When I have an itchy nose, drippage, sneezing, hay fever etc... I know it is because of my rhinitis. However, what bothers me MOST is that my face/sinuses are always puffy even when I dont have the other symptoms. I used to take nasacort and this worked for a couple months maybe more and really brought down the puffiness/swelling, but not after long it seemed to lose its effectiveness. Now, I am always puffy even if I am not sneezing, itching, blowing my nose and even if I am not experiencing a lot of sinus pressure. It makes it somewhat more difficult to breathe. Don't get me wrong, I still get the normal rhinitis symptoms, but not all the time. This puffiness and slight difficulty in breathing is what bothers me because it is constant. And also, I tend to get bad migranes when it is humid and about to rain. Is all of this because of rhinitis? Is there any thing I can do because its killing me?! Thanks.
Rhinitis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the nose (sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses), so that does sound like what you're dealing with.
The more important question is what is causing the inflammation.
It sounds like part of your problem is allergies (since you specifically mention hay fever), so it's possible that you're allergic to something that is causing year 'round inflammation. Allergens like mold, pet allergies, even food allergies are the most likely cause of year 'round inflammation so you might need to take an antihistamine (claritin or zyrtec) every day to keep those allergies under control.
You might also try using a neti pot or SinusRinse bottle to irrigate your sinuses with salt water and soothe those swollen tissues.
In addition to allergies, acid reflux can contribute to chronic sinus and nasal inflammation (the upper and lower respiratory systems are very closely linked and inflammation from one can radiate to the other).
If you decide to try the antihistamine and sinus irrigation, use both daily for at least 2 weeks to see if you notice any improvement.
thanks gcsmith. I have read something from an old post in this forum that mentioned "chronic sinus inflammation" Does anyone know anything about this and how it is treated? Do allergy shots treat this? BTW, I was on allergy shots for about 2 years and then I stopped because I was not sure if they were really working. I want to start again but it has been more than 2 years since I stopped. If I continue, will I have to begin all over again? Thanks.
Allergy shots can help with chronic sinus inflammation if the inflammation is caused by allergies, but it can also be caused by environmental irritants, dry air, and acid reflux so you'll have to figure out what's causing the inflammation to manage it.
The fact that you had allergy shots in the past means you must be allergic to something so allergies are a good place to start. The best way to manage allergies is to take an antihistamine daily, use a neti pot or SinusRinse bottle to irrigate your sinuses, and try as much as possible to avoid the things you're allergic to. Shots do work for lots of people but they take time.
thanks again for your excellent advice. I have another question, this time about antihistamines. Are they actually safe to take everyday? Even if so, wouldnt your body develop a resistance to the drug? I like to stay all natural so I don't really like the idea of being dependent on a drug everyday but obviously there may not be another option. Oh yeah are we talking about OTC drugs?
antihistamines. Are they actually safe to take everyday?
Yes, they are. They actually work best if you take them everyday because they keep your body from releasing histamine, which triggers allergic reactions. Once the reaction starts it takes a while for the medication to take effect, so taking them every day minimizes the release of histamine and keeps the cascade of reactions from starting. If your allergies are seasonal you only need the antihistamines during the seasons when your allergies are a problem.
wouldnt your body develop a resistance to the drug?
Over time a particular antihistamine may become less effective (although some people take the same one for years without this happening). You can avoid the problem by rotating the antihistamines you take every couple of months.
are we talking about OTC drugs?
Yes. The best OTC options are Loratadine (the generic version of Claritin) and Cetirizine (the generic version of Zyrtec). Both are now available over the counter, don't usually cause drowsiness, only have to be taken once every 24 hours, are inexpensive, and both work very well. Cetirizine is the stronger of the two so you might start with Loratadine to see if it takes care of your symptoms.