Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

~ Benjamin Franklin
 

  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands often, especially before meals, to avoid contracting infections.
  • Keep allergies under control. First, identify what causes allergic reactions for you by getting tested by an allergist, if you don’t know already. Once you know the allergens, simply avoid them as best as you can and treat them immediately when symptoms surface.
  • Change your diet to avoid allergic reactions. Be more aware of what you eat. Milk and wheat are two common culprits of allergy. Select foods that are low in fat and sugar, and high in fiber. Try anti-inflammatory herbs, such as ginger.
  • Treat cold symptoms promptly. Drink plenty of fluids like water, tea, and fruit juices. Keep your nasal passages clear and take other necessary measures to prevent a cold from progressing to chronic rhinosinusitis.
  • Avoid polluted air and cigarette smoke that can irritate and inflame your nasal passages.
  • Create a healthy indoor environment with fresh air and regular cleaning. Use natural cleaning products (either from health stores or home-made) to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals or pesticides.
  • Add moisture to the air with a humidifier—especially in your bedroom or any area where you spend most of your time—to keep nasal passages clear.
  • Cleanse your nasal passages with a stream of saltwater daily to get rid of irritants and excessive mucus. Refer to the use of a neti pot for this practice.
  • Breathe in steam from a pot of boiling water (lower the heat) with a towel over your head to help clear the nasal passages. You can add few drops of eucalyptus or thyme oil, which have antibacterial properties.
  • Drink plenty of clean water to help thin nasal mucus.
  • While sleeping, elevate your head on pillows to help drain the sinuses. This practice helps me with breathing more freely as well.
  • Boost your immune system to be more resistant to sinus and nose infections. Refer to lists of vitamins/supplements and herbs on this site for this purpose. Chinese herb astragalus is known to be safe to take every day to strengthen immunity.
  • When feeling tired, take it easy and rest. Studies show lack of sleep lowers immunity. Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine, late television viewing, and loud noises, to induce a peaceful, good night’s sleep.
  • Limit alcohol drinks and avoid hot, spicy foods that may cause nasal swelling.
  • Learn to manage stress by practicing regularly activities (e.g, meditation, exercise, etc.) that promote and nurture physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.


It would be impossible to completely avoid allergens (unless you live in a sealed bubble or on another planet). However, knowing exactly what things trigger your allergic reaction and taking appropriate steps would be very helpful. I have outlined a list of simple and yet effective ways you can reduce your symptoms or prevent chronic rhinosinusitis by limiting your exposure to the possible allergens.

Pollen:

  • Close doors and windows during high pollen season (spring and fall) and stay indoors.
  • Use air-conditioning in the house and car.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside to avoid pollen sticking to sheets.
  • Use a high-efficiency HEPA filter in your bedrooms and allergy-grade filter in the ventilation system.
  • Avoid wearing outdoor shoes inside your home.
  • Avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves that stirs up pollen and molds and wear a dust mask when gardening.
  • Wash clothes you wore when arriving home and shower before going to bed.

Mold:

  • Keep areas like the bathroom and kitchen dry to prevent mold growth.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove mold in carpeting.
  • Don’t leave wet garments on carpeting or furniture.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity.
  • Prevent leaks and insulate walls and floors.
  • Keep all areas well ventilated.
  • Avoid raking in your garden and playing in fallen leaves.
  • Limit the number of indoor plants where mold can grow.

Dust Mite:

  • Cover mattresses, box spring, and pillows with allergy-proof plastic sheets.
  • Wash beddings, stuffed animals, and pillow cases in hot water weekly.
  • Use dehumidifiers or air conditioner (in summer) to reduce indoor humidity.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets weekly using a HEPA filter.
  • Replace carpeting, especially in the bedrooms, with hardwood or tile floorings.
  • Keep knick-knacks (these are dust magnets) to a minimum.

Pet Allergen:

  • Keep a bed for pet’s use only.
  • Shower after playing with pets to wash off dander.
  • Bathe pets weekly or use wipes.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom or anywhere you spend a lot of time.
  • If possible, remove pets from your home. Undoubtedly, this is would be very difficult thing to do for many folks.


 

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