It can be difficult to tell the common cold from the flu or allergies. For you, the sufferer, the destination is often the same: the living room sofa. Sore throats, aches, and a nose that’s suddenly a long-distance runner – the symptoms of all can overlap. So how do you know what you have? And, importantly, how long will you have it?
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Do you even know what a uvula is? Get your mind out of the gutter! Everyone has one, and unlike Sheldon Cooper, you don’t need to feel embarrassed about it.
You may have experienced this – the feeling that your head is in a vice. The pounding, the thumping, the running toward the medicine cabinet in seek of an aspirin or twelve. Yes, migraines are anything but minor.
Your cartilage is fit! How do you know? Because your nose runs and runs and never gets tired. 😉 If you find yourself nodding along, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. This is a condition not only marked by a runny nose, but also postnasal drainage, nasal congestion, pain around the eyes, cheeks, nose, forehead, or ears, a reduced sense of smell and taste, a cough that gets worse at night, bad breath, fatigue, sore throat, and nausea. Yep, it reads almost like a cold remedy commercial!
Nasal rinsing: it’s quick, easy, effective, and comes with countless benefits for people of all walks of life, including athletes. The practice clears sinuses, removing mucus and muck and all that icky stuff. Some of the many proven benefits include optimized airflow, reduced allergies, and decreased flu and cold symptoms. Oh, and did we mention that it’s 100% natural? Here, we delve into the many benefits athletes can expect from nasal rinsing.
Population studies suggest that as many as 75% of patients with COPD have concomitant nasal symptoms and that more than 30% of patients with sinusitis also have lower airway symptoms of asthma or COPD. Given that the upper and lower airway lining have similar exposure to allergens and react with a similar inflammatory response, it is common for rhinitis and sinusitis to coexist with COPD. Several possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain this combined upper and lower airway dysfunction. These include the naso-tracheal-bronchial reflex, inflammatory effects caused by smoking, mouth breathing because of nasal obstruction, and pulmonary aspiration of post nasal drainage. Postnasal drainage produced by exposure to nasal inflammatory mediators during sleep may also have a role in creating lower airway inflammatory reactivity.
For anyone who experiences chronic sinus problems that less conservative treatments don’t help, sinus surgery is a viable option. It can improve drainage, relieving your congestion and sinus pressure in the process. It’s a relatively minor procedure, but it’s still surgery. This means two things: milk it during the recovery process (you’ll get gifts!) and be sure to take care of yourself afterwards.
In the world of nasal rinses, isotonic and hypertonic often face off in competition to see which is better – it’s like West Side Story but for your sinuses. Both rinses have their benefits – they wash away germs and allergens. They flush out pollutants and bacteria. They decrease the symptoms of nasal congestion.
The most common reasons for a runny nose are colds, hay fever, and sinusitis. All of these conditions affect the nose in a similar manner: they cause it to swell and produce extra mucus in an attempt to clear the nasal passages of irritants. In other words, they make it annoying.