Are you aware of why and how your nose may be itchy and sensitive? Allergen is the term used to describe the substance that causes itching and hypersensitivity in your nose. Pollen, mold, dust mites, certain foods, latex, and animal dander are just a few examples. These allergens sensitize the nasal mucosal membrane through a process known as sensitization. This process typically involves a few different types of cells in our body, including macrophage, lymphocyte, and mast cell. At the start of sensitization, allergens penetrate our nasal passage’s mucosal surface. The ease with which allergens penetrate the mucosal surface is due to a deficiency of IgA antibodies, the primary function of which is to eliminate micro organisms adhering to the mucosal surface. Patients who are allergic to an allergen typically have a lower level of IgA antibodies.
The second step in the sensitization process is the macrophage cell scavenging the allergen. The macrophage cell is a large scavenger cell found in the bloodstream. Its function is to consume antigens from the environment. Additionally, macrophage cells transmit information about the invasion of a foreign antigen to the lymphocyte cell during the scavenging process, which involves several enzymes. This information stimulates lymphocytes to multiply and transform into plasma cells, which synthesize IgE antibodies. IgE antibodies travel to mast and basophil cells in the area of the eye, mouth, and nose via tissue fluid and blood, where they bind to mast and basophil cells. When an allergen forms a bridge between two IgE molecules on the surface of mast or basophil cells, histamine is released as the primary chemical mediator. This chemical stimulates exocrine glands, contracts smooth muscles in the bronchi, dilates and increases the permeability of blood vessels, resulting in itching. Prostaglandin, a secondary mediator, is synthesized in all types of cells and causes inflammation on the mucosal surface of the nostril.
How can I avoid developing a nasal allergy? Because we know that nasal allergies are caused by allergens, the first step toward avoiding nasal allergies is to eliminate the allergen from our home or room. Individuals allergic to household dust may not be allergic to road or field dust. This is because house dust contains house dust mites, the primary allergen. Mites prefer to live in mattresses and box springs filled with cotton or kapok. Thus, we should substitute foam rubber encased in a durable impervious material for this item. Additionally, we should replace eiderdown, blankets, and pillows with those that are less mite-friendly. Additionally, dust-collecting upholstered furniture and carpets should be avoided in the room due to their ability to harbor dust mites. To keep dust mites at bay in our home, we should vacuum frequently.
Individuals allergic to animal dander can see significant improvement in their allergy symptoms after removing their animal from the house. However, if the individual’s allergy condition is severe, his nose may continue to itch for several months after the animal is removed. This is due to the residue of animal dander on the furniture and carpets. If the allergy persists for an extended period of time, it could be the result of indirect exposure to allergenic substances or other allergens. If the aforementioned measures do not improve your allergy condition or if they are inconvenient for you to implement, you may consider immunotherapy.
Pollen is the second allergen that may cause nasal allergy. Seasonally, pollen is released from trees and grass. As a result, avoiding this allergen is quite difficult, even if you stay indoors in a city flat or house with the window and door closed. Individuals suffering from hay fever should avoid living in a dark flat or house with the windows and doors closed during these most pleasant months of the year. They can simply undergo a brief course of systemic steroid treatment, which may enable them to lead a relatively normal life during this brief period of pollen season. Pollen season occurs in late spring and early summer in seasonal countries, but lasts nearly ten months in non-seasonal countries. To avoid pollen while outdoors, I believe the only way is to wear a filtration mask or to take antihistamine medication prior to going out. Indoor pollen levels, on the other hand, can be reduced by installing an electrostatic air cleaner, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, air conditioning, a dehumidifier, a humidifier, and an ionizer (negative ion generator).
Additionally, electrostatic air cleaners are referred to as electrostatic precipitators. It consists of a fan that draws air containing particles through an electrically charged plate where the particles are trapped. The tedious task associated with this equipment is that it requires frequent cleaning of the plate that traps the particles, as excessive particle accumulation on the plate can reduce its trapping efficiency.
HEPA filtration is capable of removing particles as small as 0.3 microns. As a result, this equipment can remove the majority of particulate matter in the room, including bacteria, dust mites, molds, yeast, and spores, all of which are allergens to nasal allergies. HEPA filtration is extremely effective at relieving symptoms of hay fever and asthma. Within ten minutes to half an hour of turning on the equipment, it can alleviate hay fever and asthma symptoms. When potassium permanganate and charcoal are combined with a HEPA filter, large particulate matter such as dust and pollen, as well as chemical odors, can be removed. This is because potassium permanganate is a strong oxidizing agent that can decompose the majority of dust and organic materials, whereas charcoal can adsorb the majority of volatile organic compounds.
Air conditioning is another piece of equipment that can significantly reduce pollen levels in closed room air to near zero. Generally, the pollen level in an unfiltered room with an open window is about one-third that found outdoors. This level is sufficient to aggravate symptoms in anyone allergic to pollen. Similar to an electrostatic air cleaner, the coils and filters of an air conditioner must be cleaned frequently to avoid mold contamination. Additionally, the cooling temperature of the air conditioning system should not be set too low, as extremely cold air can aggravate respiratory allergies.
It is preferable for those who have asthma, nasal allergies, or other respiratory allergies to breathe moist air to avoid drying out their noses and bronchial passages. There is no issue for people who live in equatorial and tropical countries, as these countries have extremely high humidity levels. This level, however, may be too high, promoting the growth of house dust mites, molds, and fungi, as well as carrying more dust and pollen. A comfortable level of humidity in the home is between 35 and 50%. At this level, people will not feel uneasy, and it may also help prevent the spread of allergens throughout the house. Thus, residents of seasonal countries require a humidifier in the winter and a dehumidifier in the summer, whereas residents of non-seasonal countries require a dehumidifier to reduce their home’s moisture level and prevent the growth of mold, dust mites, and fungi. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers should be cleaned on a regular basis with a stiff brush.
Ionizer or negative ion generator is a term that refers to a machine that generates negative ions and releases them into the air. Because the surface of the particle is positively charged, when a negative ion is attracted to it, its positive charges are electrically neutralized by these negative ions. Particles with a neutralized surface have a proclivity for settling on the wall or floor. Particles in the air can be reduced using this equipment, provided the air in the room is not blown up by a fan. As a result, to keep the house dust-free, walls, floors, carpets, and furniture must be vacuumed frequently.
Preventative measures are one method of temporarily relieving nasal allergy symptoms. However, there are other less expensive ways to cure nasal allergy without causing any side effects.
Author: Alexander Chong
Author of “How to cure your incurable nasal allergy naturally, without the use of synthetic drugs, herbs, or expensive devices.”