically prescribe a number of medicines to stop this reaction from occurring as readily or drastically. Antihistamines are often used, and these medicines reduce the amount of histamine that is released by the body. Histamine triggers the immune response to the allergens.
Steroidal nasal sprays are typically prescribed too. These sprays are released directly into the nasal passages and they are safe for long term use. The steroids work directly on the mucous membranes within the nose to reduce inflammation. If you have chronic rhinitis, then your physician will likely tell you to use both nasal sprays and antihistamines during your specific allergy season. If you forget to continue taking the medicines when you are supposed to or if you stop the nasal spray too soon, then it may take one to two weeks before it starts to work again. This will leave you with chronic rhinitis symptoms in the meantime.
To better gauge when the steroidal spray should and should not be used, speak with your allergist about an allergy test. Skin tests and blood tests can both be completed, but skin varieties are often faster, more reliable, and less expensive than blood tests. Your physician will choose to complete a prick, intradermal, or patch test. Prick and intradermal tests are the most common, because results show up almost immediately.
Once the testing is complete, your allergist will inform you of the substances you are allergic to and when they are present. For example, if you are allergic to pollen released by maple trees, then your allergist will tell you that symptoms are likely to start in early spring through the month of May. Your allergy medication should be used throughout this period of time.
Keep the Sinuses Clean
If you are prone to sinus infections and the inflammation that accompanies, then it is likely that bacteria is getting trapped in the nasal passages. Usually, mucus is produced that traps and expels the bacteria. If the mucus becomes caught in the nose, then it is not very useful in trapping or eliminating the harmful microorganisms. If you notice that you have a clogged or stuffed nose most of the time, then this is an indication that mucus is stuck in the sinus and nasal cavities. Cleaning it out is wise to stop an infection from forming and polyps from reforming.
One of the easiest ways to clear the nasal passages is to eat spicy foods. Spicy foods, especially ones that contain capsaicin, are considered irritants to both the mouth and nose due to their high heat levels. To help reduce the irritation, saliva and nasal mucus are produced to flush the spices out of the body.
Additionally, use can use a neti pot or a saline nasal spray to release debris from the nose. Just makes sure to follow the directions closely so you do not increase the chances of a sinus infection by placing dirty products in your nose.