Allergic Rhinitis – ain’t nobody got time for that!

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First things first. In case you missed the online media sensation "Ain't nobody got time for that" check out this youtube clip. It will brighten your day and give you a great new saying. It can be used in a number of situations. When waiting on your co-workers to finish photocopying their body parts; when the guy in traffic won't get off his cell phone and pick a lane; or when you discover one of your beloved pets has chewed up the azaleas... for the third time.

 

Now onto Allergic Rhinitis (which we will refer to as AR for this blog). Rhinitis is an "irritation of the nose" and in the case of AR it is due to an allergic reaction. The most common culprits are environmental - dust, polins, grass and mould. However, diet also plays an important part. High-allergen foods such as dairy, wheat, citrus fruit and soya can cause the irritation.

The mucus membrane of the nose and sinuses becomes swollen and produces excessive snot which runs out the nose (a runny nose) or into the sinuses (causing stuffiness) or down the back of the throat (causing post-nasal drip). This makes for a warm, wet breeding ground where germs thrive. Left untreated, AR can cause a sore throat, tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, coughing and bronchitis.

So whilst it may start out as an itchy nose, it can progress and show up as regular bouts of illness that may seem unrelated. It is a complex interchange between poor health and poor sleep. As you prepare for bed, your histamine levels naturally rise. Your nose will become more irritable and start to produce more mucus. When you lie down this snot will drip down the back of your throat causing you to cough and find it difficult to fall asleep. Once asleep, the swollen pathways cause snoring and limit the amount of oxygen saturation that can occur.

This means disrupted sleep and less chance of healing during deep sleep. The next day your nose is more irritable and your immune system more compromised - making it more likely that you will catch some or other infection.

The solution? Pretty simple stuff.

1. Go to your doctor who will confirm that you have AR.

2. Short term - Get a prescription for a nose spray and anti-histamine. This you need to take daily for it to be effective.

3. Long-term - Figure out what you are allergic to and if you can cut it out of your life for a while.

4. Live better. Stop snoring. Sleep better. Feel better.

Allergic rhinitis.... ain't nobody got time for that!

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