Monthly Archives: January 2016


Bust Your Dust Mite Allergy

We’ve been talking a lot about winter allergies because they are particularly bad this year due to the inconsistent weather. No matter where you look, people are sneezing, coughing and sniffling.

Most winter allergies are caused by dust and mold that settles indoors now that the windows are closed and there is little ventilation. Dust can be a combination of human skin, pet dander, dirt, insect carcuses and dust mites. About 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, and if you happen to be one of those people, you know how miserable you can be when you’re cooped up inside for months.

There are a few things you can do that’ll help alleviate your allergy symptoms, including:

  • Dust every day
  • Vacuum every day
  • Wash sheets once a week or more
  • Wash stuffed animals often
  • Wash curtains monthly
  • Get dust mite-proof covers for your pillows, mattress and boxspring

However, dust builds up quickly, especially if you live in an older house or have pets or children. In an attempt to keep ahead of the dust bunnies, you may find yourself spending a large amount of time cleaning and a large amount of money for cleaning supplies. If that’s not enough, which is most often the case, you may also take prescription or over-the-counter decongestants and/or antihistamines. And, if you’re like most people, your allergies don’t end when winter does — and neither do dust problems. Enter the new season, the new seasonal allergy, and the same bothersome symptoms.

CT Sinus Center wants to help. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians to see how we can put a permanent end to your allergy suffering. When you come in, we’ll sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your symptoms and do a few tests. We’ll then assess which treatment option is best for you, including whether you’re a candidate for balloon sinus dilation, a quick in-house procedure done with local anesthesia, that can promote natural drainage and healing, and keep you breathing freely no matter the season.

The mighty dust mite doesn’t stand a chance up against the treatment procedures available at CT Sinus Center. Book your appointment today at (860) BALLOON and find out what makes us the leader in permanent relief.

For more information on all things sinus and allergy, visit our website and our blog.


Don’t Let Allergies Cost You Your Job

Young woman using computer in office

How many days have you called out of work because of sinus conditions this year?

First, your fall allergies were making you miserable. Then, just as you thought you’d start feeling better, with the unseasonably  warm weather, you may have been experiencing more headaches, sinus pressure, nasal congestion and coughing than you’re used to during the winter months. According to an Urgent Care physician: “We’ve been seeing an increase in patients with sinus infections. Because of the warm weather, many of the allergens you don’t usually see in the winter are sticking around, and people are suffering from worse winter allergies than normal. And then it turns into a sinus infection.”

Now that the anticipated winter weather has hit with below-freezing temperatures, brisk winds and snow, you’re having sinus issues on top of dealing with other cold-weather illnesses.

You can try decongestants and antihistamines to get you through the day. Or you can go to the doctor for a round of antibiotics, but with all the information about antibiotic misuse and resistance, this isn’t a route you want to take too many times.

Even if you have found success with these temporary treatments and you were able to get to work, you probably found yourself dragging and not being your most productive. With the winter weather really just beginning, how much productivity will you lose — or worse yet, how many more days will you have to call out? No matter how compassionate your boss is, understanding is limited when it comes to ineffectiveness and absenteeism.

When you’re ready to leave your sinus suffering behind and get back to feeling like you, book an appointment at CT Sinus Center and see how we can help. Our expert physicians will thoroughly assess your symptoms and discuss all of the available treatment options. You may be eligible for balloon sinus dilation, a simple, non-invasive procedure that can put an end to your sinus suffering forever — and it only takes about an hour. Visit our website or call 860-BALLOON for more information!

Say goodbye to your seasonal allergies and save those sick days for a better use.


The “Anti’s” of Antihistamines

Last week we took a look at the downsides of decongestants, and this week we are going to focus on another medication frequently used to treat allergies: antihistamines.

Antihistamines prevent the effects of histamine, the substance your body releases when you are exposed to an allergen. The histamine is what causes you to sneeze as well as have a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Therefore, antihistamines are designed to give you relief from these symptoms.

Antihistamines are available over-the-counter and by prescription, and come in sedating (called first generation) and non-drowsy (called second generation) formulas. However, both the first and second generation medications have been known to have the opposite effects on users, meaning that a sedating brand may not make someone tired where a nonsedating one may put someone to sleep.

For a list of some of the more common types of antihistamines, click here.  

Like decongestants, antihistamines are expensive. And since allergy symptoms can appear year-round, if you’re constantly purchasing them to treat allergies, the costs will really add up. To make matters worse, according to WebMD, the non-sedative remedies that many people rely on to feel better during the day cost 10 to 20 times as much as the sedating ones.

Antihistamines of all types also carry the risk of side effects. The most common ones include:

dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and restlessness or moodiness. Extreme side effects include blurred vision and confusion. Although antihistamines are relatively safe even if taken long-term, they have been known to worsen the following conditions: enlarged prostate, heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, kidney or liver disease, bladder obstruction, or glaucoma. Antihistamines are also known to have negative interactions with specific medications.

When it comes down to it, one of the biggest “anti’s” of antihistamines is that they are just a short-term solution to a long-term problem. So why fork over your hard-earned cash and risk side effects for something that will only give you temporary relief?

At CT Sinus Center, we offer permanent relief through an affordable, non-invasive procedure called balloon sinus dilation. In just under an hour, the procedure will increase the airflow in your nasal passages and decrease the possibility of further sinus discomfort.

When you are ready to discontinue your endless supply of antihistamines, schedule a consultation with one of our expert physicians to see if you are eligible for balloon sinus dilation or any of our other highly-effective treatments that will put an end to your allergy suffering forever.

For more information on all things allergies, visit our website and blog, and then book your appointment by calling (860) – BALLOON.


The Downside of Decongestants

 

nose

Stuffy nose? Pressure in your ears, nose or face? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of allergies or sinusitis, you’ll probably reach for an over-the-counter decongestant. There are three types of decongestants: oxymetazoline, phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine, and they are available in the form of pills, liquid, nose sprays or nose drops. For a more in-depth look at each one, visit our blog on over-the-counter allergy medicines.

Decongestants will help to reduce swelling in your nasal passages, making it easier to breathe; but if you are suffering from allergies or sinusitis, decongestants are not the solution to your problems. So before you run to your medicine cabinet, let’s take a look at some of the downsides of decongestants:

They’re expensive. According to WebMD, “one estimate of the annual cost of allergies to the health care system and businesses in the U.S. [is] $7.9 billion.” How much do you and your family contribute to this total, especially if you have multi-season allergies? Think about all the other things you could do with this money.

They’re not a cure. Decongestants may lessen your symptoms, but they do not actually cure allergies or sinusitis. So when the medicine wears off, you’ll take more, and when that dose wears off, you’ll take even more. It’s a vicious cycle. After all that, if you forget to take a dose altogether, the medicine will be less effective. How great would it be if you could find a one-time, permanent solution?

They can be hazardous to your health. Decongestants can present a host of side effects:

Pills and liquid can cause dizziness, anxiety, nausea, and headaches, increased blood pressure, and irregular hearts. For people with heart issues or hypertension, taking a decongestant can lead to serious problems. This type of medication can also be extremely harmful to people with a thyroid disorder, enlarged prostate or diabetes. As many of these diseases go undiagnosed, you may be taking a serious chance when you take that decongestant.

Nasal sprays and drops may be the source of nosebleeds and throat irritation. With nasal spray decongestants, your body becomes used to the medicine and less responsive to its benefits. Consequently, you begin to need more and more for it to work, and if you stop, your congestion might get worse. This is called the rebound effect, and while people tend to call it “nasal spray addiction,” it is not a physical addiction. This is not to say that people don’t get psychologically addicted to nasal sprays, which then causes overuse, which in turn can damage nasal tissue, leading to other medical problems. For this reason doctors advise that you only use nasal sprays for between 3 and 5 days at a time. So what do you do for your congestion after that

With all these side effects, is taking decongestants for your allergies or sinusitis worth the risk?

At CT Sinus Center, we offer a one-time, affordable solution called balloon sinus dilation that will give you a break from the decongestant cycle. This simple, non-invasive procedure may put an end to your sinus issues forever — and with no side effects. Schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians to see if you are eligible for the procedure.

For more information on how CT Sinus Center will get you moving toward relief rather than running around in circles, book your appointment by calling (860) BALLOON.