There is no question that seasonal respiratory allergies affect a significant number of people across the United States
50 million people are affected annually, according to the American College of Allergy and Asthma. Costs associated with treating seasonal allergies are in excess of 1 billion dollars annually. It is alarming to me, that these numbers have been rising every year!
In one of my previous posts, I outline my general strategy for treating allergies. Reducing inflammation is essential to reducing symptoms. Restoring proper nasal physiology is also necessary, but is most often over-looked.
There is more to your nose than your sense of smell
The nose has multiple functions:
- Inlet point for sensory input
- Warms and humidifies inhaled air
- Filtering the air you breathe of particulates, dander and pollens
How does it do this? The function is determined by the anatomy of the nose and sinuses. Understanding the anatomy of the nose; how it is put together, will make comprehending the physiology (function) easier.
Form and Function
The nasal passages are lined with bulbous ridges called turbinates. They provide a larger surface area for the air to pass over, and create “ tunnels” through which the air passes for filtration, humidification and warming.
The surface of these turbinates (mucosa) is covered by a layer of mucus. This mucus contains immunoglobulins (antibodies) that help to protect against microbial attack from viruses and bacteria. Normally, the mucous is thin and watery. Inadequate intake of water causes the mucous to thicken and makes it harder to move freely.
The nasal mucosa is also covered with a waving carpet of fine hairs called cilia. They beat in a motion that encourages movement of mucus through the nose and toward the throat where it is either swallowed or expelled. Thick mucous is much less able to move with ciliary motion. In other words, your nose is not working properly.
Particles and microbes get caught on the cilia, and adhere to the mucosal surface, creating biofilms. These biofilms keep pollens, dander and dust on the surface, and allow them to continue irritating the mucosa, setting up the inflammatory cascade. This combination of impaired function and biofilm production creates a complex issue.
Focusing on the Solution
If you treat the inflammation, without restoring proper function, you are cutting off the stem of the dandelion, but not getting to the root of the problem. The dandelion will grow right back! The impaired function must be addressed for a more complete solution. That is why I treat patients topically in my office with a safe, natural botanical compound that helps to restore optimal function.
The topical treatment pushes substances off the mucosa by secreting more mucous. Dust, dander, pollens and microbes are flushed away from the mucosa and out the nose. This in combination with an anti-inflammatory product such as QCNasal Spray, proper hydration and minimizing exposure to allergens where possible creates an effective solution to recurrent seasonal allergies.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, and would like to know more about in-office topical treatments for allergies, colds & flus or to wish try any of the products listed here but are unsure which option is best for you, email us with your questions. We are happy to work with you!
About the Writer
Dr. Jana Hagen brings more than a decade of knowledge and experience in Naturopathic Medicine and Clinical Laboratory Medicine to her family medicine practice. In addition to naturopathic primary and preventive care, she has additional experience in relapse prevention, neurotransmitter rebalancing, sinusitis (from allergies, colds & flus) and sustainable weight-loss via metabolic enhancement.
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