Oh Christmas Tree, What are you Doing to my Chronic Sinusitis?

The scents of the season can wreak havoc on your sinuses, especially for those that suffer from chronic sinusitis. Chicago allergist, Brian Rotskoff, MD, shares tips for coping with winter sinus symptoms.

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| Source: Clarity Allergy Center

Chicago, IL, Dec. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ah, the holidays. For some, the holidays invoke warm memories infused with scents of evergreen needles, cinnamon sticks, homemade cookies, fresh snowfall, and so much more. But if the scents of the season have you sniffling more than celebrating, you may be experiencing chronic sinusitis. Coping with chronic nasal obstruction is disruptive and exhausting, especially during this time of year. Chicago allergist and breathing expert, Brian Rotskoff, MD, helps patients chase away the Bah-hum-bugs with simple solutions for managing your chronic sinusitis.

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"Typically, we associate allergens with the spring and summer months, but winter has its own set of allergens to aggravate the sinuses," says Dr. Rotskoff. "Chronic sinusitis sufferers are often surprised when winter intensifies their symptoms." 

Why don't sinus irritants hibernate?

Chronic sinusitis irritants are found everywhere this time of year. Unpacking your favorite down feather blanket or decorations that have been in the attic since last year stirs up a new set of dust and allergens. That beautiful Christmas tree that you put up, whether artificial or natural, can carry mold. And that cozy wood-burning stove or fireplace, it forces sediments and other irritants right into the house. With windows tightly closed, sinusitis triggers are trapped in the house and make chronic sinusitis symptoms seem unbearable. 

Where is the chronic sinusitis relief? 

Unfortunately, bundling up for some fresh air may not help; winter conditions do not favor the chronic sinusitis sufferers either. Dry winter air will dry out your sinuses. To care for this, Dr. Rotskoff suggests using a saline nasal spray to moisten the nasal passages. But he advises, "Do not overuse an over-the-counter decongestant. These can worsen your congestion." 

Those with chronic sinusitis do not suffer alone this time of year. Asthma is another condition that is affected by winter conditions. The same allergens and irritants that trigger chronic sinusitis will also trigger asthma. The cold winter air can induce an asthma attack. Talk to your doctor early in the season to better understand your asthma triggers and to design an asthma plan of action to manage an attack.  

"This time of year, I suggest that all my asthma patients wear a scarf or mask to block the cold air from entering air passageways," says Dr. Rotskoff. "Covering the lower part of your face will minimize the affects that cold air has on your breathing."

Can't stay inside or go outside. Now, what to do? 

Don't bother asking Santa for relief from your chronic sinusitis this year. Take control and seek a diagnosis. Finding relief starts with talking to a sinus specialist like Dr. Rotskoff. Depending on the cause of your chronic sinusitis, you may be prescribed antibiotics, an antihistamine, or a nasal steroid spray. 

Diagnosis of the root problem is the most important step in treating your symptoms. Next, take some extra care to ease the effects of the irritants surrounding you. Make sure to clean and dust regularly to remove excess dust from a wood-burning stove or furnace. To combat dry air, set up a clean humidifier to add moisture to your home.. 

Making a few extra considerations will help you enjoy the holidays, even if you do have chronic sinusitis. For relief, contact Dr. Rotskoff at Clarity Allergy Center in Chicago. Finding the cause of your symptoms will make your holidays merry and bright. 

Clarity Allergy Center
Dr. Brian Rotskoff, MD

T: 773-877-3500 
Web: http://www.clarityallergycenter.com/

North Chicago Office
4801 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 306
Chicago, IL 60646

Chicago Office
3000 N. Halsted St, Suite 611
Chicago, IL 60657

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125 South Wilke Road, Suite 100
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

http://www.clarityallergycenter.com/contact/