What is allergy?
Our bodies have an in-built and complex system to defend against microbes such as viruses and bacteria etc but when our immune system kicks up an overly heightened response on getting exposed to certain foreign substances, it is called allergy.
Runny nose, stuffy nose, multiple recurring bouts of sneezing, itching in throat and/or nose – a patient with nasal allergy can show all these and some of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, the medical science still hasn’t found any permanent cure for allergies. Most medicines prescribed – such as antihistamines, with or without decongestants; steroid nasal sprays, or antihistamine-delivering nasal sprays or cromolyn sodium - can only offer symptomatic relief. For those suffering from chronic allergy, allergy testing and allergy shots (also called immunotherapy) can help to an extent. The ENT physician can also prescribe antihistamine and steroidal sprays for long term usage but these must be used correctly.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Use a nasal decongestant or blow your nose gently to clear your nasal passages.
- Shake the steroidal spray container a few times.
- Close one nostril using index finger.
- Put the nozzle into the open nostril away from the nose’s midline (nasal septum) and spray straight back. Never spray up towards the tip of the nose. This becomes easy if you spray into the right nostril using the left hand and into the left nostril using the right hand.
- Sniff in gently and deeply to activate the spray and exhale through the mouth.
- Now repeat these steps for the other nostril.
- Caution: Spray only one nostril at one time. Spray into alternate nostrils each time. Never give two sprays in one nostril. One spray per nostril is sufficient.