Pathology and All About Nasal congestion and rhinitis: causes and treatments

Diseases and Conditions
Note: This translation is provided for educational purposes and may contain errors or be inaccurate.

All about nasal Congestion, rhinitis, and sinusitis | Diseases and conditions

Table of contents:

1. nasal congestion
2 allergies
3. What is rhinitis
4 bronchitis
5 cold
6. the tobacco
7. What is the flu?
8. What is sinusitis

1. nasal congestion

Do you feel clogged, trouble breathing? Several can be the causes of nasal congestion and rhinitis. It identifies what is it that causes your problem and here is the solution.
When the nose is blocked it is necessary to breathe through the mouth, which facilitates the entry of pathogens and dry throat. Here are some tips that will help you to relieve nasal congestion.

What is nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion occurs to ignite the membrane that covers the inside of the nose, causing an obstruction that makes it difficult to breathe. It's an unpleasant symptom that always accompanies disorders such as flu, colds, or allergies that affect the respiratory tract, bronchitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis... Tobacco, environmental pollution, sudden changes in temperature, or inhaling irritating substances can also cause nasal obstruction.
In addition, the majority of people (estimated that up to eight out of ten) we have the nasal septum more or less deviated, which favours the development of respiratory infections, and is also a common cause of nasal obstruction. When the nose is blocked it is necessary to breathe through the mouth, which facilitates the entry of pathogens, so people with this problem they can suffer from colds or flu more often.
Nasal congestion is not a disease in itself, but the symptom of another disease, which must be diagnosed and rating to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

Nasal congestion in infants

In the elderly, young children and adults, nasal congestion is a nuisance without significant consequences, although it may interfere with sleep and be cause of snoring and dryness of throat, since asleep needs to open his mouth to be able to breathe.
Nasal congestion, especially during the first months of life, babies may complicate breastfeeding, since the baby can not breathe through the nose while feeding, and may also be harder to sleep and cause discomfort in the ears.
For these children, who may not blow your nose for themselves, it is advisable to use natural products as solutions salinas, to humidify clean their nostrils, and facilitate the expulsion of secretions. Mucus may also be carefully removed with a special baby bulb.
In general, it is good to put a humidifier in the baby's room, and hold him upside down from time to time to facilitate drainage of mucus.

Treatment of nasal congestion

It is important to determine the cause of the nasal congestion for the treatment of the condition to which it is associated. In the event that it has been produced as a result of a flu, treatment with flu drugs that your doctor prescribe will contribute to mucus to flow abroad, relieving the obstruction. On the contrary, if plugging is due to an allergic reaction, antihistamines can alleviate the symptoms.
There are also particularly suitable medications to relieve congestion on the nose, which act to narrow the blood vessels located in the inner lining of the nose. These drugs alleviate stuffiness, but no influence on other symptoms such as runny nose (excess of mucus). However, it is not convenient to use them during more than three days in a row because a "rebound effect" that would worsen congestion may occur otherwise.
Nasal congestion can often be helped also with other products, in addition, not to interfere in the action of other drugs used to treat the condition that has caused this symptom. They can be used, for example, sea water salt solutions, which have proven to decongest the nose and, moreover, not present contraindications or side effects, so it can be given to pregnant women and, even, baby.
Saline sea water solutions, which are usually sold in the form of spray, used to moisten and clean the nasal mucosa, reduce inflammation, relieve dryness and burning, and facilitate the expulsion of nasal secretions, allowing the patient to breathe normally.
Other measures you can take to breathe better are:
• When sleeping, don't you place in a horizontal position, but in a position that allows to keep the head slightly elevated (using pads, for example).
• Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
• Reduce the dryness of the atmosphere (above all in the bedroom) with the help of a humidifier.
• Breathing steam from eucalyptus, especially before bedtime.
• Don't smoke or stay in rooms with smoke.
• Avoid contact with substances that may cause you nasal irritation (hair products with strong odors, dust, pets...).
• Wash your hands frequently.

2 allergies

Pollution, tobacco, preservatives and colourings, etc. have helped to increase the incidence of allergies. Here we solve the most frequent questions about allergy: can be cured? Is it hereditary?...


The allergy is defined as the State of hypersensitivity acquired by exposure to a particular allergen, in which re-exposure to the substance is going to trigger a new reaction, if it were possible, more intense.
The allergen is a substance capable of producing specific hypersensitivity or allergy may be a protein and non-protein, or extracts from certain foods, bacteria, pollens, animals, etc.

Why do they increase cases of allergies?

The style of life in the industrialized countries, the air that we breathe in cities, increasingly polluted, the intake of foods with a high content of preservatives and dyes, cigarette smoking, the increase in drug consumption... favor insight into our body of so many foreign substances, which put on guard to our defensive system par excellence : the immune system. As a result of this activation occurs the development of proteins called antibodies.
Between the antibody is Immunoglobulin E (Ig E). The crucial role of such Ig E is to act as protective antibody against certain infections. When the immunoglobulin E is manufactured in response to substances that are usually found in the environment, rather than going to potentially harmful organisms, fires a counterproductive reaction for our organism. The allergy could be understood, therefore, as a disproportionate reaction of our immune system to certain external stimuli, which would not generate any response in normal individuals.
Several epidemiological studies have concluded that in recent years there has been a considerable increase of the allergic conditions around the world. It is estimated that one of every five people suffers or has suffered from allergic processes.
It is difficult to know the exact number of people who are carriers of allergic diseases, since the skin tests against different environmental so common allergens such as pollens, animals epithelium as the cat or dog, dust mites, etc., can be positive even in subjects that do not show allergic symptoms.

Causes and risk factors for allergy

There are numerous causes and risk factors that may predispose us to suffer from allergies. Below we list the most common:

Genetic predisposition

Probably is one of the decisive factors for the emergence of allergic processes in a child, especially when the allergic background affect maternal and paternal family lines. In the first months of life the child contact most of allergens that will be exposed the rest of his life. Due to the immaturity of their immune system and high absorption of mucous membranes respiratory and digestive capacity, it is then when runs the risk of being sensitized.
For this reason, it is convenient to delay the introduction in the diet of foods rich in protein such as egg, cow's milk, fish and legumes, by its greater capacity to facilitate the development of food allergies.

Personal susceptibility

Increase in the willingness of the individual to synthesize specific E Ig against certain environmental substances (allergens).

Racial susceptibility

20 per cent of the white European population has allergic problems, a percentage much higher than recorded among people who live in the tropics.
There are also certain types of allergies or food intolerances that are observed more frequently in some races than others.

Environmental exposure

Cold, heat, solar radiation, chemicals... Can be allergic disorders are one of the taxes you have to pay the human race in its struggle for progress; an increase of allergic pictures, like for example asthmatic reactions, descendants children of migrants to another country, compared to residents in their land of origin has been. Statistics show that in industrialized areas there are more alergopatias than in rural areas. The emissions produced by vehicles, heaters and industrial activities are responsible for pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and dioxide of sulphur that, at certain concentrations, are harmful to health and aggravating factors of allergic diseases such as asthma.

Occupational exposure

Work with animals of laboratory, handling of derivatives of rubber, latex; environments with inhalation of vapors, manipulators of wood paintings... Found the development of bronchial asthma of occupational type in relation to exposure to organic and inorganic dusts, irritating fumes, and a wide variety of chemical agents.

Infections such as triggers

There is controversy regarding the possibility of respiratory infections in early life can promote the further development of allergic disorders; It was noted that some infants with episodes of bronchial obstruction (bronchiolitis), may subsequently have asthma of allergic-type with a very high frequency.


In allergic patients the repeated exposure to tobacco smoke worsens the irritation that contact with pollen and mites cause at the level of your eyes, nasal and bronchial mucosa. According to research, smokers have a higher level of Ig E, responsible for allergic reactions. Found, in addition, the increase in the frequency of respiratory infections and the risk of bronchial asthma in children exposed to parents tobacco smoking during the first year of life.


Any medication can cause an allergic reaction, and is more common in adults than in children. Develops allergy exposure to the same before, and after the initial sensitization and the production of antibodies is always required, a new contact with the drug will trigger the symptoms.


Food allergy is more common in children than in adults, but many of the reactions that are attributed to the allergy may be due to the existence of a mere intolerance.
Foods that are involved most frequently are milk, eggs, fish, vegetables, nuts, shellfish and strawberries.

Food additives

Colourings, preservatives, antioxidants, agents enhancers and aromatic taste, thickeners and emulsifiers sweeteners.

Domestic dust mites

Dust from houses is one of the leading causes of respiratory allergy around the world. It consists of a heterogeneous mixture of flakes of human skin and those from domestic animals, remains of insects, textile fibres, traces of food, insecticides, bacteria, animal hair, feathers of birds, fungi and, basically, a few microscopic parasites called mites. Favors its proliferation with temperatures close to the 25 ° - 27 ° C, in the autumn, and if the relative humidity of the air is high.

Plants and pollens

The botanical species of aerial dispersion are which can cause allergic reactions. Among them: grasses and grasses grown (wheat or barley).
During the spring months, a large number of invisible vegetable particles invade the atmosphere, and can subsequently deposited in the soil, producing reactions both by air and by contact.


They are ubiquitous microscopic beings in the environment of the human being; due to its high reproductive capacity, they proliferate easily whenever they are organic material that provide them the necessary nutrients. Fungi reproduce by means of some cells called spores, that to be transported by air can be inhaled by other living beings. Inhalation sustained spores can cause allergic symptoms (rhinitis, asthma) in susceptible individuals.


Dogs, cats, and other pets such as hamsters and Guinea pigs, constitute one of the main causes of allergy after pollen and mites. Other animals such as birds and horses can also cause allergies.


Those who produce allergic reactions more frequently are Hymenoptera (bees and wasps).

Physical exercise as a trigger

Running is the exercise that most frequently can trigger episodes of bronchial obstruction and, on many occasions, is the only factor capable of originating an asthmatic crisis in susceptible individuals. On the other hand, people with pollen allergies may aggravate their symptoms with the practice of physical exercise in the open air.

Role of the psyche in allergic conditions

Years ago raised the possibility that asthma was in large part a psychosomatic illness. However, not be has proved the existence of a specific personality that predisposes to suffering from asthma, which is considered a chronic inflammatory disease of the bronchial mucosa. However, the correct functioning of the body depends on the nervous system, which may be affected by certain stressful situations and depressive pictures, that influence the severity of asthmatic crisis episode.

Allergy symptoms

Together with the hotness of palate and ears, nasal, bronchial, and ocular demonstrations triggered by exposure to environmental antigens (pollen, mites, fungi) are the most characteristic symptoms of allergy .
Breathing difficulty and the whistles (wheezing) triggered chest exercise, crying, laughter and the nonspecific irritants (smoke, air pollution, sprayers,...) are unequivocal signs of bronchial hyperreactivity (asthma).
Skin conditions such as hives, certain forms of swelling of soft tissue (angioedema), and some type of eczema and other skin lesions may appear together with other pictures or in an isolated manner.
In the paragraphs below are listed organs and functions that may be affected by an allergy box, with its characteristic symptoms:
• Breathing apparatus.
• Skin.
• Organs of the senses.
• Digestive system.

Respiratory allergies

Within the respiratory allergies are bronchial asthma, rhinitis and alveolitis as its most common manifestations:
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Repeated sneezing, nasal congestion, and abundant mucus secretion (runny nose), usually accompanied by (conjunctivitis) inflammation of the membrane that covers the eye (conjunctiva); Hence the term of rhinoconjunctivitis. You can associate is often the presence of asthma, which is the form of presentation more typical of the allergic patient to antigens environmental.
Bronchial asthma
Pulmonary disease (reversible) obstruction, inflammation with special sensitivity to internal and external stimuli (bronchial hyperreactivity). Courses with prolonged cough, difficulty breathing (Dyspnea), beeps (wheezing) and feeling of tightness in the chest
Occurs due to the final portion of the respiratory tree (alveoli), in relation to exposure to organic dusts, fungus (aspergillosis) moldy Hay, straw and grain ("lung of the farmer"), dust from droppings of Pigeon ("pigeon breeder lung").

Skin allergies

Within the skin allergies, when we talk about their symptoms or manifestations, we do it of endogenous, exogenous eczema, urticaria, angioedema, or oedema Quincke and skin reactions by solar radiation. See them in more detail:

Endogenous Eczema

Also known as atopic dermatitis , inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by multiplicity of injuries: reddening, Erythema, scabs, exudation (secretion of liquid), vesicles, signs of scratching and scales. It is a type of chronic eczema with great hereditary component. It appears during the first year of life, and rarely persists after adolescence.

Exogenous Eczema

They are contact dermatitis, caused by substances that cause allergic reactions on contact: metals such as chromium, cobalt and, especially, the nickel.


Skin disease, which affects the dermis, with presence of habones, or hives, which produce an intense itch and change of location. Depending on the duration time can be considered acute (less than six weeks) or chronic (more than six weeks). According to the causes can be immunologic (allergic base) character, or not immune. The most frequent allergic hives are caused by food or drugs (penicillin).

Angioedema or Quincke Edema

Affects the subcutaneous cell tissue (deeper than the epidermis), with local inflammation, and may affect the larynx and cause potentially serious choking pictures.

Skin reactions by solar radiation

Phototoxic: by simultaneous exposure to the Sun taking drugs sensitive to sunlight.
Fotoalergenicas: by alteration of the structure of the drug by effect of the Sun; Unlike the previous causes lesions in areas not exposed to sunlight.
Solar urticaria: appears about thirty minutes after the sun exposure, in the form of habones and fleeting development.

Allergies in eyes and ears

There are allergies that can affect eyes and ears:

Ocular allergies

The conjunctiva is a membrane that lines the inner eyelid area and the front of the eyeball; inflammation of the membrane is called conjunctivitis. If it is cause allergic is often accompanied by nasal symptoms (rhinoconjunctivitis), and is also possible, that there is an association with bronchial asthma in atopic patients.
The most common symptoms of an ocular allergy are: intense itching, intolerance to light (photophobia), redness, tearing, discharge.
Among the most frequent causes of allergy eyes pointed out: pollen, mites, fungi environmental and animal particles.
Other allergic conjunctivitis:
• Contact conjunctivitis.
• Keratoconjunctivitis (simultaneous involvement of the cornea).

Ear allergies

The ear is not significantly affected by allergic mechanism, but some patients with atopic dermatitis or seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis may have itching in the ear canal and Eczema (drying).

Digestive allergies

Food or digestive allergies can cause skin lesions (eczema and urticaria), respiratory (rhinitis, asthma) or gastrointestinal (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea); or more severe (anaphylactic shock: loss of consciousness, cardiovascular disease, and life-threatening).
Main foods causing allergies in children are milk, egg, and fish; in adults, the vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Food allergies in infants

In the newborn intestinal absorption is increased, which favors the entrance of food substances that can trigger allergic reactions.
In addition, due to the immaturity of their immune system, it is not capable of producing the necessary defenses, why is recommended to prolong breastfeeding as much as possible (at least the first six months) and the progressive introduction of foods with more risk of digestive allergies.

Complications of allergy

Among the complications of the allergy occur more frequently we have asthma crisis, edema of the glottis, and the more severe, anaphylactic shock. See them in more detail:

Bronchial asthma

Either as a result of the progressive worsening of a basal bronchial asthma, or a secondary deepening in contact with an allergen, which triggered a severe asthmatic crisis, for example, by ingestion of aspirin, which can cause severe crisis requiring urgent hospital care in susceptible individuals.
Warning signs
The person must be sitting to breathe, are unable to speak or drink fluids because of fatigue, has difficulty sleeping night, an intense sensation of shortness of breath, with the accelerated heart rate. Before these symptoms should go to urgent hospital assessment.

Edema of the glottis, angioedema, or angioneurotic edema

They are often due to allergic reactions secondary to taking drugs or food, as well as by the bite of certain insects (wasps or bees), especially if the bite is on areas of the face or neck. Produces an inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the mouth, uvula, throat and larynx even, and may result in respiratory compromise by closure of the airway. Precise urgent medical care, with subcutaneous epinephrine.

Anaphylactic shock

It is the most serious manifestation of the allergic pictures. Accurate awareness previous, i.e. have occurred prior the substance contact, so before a new contact it triggers the allergic reaction.
Most frequent causes
Drugs (Penicillins, pyrazolones, aspirin, iodinated contrast), insect bites, food (egg, milk, nuts, fish, vegetables or seafood), physical factors (cold, exercise) and, less frequently, by contact with latex, antiallergic vaccines...
Feeling of shortness of breath, cough, shortness of breath (wheezing, whistles), including edema of glottis, palpitations, drop in blood pressure accompanied by dizziness and loss of consciousness, swelling, rashes, abdominal pain with vomiting and diarrhea, anxiety and confusion. It also needs urgent medical attention.

Diagnosis of allergy

There are several ways to diagnose an allergy, these are the most common tests used to detect it:

Clinical history or anamnesis (interrogation)

The detailed medical history is the main instrument that the doctor has to obtain a reliable diagnosis; the rest of tests will be used to confirm a suspicion. Data which should collect the patient's history are: age, sex, times of the year in which are the symptoms, variations that occur with changes in climate and in the different seasons of the year, the geographical area of residence, housing characteristics, as well as personal and family history and symptoms.

Physical examination

It must observe the skin for signs of atopy, perform cardiopulmonary auscultation to detect breathing sounds suggestive of bronchial asthma, explore nose and ears (rhinoscopy and otoscopy), and PEAK FLOW (peak expiratory flow) to determine which consists in measuring the speed with which air comes out of the lung, and is the best parameter to check the evolution of the asthmatic patient.

Skin tests

They want to play at the local level an allergic reaction in the skin through inoculation of tiny amounts of the allergen to which the patient is sensitive. In a few minutes after the skin prick, there will be a positive demonstration of allergy reaction. Will be a battery of standard tests: dust mites, pollen, fungi, antigens of pets; and some suspected foods are included in children's processes.
The two most common techniques are: puncture (deposit a drop of the allergen into the skin and click on that area) and intra (the allergen is introduced into the skin using insulin syringes). Both are performed in the anterior aspect of the forearm.
Other skin test is the test of the patch: a patch with the substance is placed in a healthy area of the body (back or front of the forearm) to study, remains 48 hours and is interpreted at 72 hours. It is suitable for the study of contact dermatitis.

Determination of antibodies in blood

It detects antigens responsible for the disease in blood. Quantification of immunoglobulin E, to determine the degree of Allergy and what is allergy.

Challenge tests

Reserved for those cases where the previous tests have been negative:
• Provocation with environmental allergens: conjunctival, nasal (by instillation of allergens) and bronchial (inhalation of allergens).
• Drug-induced aggravation: litmus test for diagnosis of drug allergy.
All these tests involve a risk and be carried out by trained personnel and in the health centre equipped with means to respond to a severe allergic reaction.

Other tests to diagnose allergy

• Evidence of histamine release.
• Quantification of the complement.
• Sweat tests.
• Quantification of other immunoglobulins, etc.

Allergy treatment

There are several options to relieve the symptoms of allergy. The specialist will be to decide what is best suited for your case in particular. Sometimes it will be necessary to follow the allergy treatment scheduled for several years, and check if there are developments in the symptomatology and was required to change it.


They prevent the release of histamine (substance responsible for allergic phenomena). Note: involvement of the skin with itching, rhinitis and conjunctivitis.
Types of antihistamines
1st generation: older, sedative effect (they produce sleep) and increase in appetite: Azatadina, diphenhydramine, Dexchlorpheniramine and Hydroxyzine.
2nd generation: do not produce sedation. Cetirizine, Ebastine and Loratadine. Avoid prolonged treatments and topical preparations because of risk of photoallergy. Most are administered orally, some via subcutaneous and intramuscular (dexchlorpheniramine, used in urgent situations, acute urticaria or angioedema). For rhinitis and conjunctivitis there are prepared in the form of spray and eye drops.


Two therapeutic groups: cortisone and derivates management systemic, via oral or injectable, and secondly, and more modern, the topical nasal or bronchial. Preparations systemic via are indicated in cases of intrinsic asthma, with adjustment of dose orally and appropriate treatment time. Nasal corticosteroids (spray) in rhinitis, in aerosols in case of bronchial asthma. The latter shall be used for the greater presence of antigens seasons (spring on the pollenosis, autumn and spring in allergy to mites...). Topical corticosteroids: creams, lotions, ointments, ointments. Skin conditions.

Cromolyn sodium and derivatives

Stabilizes the membrane of mast cells (cells involved in the allergic pictures) and prevent the release of chemical mediators (substances such as: leukotrienes, histamine, bradykinin). Via inhalation, bronchial or nasal. The component of bronchial hyperreactivity in asthma control.


Medication to dilate the airway through regulation of the autonomic nervous system (sympathomimetics and parasympathomimetics). Is administered via inhalation, aerosol; they have an immediate effect on the feeling of shortness of breath. Of choice in patients with respiratory diseases, (bronchial asthma).


Action complementary to the previous bronchodilator.


They are used in bronchial asthma; It has an effect added to the use of Beta-Adrenergic bronchodilator and corticosteroid.

Vaccines or hiposensibilizantes extracts (immunotherapy)

The only treatment available to try to cure the allergy. It consists in the administration of increasing doses of Antigen to which the patient is sensitized to achieve a posterior tolerance to this agent. Indications: allergic generalized by a bee, or WaSP bite reactions bronchial asthma for pollen allergy when the symptoms are modified and are not controlled, asthma allergy to antigens perennial (not seasonal), allergic to antigens in people in contact with them (veterinary allergic to animals, sensitive Baker to wheat flour).

Treatment of allergy in special situations

Gestation: low-dose steroids. Dexchlorpheniramine.
Nursing: night taking antihistamine, Loratadine. Contraindicated 1st generation antihistamines.
Anaphylaxis - Shock anafilatico: keeping the airway, administering oxygen, replace fluids with sera, use adrenaline subcutaneously or intravenously depending on severity, dexchlorpheniramine. If bronchospasm (closing of the bronchi) use bronchodilators, inhaled, intravenous or subcutaneous, and hospital stay.
Asthmatic crisis: the severity of the table is measured by the peak expiratory flow. Used oxygen, bronchodilators, inhaled or spray, steroids, intravenous, and, in severe cases, with vital commitment, adrenaline.
Other complementary treatments: respiratory exercises are essential in patients with asthmatic crisis. The techniques of self-control and relaxation and balneotherapy are also recommended.

Allergy prevention

To prevent the onset of allergy, or their symptoms when the person has already developed the condition, more importantly avoid contact with allergens, i.e. all substances that trigger the overreaction of the immune system. However, this is not always possible, since we live surrounded by substances potentially allergenic; We must, therefore, follow a series of recommendations to minimize contact with all those substances that can cause allergic reaction, especially when we already know what are. Parents, can also take precautions to protect their children while they are young, and thus reduce the risk of becoming allergic.
These are the most useful tips to prevent the different existing allergies:

The pollen allergy prevention

• Avoid those places that focus more amount of pollen: parks, gardens and rural environments... If it is not necessary, do not go to walk the very windy days because the wind drag large amounts of pollen. If you have to leave, use goggles to protect your eyes, and even a mask. If you are traveling by car, do it with the windows closed.
• The highest concentrations of pollen are produced in the early hours of the morning (between the 5.00 and the 10.00) and late evening (19.00 to 22.00), so you don't exercise or other activities outdoors in that schedule, and keep window closed.
• Is suitable to have a dryer at home, or at least placed a clothesline in the interior of the House so that clothing does not remain outdoors and be filled with pollen.
• When you get home, shower, wash your hair and change your clothes, to remove all traces of pollen that are have been able to remain attached to clothing and skin.
• Do not have in house plants that you are allergenic.

Prevention of allergy to dust mites

• Decoration of the House is very important in this type of allergy. Many less furniture and, especially, ornaments, less surfaces likely to accumulate dust and mites (one gram of dust can contain hundreds of mites).
• For the same reason, you should avoid the carpeted floors, rugs, Large curtains, stuffed animals, upholstered chairs...
• Clothing must stay in closed cupboards, not hung for days in a coat rack, or on top of a Chair.
• Wooden floors and, above all, the ceramic, are the best. It is better that the cleaning is done by a nonallergic person; If this is not possible, put on a mask, becomes cleaner and mopping it floors then.
• The best smooth walls, and which can be cleaned easily. To save the books, used cabinets or closed shelves.
• Vent the House frequently to avoid moisture, since these microscopic animals proliferate at temperatures above 20 ° C and humidity between 70% and 80%.
• Pillows and mattresses are genuine reservoirs of mites, so it is necessary that they are made with synthetic, or sheathed materials in non-permeable materials. You must wash bedding frequently, with water more than 65 degrees. You can also use covers anti-mite to protect mattress, pillows and sofas, which are the favourite places of these microscopic beings.
• In the bedroom, eliminates ornaments such as pictures, posters, dolls and stuffed animals. In the rooms of the children, toys should be stored in cabinets or drawers after use. If possible, keep the temperature of the room between 18 and 20 ° C.
• Avoid dusty places.

Prevention of allergy to animal hair or dandruff

• Do not have pets at home, and have minimal contact with the mascots of your family and friends, especially if it's cats. If you visit someone who lives with cats, it is necessary that they have sucked the House before your arrival, and you touching cats not staying in the same room with them. When you get home check to wash all the clothes that you've put, as it will surely be impregnated with your dandruff, since it is very difficult to remove, even with appropriate hygienic measures.

Prevention of skin allergy

• Used clothes made with fabrics, such as cotton or linen, and avoid wool and synthetic fibers.
• You must wash the clothes, even the bed and toilet, with detergents which do not contain irritants.
• When you bathing you, do it with warm water and do not stay long soak.
• In your body hygiene, use products not allergenic, complying with the pH of the skin.
• You must dry your carefully, using soft towels and without rubbing the skin, but checking that there are no wetlands. It is advisable that you then carbohydrates with a cream suitable for your skin type.
• Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity. Sweat can aggravate the symptoms.
• Not rasques you or friction skin if you you chop, you can cause you injury that aggravate the injury.
• Avoid exposure to Sun if you leave stains on the skin, and use appropriate clothing and a sunscreen if you're going to stay in the open air, even if it is cloudy.
• In the case of contact dermatitis, avoid all substances that trigger the symptoms. Check the composition of cleaning, grooming, makeup products if they contain allergens.

Prevention of allergy to insect stings

• Is not a common allergy, but can be serious and lead to complications, such as episodes of anaphylaxis. Normally, the allergic reaction is caused by insect bites so common in our midst like wasps, bees and mosquitoes, so avoid places where they proliferate is the most effective preventive measure. Therefore, if you're allergic to stings, you may deprive you of leaving the field in spring and summer. Also away from parks and gardens, and swimming pools that have green space and vegetation.
• Do not walk barefoot. It is best that you avoid sandals and use closed footwear.
• Places mosquito nets on the windows of your home. If you have a terrace, do not place plants in it because they will attract insects.
• In spring and summer, seeks to stay indoors. The terraces outdoor where people eat and drink tend to be very haunted places by wasps and mosquitoes.
• Do not put you colorful, such as yellow or orange clothes or perfumes strong, if you're going to walk down the street.
• Procurement than another person is responsible for littering to the container, because the insects are usually swarming where there is organic remains.
• If your allergy to insects it is severe, you should always carry self-injectable epinephrine, and go to a medical center immediately after the bite.
• If you have symptoms such as shortness of breath, hives, dizziness, nausea, low blood pressure, swelling of the throat or tongue, itching or inflammation important, can be a severe allergic reaction (though it has never before happened to you) and you should consult a doctor.

Prevention of food allergy

• Must know foods that produce you allergy to prevent their consumption. Discuss it with your doctor and get a test to detect them. Remember that among the foods that cause allergy more often they are: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, chocolate and citrus.
• When you eat away from home, it is necessary that you reports on ingredients in stews and sauces.
• Read the labels on packaged foods to make sure that it does not contain even trace amounts of foods to which you are allergic. Some preservatives, flavor enhancers and colorants can also be allergens.

Prevention of allergy to medications

• Some medicines can cause allergies, respiratory, such as aspirin and its derivatives, Salicylates (present in creams to relieve muscle aches, among other products), anti-inflammatory drugs, and some drugs used to control blood pressure.
• Always warns health professionals if you are allergic to any medications, because other drugs may share the same substance allergen. You should also tell them if you are allergic to certain foods because some vaccines, for example, contain components of the egg.

General Tips for preventing allergies

• Don't smoke, and not frequent places where to concentrate smoke, because this substance increases the allergic response and reduce the factors of Defense of the respiratory mucosa against infections.
• Avoid sudden temperature changes and, in times of epidemic of flu or colds, seeks not to remain long time indoors where there are many people (shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants...), or having contact with people who have some type of respiratory infection.
• Protects your skin from the Sun. Use a protective cream suitable for your skin type if you are going to expose you to sunlight, although it is not summer.
• Strong odors given off by some products can also cause allergy and aggravate the symptoms and discomfort. If you're allergic, be careful with foods like spicy sauces and vinegar, perfumes, lacquers, deodorants, acetone, alcohol, and cleaning products for the home, among others.

Prevention of allergy in infants and children

When there are family members allergic (especially if it is the father, mother, or both) increases the chances that the new baby will develop some type of allergy. However, some precautions may contribute to delay, or even prevent, the development of allergies in children.
Takes note of How to prevent allergy in infants and children:

No to tobacco

It should not be exposed to children to smoke tobacco, during pregnancy or after birth. Pregnant women should not smoke, and people living with her must not do so.


It has shown that breast-feeding a baby delayed exposure of the intestine, still immature, a series of foods (cow's milk, egg) potentially inducers of allergic reactions. It is recommended, therefore, keep breastfeeding during the first six months of life, and delay the introduction of fish, eggs and pulses up to nine, twelve and fifteen months, respectively.

Measures dietary

Measures favoring delaying the appearance of possible allergies in childhood in children with high risk for allergic family history. In cases in which breastfeeding is not possible, use special hypoallergenic milks (low risk to trigger allergy). It is important to wait until the last six months of life to incorporate solid foods to the diet of these children.

Avoid the self-medication

The indiscriminate use of drugs can lead to the emergence of important undesirable reactions.

Frequently asked questions about allergy

Six and a half million Spaniards suffer from some sort of allergy in their lives. If you're one of them here you will find the answer to frequently asked questions about allergy, most of them relating to the evolution of the disease itself or the effectiveness of existing treatments to control. And if after reading these answers still you have questions to be resolved do not hesitate to resort to our online health clinic.
Is allergy inherited?
People suffering from allergies, can effectively, transmit to their descendants predisposition to develop allergy. When one parent is allergic, your child will have a 40% chance of becoming allergic to turn around and, if both parents are not, the risk is 70%. A number of measures can, however, be taken to delay, or even prevent, that the child develops allergy, since exposure to certain environmental factors can accelerate the onset of this disorder (see prevention of allergy).
What is the difference between an allergy and a cold?
Sometimes allergy symptoms are similar to those of the common cold, so it is not easy to distinguish which of the two conditions is about. What can help us determine what allergy is that this disorder is often accompanied by nasal itching, abundant and continuous sneezing, watery mucus (in cold mucus is thicker), and ocular involvement. Cold, go away within a week or ten days, allergic rhinitis is recurrent.
Allergy cures?
So far it did not cure the allergy, and treatments are intended to relieve the symptoms. The most commonly used in the treatment of mild allergies are antihistamines, which offer very good results in the case of the second generation, have few side effects and do not cause drowsiness to the majority of the patients.
How are antihistamines?
Antihistamines relieve the main symptoms of allergy, such as itching and secretion nasal, sneezing and conjunctivitis, and are effective in the treatment of all kinds of allergies because they act by blocking the (molecule involved in allergic hypersensitivity reactions) histamine H1 receptors, preventing in this way showing the symptoms of allergy.
And vaccines?
Commonly referred to as allergy vaccine is to administer to the patient an extract of the allergen responsible for the disease, by dose gradually increased at regular intervals of time, with the purpose of inducing the tolerance required to control the allergic response. In cases in which it is stated, is considered the only treatment capable of modifying the natural course of allergic disease.
How can I relieve nasal congestion?
Some antihistamines include decongestants in its composition; In addition, you can also use natural products as saline sea water solutions, which are usually sold in the form of spray, and moisturize and cleanse the nasal mucosa, facilitate the removal of secretions and help you breathe better. You can find other recommendations to clear your nose in our section treatment of nasal congestion.
What is anaphylaxis?
It is the manifestation of more serious and intense allergic frame, although it is not common. There must be a prior awareness of the patient before the allergen that causes the allergic and reaction, with a new contact with this substance, the body reacts immediately, and they can alter blood pressure and the pulse of the patient who, may even lose consciousness. More severe cases may trigger what is known as anaphylactic shock, which can result in death of the affected. The bites of insects and the consumption of certain foods (fruits dry, seafood...) or medications, can cause this reaction excessive in them people sensitive to these allergens.
Why is increasing the number of allergic?
The incidence of Pathology allergic is is increasing in those countries developed because of various factors environmental related with the style of life of the population. Between these factors highlights the pollution atmospheric, since them high levels of pollution interact with substances as the pollen, an of them more allergenic, facilitating the arrival of them grains of pollen to the way respiratory, and favoring the development of allergy, even in them people not predisposed. In Spain, more than the 21% of the population suffers from some type of allergy, and it half of these people are allergic to the pollen. Others factors associated to this increase are the use of air conditioning, that increases the humidity in the inside of the housing, what favors the proliferation of mites of the powder and fungi; and live with pets (cats, dogs, birds), that also contributes to the sensitization allergic.
What is atopy?
This is a genetic predisposition to produce immunoglobulin E against common allergens in the environment. When the immunoglobulin E response to substances that are usually found in the environment, rather than be used against potentially harmful organisms for the organism, an allergic reaction is triggered.
How do I know if the day will be good or bad for allergy?
The SEAIC aerobiology Committee puts at your disposal, on the website, a map where you can find different types of pollen concentration levels, for which, if going to travel or just before leaving home, you know if the day you get to sneeze and you should arm yourself with kleenex or if it is advisable that you take beforehand your treatment for allergy. A very useful and reliable tool for the sighted

3. What is rhinitis

Depending on what kind of rhinitis it suffer (allergic, hormonal, atrophic, vasomotor) you have several alternatives to combat their discomfort. Learn to identify it to be able to treat it more effectively.
It rhinitis is a disorder that affects the nasal mucosa and is characterized by an increase in nasal secretions (with a constant drip), congestion, itching, watery eyes and repeated sneezing, and even loss of the sense of smell (anosmia). You can try rhinitis acute (when it is of short duration), or chronic (if long).

Types and causes of rhinitis

Acute rhinitis It is one of the symptoms that is cold, and may be caused by virus and bacteria. When it comes to allergic rhinitis, also it can be passed, since it is due to an immune reaction of the body against the presence of certain substances known as allergens. In this case, the appearance of seasonal allergic rhinitis coincides with the time of flowering of certain species like grasses, the olive or the Cupressaceae, which are the cause of the patient allergy.
Allergy, however, can also cause chronic rhinitis when the reason of allergy are other elements such as mites, inhalation of certain substances in the environment of the patient (occupational allergy) or hairs of pets, which do not have a seasonal character.
Hormonal rhinitis occurs as a result of changes in plasma levels of certain hormones, and therefore is very common during pregnancy (gestational rhinitis), since there is an increase in the levels of estrogen which causes increased secretion of the nasal glands and a higher viscosity of the same. This is solved at the end of gestation. Other diseases that may be associated with this type of rhinitis are diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Atrophic rhinitis is a chronic rhinitis of unknown origin that occurs as a result of atrophy of the nasal mucosa, which is thinned and hardened and presents alterations in the permeability. This disorder causes formation of crusts inside the nose and this remove bad smell. The concerned loses the sense of smell and may have frequent nosebleeds.
Vasomotor rhinitis also has a chronic character, and is characterized by dilation of the blood vessels of the mucous membrane of the nose, causing runny nose with sneezing. It is an intermittent condition, and changes of temperature, the cigarette smoke, strong odors and moisture, as well as the very dry environments tend to trigger its appearance.

Treatment of rhinitis

Your doctor will determine if it is an allergic rhinitis, or otherwise, prior to establishing the appropriate treatment. Thus, when the patient has an respiratory infection, it will attempt to identify the microorganisms involved in it growing in the laboratory a sample of nasal discharge, or by examining a sample of the nasal mucosa of the patient (extracted by biopsy).
In the allergic rhinitis, as far as possible avoid contact with allergens, if these have been previously identified (which is not always easy). When it is not possible to completely avoid the allergens, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines and corticosteroids to alleviate the symptoms. Decongestant drugs (oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, etc) can provide timely relief, but more than three or four days in a row, can not be used because the congestion could worsen at the end of its use.
Wash nostrils with saline hypertonic sea water to treat rhinitis is highly recommended and it can do several times a day, since it has no adverse effects on the health of the patient, by what pregnant women can be it. In addition, these nasal irrigation do not interfere with the action of other drugs the patient may be taking to cure the condition arising from rhinitis. On the other hand, can even improve the effectiveness of these drugs, because they facilitate the excretion of mucus and remove allergens and irritants of the nasal mucosa.
Increase the humidity with the use of a humidifier may be also helpful.

4 bronchitis

Bronchitis is usually related to the consumption of tobacco, or viral infections. Take a series of measures will contribute to alleviate the symptoms, improving the quality of life of the patients.

What is bronchitis

By bronchitis inflammation of the lining of the bronchi is known, in general. The bronchi are the conduits through which circulates the air to reach the deepest part of the lung (alveolar zone), which is where the exchange of oxygen between the lung and the blood is actually established. Red blood cells distribute oxygen throughout the body.

Symptoms of bronchitis

The symptoms may vary depending on the type of bronchitis; but commonly, found: cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness. The most common are:
• Cough with sputum (i.e. cough expel mucus), although if the mucus is too thick can be complicated to expel, as often happens in infections.
• Difficulty breathing and pressure in the chest. Mucus production is important.
It should be recalled that in acute bronchitis cough does not usually accompanied by sputum, since it is a temporary and transient irritation. However, the mucus in chronic bronchitis is frequent, purulent aspect, and is a criteria that can guide the diagnosis. So be considered chronic bronchitis, the patient must have suffered cough with sputum at least 3 months a year, for more than two years.
In chronic bronchitis, the constant and frequent irritation of the bronchial tract, with consequent inflammation, it ends up producing mucus that, like cough, is a defense mechanism. The problem is that this mucus can finish further hindering the passage of air to the lungs, with consequent breathing difficulty. Wheezing may also occur in chronic bronchitis.

Types of bronchitis

According to its duration, bronchitis can be classified into two groups: acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis

The acute form of the disease is usually associated with infections. Acute bronchitis by viral infection is very common, i.e., a virus infects the Airways and causes inflammation of the bronchi. Sometimes it may be a bacterium, although it is less frequent; and very rarely is an infection by the fungus responsible for the condition.
Usually the simple cold viruses are involved. For this reason, this acute bronchitis symptoms begin in many cases with sore throat, runny nose or sinusitis; and later expanded to the bronchi, producing the same inflammation and hindering the passage of air to the lungs. At this point appears when cough, it is a defense mechanism of the airway, which gets underway when a problem is detected: a foreign body, infection, inflammation or irritation; also shows the difficulty breathing and tightness in the chest. Wheezing, which are nothing more than noise which makes the air passing through the narrowed Airways can be heard.
In the case of acute bronchitis can also appear mucus cough, but it is not as frequent as in the case of the chronic form.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is part of the Group of diseases called pulmonary obstructive chronic (COPD). Very often it is associated with smokers; and sometimes, it can develop time once the patient has abandoned the habit. In passive smoking may also occur, although it is much less likely than in smokers. The smoke irritates the lining of the bronchial tubes, causing inflammation.
There are many other factors that can cause chronic bronchitis, as constant exposure to certain products whose fumes can irritate the bronchial tubes; the pollution; acute bronchitis that recur frequently or that are complicated by infections can end up producing chronic bronchitis; and there also seems to be a family or genetic component predisposing to develop bronchitis.

Diagnosis of bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is often associated with minor viral infections that usually heal by themselves (you have to remember that most virus infections are cured spontaneously in 4 or 5 days; and that it is not recommended to use antibiotics, since they are ineffective against viruses). Therefore disappear infection, bronchitis will disappear.
In the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, clinical history is very important. Keep in mind the definition: cough with mucus production more than 3 months, 2 years at least. Therefore, the doctor will ask questions to know since when the problem is suffering. It also ask for other symptoms such as breathlessness, tightness in the chest, smoking, or the possibility of having breathed irritating vapors to the Airways.
Your doctor may order x-rays of the chest plates, to verify that the problem has not affected the lungs, or discarded due to the own lungs; and even blood tests, to dismiss other pathologies of pulmonary or cardiac origin who have symptoms similar to bronchitis.

Treatment of bronchitis

The doctor will be responsible for deciding if the patient needs therapy and what will this. However, below the main treatments for bronchitis available:
Inhaled bronchodilators: such as salbutamol or terbutaline. Its mission is to dilate the bronchi, facilitating the passage of air. It is not convenient to abuse them, because they can cause tremors, headaches and tachycardia. If necessary, use them frequently, consult your doctor.
Oral bronchodilators: such as Theophylline and salbutamol. Taken in pill form. They are usually reserved for the most serious cases, or those where the inhaled route is not sufficiently effective. They act like the way inhaled, dilating the Airways, but with greater efficiency. Theophylline can cause some side effects. When theophylline is prescribed, will perform blood tests periodically to check the level of the drug in the blood.
Via inhaled corticosteroids: if the disease is not controlled properly, the doctor may prescribe this group of drugs. Its function is to keep the inflammation of the bronchi under control, so it is important to use the inhaler every day and in the right way. The doctor and the pharmacist can help the device to be used well. It may sometimes appear hoarseness or infection by candida (is a yeast, a fungus species) in the language. It is important to not forget to rinse after inhaling steroids. Sometimes, if the patient suffers from a serious attack that prevents entry of air in their lungs, they can inject these corticosteroids in the hospital, which will provide quick relief in respiratory distress. They can also take in pill form, although the time of occurrence of the effect is much greater.

Prognosis of bronchitis

Unfortunately, it is not known cure at the moment for chronic bronchitis. In many cases, it can evolve to more advanced stages that may require the use of oxygen. The doctor will order if this is necessary.
If the patient is diagnosed bronchitis smoker and does not give up the habit, its life expectancy decreases noticeably. If you have any other pathology of pulmonary or cardiac type, it can also decrease, but smoking always worsens the prognosis.
Although chronic bronchitis is not a direct cause of lung cancer, we must remember that tobacco is the main cause of bronchitis in its chronic form; and it has shown the relationship between tobacco smoke and lung cancer.
Chronic bronchitis predisposes to recurrence of infections, such as pneumonia, hindering their healing when they appear.

Bronchitis and night sleep

During the night, bronchitis sufferers have lower levels of oxygen in blood. Also the cough reflex diminishes and, therefore, the mucus can build up, making it difficult to breath and preventing the rest.
If the patient presents more sleep than usual during the day, headache in the morning, or heavy snoring, consult your doctor or your pulmonologist. You can that you are suffering from sleep apnea syndrome. The doctor will make you sleep quality tests necessary to diagnose it, so consider it opportune.

Recommendations and tips for bronchitis

Acute bronchitis will cure that disappears the infection that has occurred, or the substance that has irritated bronchi temporarily; but chronic bronchitis is not cured. For this reason, it is important to learn to live with the disease and follow a few basic tips to try that you affect us as less as possible. Here's a simple ten commandments for patients with bronchitis:
If the patient follows a treatment to relieve their attacks, you should always take it with you, but use it sparingly. If you need it very often, you should talk to your doctor. If this recipe a corticosteroid to control inflammation, it must be every day.
For the patient with chronic bronchitis, it is convenient to follow an exercise routine. It should not be very demanding, but it will contribute, among other things, to strengthen the intercostal muscles that help you breathe. We must not carry out exercises or sports that may cause respiratory distress; and it is essential to have at hand the inhaler to relieve the attack. In addition, the lack of exercise can lead to a disabling inactivity, in a way that the least of efforts could prove much more tiring and stifling.
It is advisable to avoid environments with smoke or where you can find steamers of irritating substances. If the bronchitis patient is smoking, you should quit, since the more smoke, more likely to suffer attacks of breathlessness and produce more mucus, thus hampering the expulsion thereof and the passage of air. In addition, tobacco can produce or complicate other conditions to pulmonary or heart, worsening respiratory symptoms. If it is not smoking, try not to smoke at her around.
Purifying filters They can be very useful to clean the air, blocking the entrance to the home of substances such as dust, bacteria, allergens (allergens) and other substances that may be harmful to those affected by this disease.
The chronic bronquitico is very susceptible to the respiratory infections, so it should go to medical consultation as soon as you notice any exacerbation of their symptoms, to prevent serious infections such as pneumonia; and if your doctor prescribes antibiotics, it is necessary to take them following the indications of the optional and while the. It is very frequent in infections causing an increase in the amount of mucus and its thickness. The use of mucolytic, which decrease the density of mucus and facilitate their expulsion may be advisable. The antitussive, are not recommended since the cough is a mechanism of expulsion of the mucus; and if it is deleted, mucus remains inside the Airways, favoring the emergence of infections.
Bronchitis is important drink plenty of water, especially in the form of infusions. It is one of the substances with higher mucolytic activity. How much more patient, swallow water less dense will be the mucus.
You should avoid sudden temperature changes; as well as the cold or the heat ends.
Learn relaxation techniques and maintain calm during the exacerbation of bronchitis is essential; If the patient is nervous it will be harder to breathe.
It is very convenient to use a humidifier. Increase the humidity of the atmosphere, thus preventing the air is very dry, can help breathing, especially at night.
The aerosols, sprays for hair... can be harmful for bronchitis. It is preferable not to use them, or stay away if someone is using them at the time.

5 cold

Or changes of temperature or exposure to cold are responsible for uncomfortable cold; the culprits are viruses, and the best prevention is good hygiene and avoid contact with those affected.

What is cold?

The common cold is an infection, usually benign, caused by various types of virus, being the most frequent rhinovirus (family Rhinoviridae), which is produced primarily in the seasons of spring, summer and autumn. The most effective form of contagion of the rhinovirus is the contact of person to person, although they can also be transmitted with oral and nasal secretions of an infected person.
It is estimated that approximately 50% of all cases of colds are produced by some sort of rhinovirus (there are more than 100 types or different serotypes).
Other viruses that can also cause colds are the picornavirus and coronaviruses, which usually appear in the times of the year associated with rhinovirus; but, although they can cause some other episode, they are not at all as common as the rhinovirus.
At the end of the autumn and in the winter, the vast majority of colds are motivated by the virus of influenza (orthomyxoviruses) and, less frequently, by paramyxovirus and respiratory syncytial viruses. (We should not confuse flu with cold, although the flu virus can cause both pathologies. Later explains the differences between the two).
Unlike indicating the popular belief, susceptibility to colds comes not given by changes in temperature or exposure to cold. I.e., these circumstances are not responsible for that pick up a cold or make our immune system more vulnerable. Neither health nor food seem to influence too. However, if is true that a tired person, in a State of anxiety, those who have a history of allergies or suffer from asthma, or women who are going through the middle of their menstrual cycle, are more likely to develop symptoms.
A good cleaning of hands after sneezing, throw disposable handkerchiefs to the trash immediately after use, and use disinfectants to zones or areas in which a person is with colds, are the most effective means to prevent contagion.
However, by way of guidance, you can observe the following difference between colds and flu:



Virus Influenza Rhinovirus, coronavirus
Home Sudden Gradual
Fever High or very high Sometimes, low-grade fever
Muscle aches or joint Frequent and very annoying Not
Back pain Yes Not
Headache Very annoying You may sometimes experience
Ear pain Sometimes Yes
Eye pain Sometimes Frequent
Sore throat Sometimes Frequent
Runny nose Sometimes Yes, the early days, watery. Later, thicker.

Symptoms of a cold

After an incubation period that can roam between 24 and 72 hours, cold symptoms start to become identifiable.
Cold usually begins with a sore throat, with the feeling that barks when speaking or swallowing; then, generally, rhinorrhea (runny nose), malaise, sneezing and nasal obstruction. Many people may have cough.
The temperature tends to be normal or go up a few tenths, especially if the causative agents are rhinovirus or coronavirus.
After a couple of days, the nasal mucus may increase thick and purulent seem. This is normal, since the immune system is fighting the invaders, but it does not mean that there is an infection by bacteria. Therefore, except in very exceptional cases, the doctor doesn't prescribe antibiotics for colds, and we should never automedicarnos with them.
However, when sputum (mucus expelled through the mouth from the lung) it is purulent (yellow green, reddish dark...) it is a suggestive symptoms of important infection, and we go to a health care professional for advice.

Symptoms of complications of colds

Catarrh is usually a benign condition. However, if the patient has some sort of underlying pathology, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or other respiratory condition, you can have more trouble breathing during and after infection. If this occurs, check with your doctor the best option to relieve this discomfort.

Diagnosis of cold

Few tests can be performed for the diagnosis of catarrh. It is, therefore, a clinical diagnosis, since health professionals will build on symptoms to conclude that the pathology is a cold, or to differentiate it from other types of condition.
The main pathology that must distinguish to cold is spring allergy or hay fever, that many of the symptoms of colds, and may even appear a thick mucus.
Your doctor or pharmacist can help you, by asking a series of questions to find out if what you have is cold, allergy, or any other type of upper respiratory condition. Do not treat yourself without consulting a health professional.

Treatment of colds

There is no definitive treatment for colds. No drug is going to get to destroy the virus and speed recovery. It is, therefore, a symptomatic treatment, in which dealt with discomfort arising from infection, until the disease is cured by itself.
Some patients take aspirin, as antipyretic (lowers fever) and analgesic (relieves discomfort). But it has been shown that aspirin may help spread the virus by the body. In addition, never should be given to a person under 12 years aspirin because of the risk of Reye's syndrome. If you need a treatment for pain, is therefore recommended paracetamol or ibuprofen.
They topical Nasal Decongestants are effective for relieving congestion that prevents breathing, but they have two disadvantages. The first is that the effect lasts little. The second, and more importantly, that they can produce rebound effect, i.e., each time a larger and more frequent dose is required because the organism is accustomed to the product. It is, therefore, a vicious circle, since, due to the short duration of the effect, it is necessary to apply more product than would be, getting the opposite effect than desired, i.e., congestion by bouncing, which need to be managed more product again. Therefore, it is best to use the traditional method of steam, inhaling vapours of water with a few drops of eucalyptus (do not use essences in children under two years of age, unless they are indicated by the manufacturer for this group of patients). With normal saline nasal washes can also be helpful and can be used in young children and babies.
The antihistamine may relieve the sneezing and runny nose, but it has been shown that really only provide an important support to people with a history of allergies; While the rest of the people are less effective.
There are many pharmacy preparations marketed for relief of cold symptoms. Check with your pharmacist, indicating the most appropriate treatment for their State.

Prevention of colds

Colds can be produced by a high number of viral agents that it is physically impossible to create a vaccine to prevent them. In addition, people not develop defenses (antibodies) against the cold, so when this disappears, the defenses decrease rapidly; and so, we are susceptible to infect us.
The best that can be done to prevent a cold is to have good hygiene. To do so, should as far as possible avoid contact with someone who is sick of cold, especially in the early days. If we are affected, wash your hands thoroughly after sneeze (if possible, with cleansing gel based hydro-alcoholic, available at pharmacies) and immediately pull the tissue (always) to the trash. And of course, do not reuse it.
If a patient sneezes on a surface, try to disinfect it as soon as possible.

No proven methods to prevent a cold

The traditionally proposed as preventive methods have shown real effective against the virus. Orange juice, for example, not proved, or to large doses, improvement in terms of recovery, or an increase of the defenses against the virus.
Certain drugs (interferon) increase the defense of the cell; but it is not effective once the virus has invaded the cell. In addition, it has limited effects against major viruses such as the flu. Why not are used as common method of treatment.

6. What is pharyngitis?

Tobacco, alcohol and hot meals can injure the pharyngeal mucosa and favour the emergence of pharyngitis, a common condition that causes sore throat, swallowing discomfort and fever.

Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the wall of the pharynx or lymphatic tissue that has. For this reason, almost always refers to pharyngo-tonsillitis, because both the tonsils and pharynx often become infected at the same time. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
Its incidence varies depending on the time of year and the age of the patient, being most common in children. It is one of the more common in family medicine and Otolaryngology consultations.

Anatomy of pharynx

The pharynx is a tube formed by muscles, that connects the nose and mouth with the trachea and the esophagus. It is divided into three parts:
Rinofaringe: the upper; It is related to the nasal cavities. It contains the eustachian tube, which connects to the ear.
Oropharynx: in the Middle, communicating with the mouth. It is separated from the rinofaringe by the palate.
Hypopharynx: bottom, which is continuous with the larynx.
Part, therefore, the digestive and respiratory tract. It is essential for functions such as swallowing food, breathing and phonation. Also contains tonsils, which are an accumulation of very important to protect the mouth of possible infections, lymphatic material so the pharynx is also involved in maintenance of the immune system.

Diagnosis of pharyngitis

An analysis of blood, which gives to the presence of a bacterial or viral infection is essential to diagnose the pharyngitis. But the clinic and the physical examination of the patient enough to already establish a diagnosis of pharyngitis.
Pharyngeal secretions can be grown to obtain a definitive diagnosis (although sometimes it is unnecessary, or even impossible, for not being able to get enough sample). The result of this test takes 24 hours in see. It is not necessary to practice crop relatives of the patient if they are asymptomatic.
In patients with chronic pharyngitis, a comprehensive evaluation of air and digestive tract must be made to rule out the existence of a possible carcinoma. This can be done with gastroscopy and Bronchoscopy.

Treatment of pharyngitis

There is no initial treatment for pharyngitis. They begin to treat the symptoms caused by infection:
• A good hydration (drinking lots of water and the use of humidifiers at home) and rest.
Pain relievers to numb the pain of throat, paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Antipyretic to reduce fever; You can use the same drugs in the previous point.
Mucolytic drugs such as acetylcysteine, which decrease the viscosity of mucus swab.
• Pharyngeal and nasal saline washes to drag the irritants.
In patients with chronic disease, it is essential to remain calm. It's patients prone to developing cancer of the pharynx, but with the appropriate follow-up is a controlled risk. Fear continued to develop a cancer can degenerate into depression and anxiety, therefore it will be very important to the tranquility of the patient.
Antibiotic treatment is specific for each of the germs that infect the pharynx. You must start before the culture results. It is usually used a penicillin or a macrolide in case that the patient is allergic to penicillin. As for Penicillins, are commonly used benzathine penicillin or amoxicillin, either by intramuscular injection or by mouth; This treatment is old for 10 days.
Macrolides such as azithromycin are a good alternative. The clinical efficacy is similar in both antibiotics.
In the event that the infection is viral causes the drug of choice is acyclovir by mouth.
Swelling of uvula requires an intravenous injection of corticosteroids, which is effective in the vast majority of cases. If there is no improvement, it resorts to intubate the patient so you breathe normally. In the rare cases in which the episode is repeated, the uvulectomy (removal of the uvula) is recommended.
Where tonsillitis is often repeated, is recommended to resort to tonsillectomy (removal of tonsils); It's a procedure that requires general anesthesia and is of short duration.

Prevention of pharyngitis

First, agents that can injure the pharyngeal mucosa, such as alcohol, tobacco, or very hot foods should be avoided. To prevent pharyngitis, adequate control of diseases that may promote its emergence, such as diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidaemias is also very important.
You should limit contact with pharyngeal secretions through the use of gloves by the dentist, washing hands, and avoiding sharing cups or utensils to eat with people sick.
In addition, there is a vaccine for the flu virus, which will prevent infection by the virus. Take precautions when having sex, is also very important to avoid infection for gonorrhea or syphilis.

7. What is the flu?

Coughs, sneezing, and people with fever to your around? Usually occurs a winter seasonal epidemic each year. Discover how influenza spreads, what are its symptoms and how to treat it to give esquinazo.
The flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system and is easily spread. Usually takes place a winter seasonal epidemic each year and is a pandemic in the world every 20 or 30 years, accompanied by a high rate of morbidity and mortality.
During the last two centuries there have been six pandemics, in 1900, 1918 (Spanish flu), 1957 (Asian flu), 1968 (Hong Kong flu), 1977 (Russian flu) and 2009 (influenza A), being the Decade of 1918 pandemic caused more deaths around the world, with nearly 30 million of victims.
There are three types of viruses that cause influenza (A, B and C) belonging to the family Orthomyxoviridae. The virus A and B belong to the genus influenza virus and Influenza Cgender C. B and C viruses primarily affect man. A virus has been isolated from populations of ducks, humans, pigs, horses, and marine mammals, being the most aggressive of the three genera and responsible for pandemics.
The virus that causes the flu tends to change continually, either by mutations or genetic rearrangement; in this way, avoid the immunity acquired by the guest. A virus has changed several times over the last 100 years. Birds are probably the origin of new genes introduced in pandemics of the last century. During the 1990s a deadly variant of the avian influenza virus (H5N1) caused dozens of deaths in Asia. Neogripe a(H1N1) appeared in 2009.

Causes of flu

The virus of the flu initially binds to the cells of the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract (secreting cells of mucous, ciliated cells and epithelial cells) and destroys them, eliminating the first defense of the respiratory system, and can later reach the lower respiratory tract causing severe scaling of the alveolar / bronchial epithelium.
In addition to affecting the natural defenses of the respiratory tract, flu facilitates the adhesion of bacteria to epithelial cells, resulting in a secondary bacterial infection, which can trigger pneumonia.
How flu spreads
Influenza viruses can enter the body through the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract (nasal cavity, larynx, trachea, bronchi), the oral mucosa or conjunctivae.
There are three mechanisms of transmission of the influenza virus:
• By direct contact with a patient or contaminated material.
• Through respiratory droplets released when coughing or sneezing.
• Or, less frequently, by air.
The spread of the flu virus is produced during the period in which it has the capacity to be transmitted, which begins a day before the onset of symptoms and ends 5-7 days later, when symptoms have resolved. Thus, influenza spreads very quickly, making it very difficult to control its spread with the classical measures of public health, such as the isolation of the sick, because when a case is detected, the spread is already started.

Symptoms of the flu

An adult person presents a clinical picture that is characterized by the following symptoms: fever, headache, cough, sore throat and nasal mucus. In some cases, abdominal pain, diarrhea, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting may occur. Depending on the age of the patient, are dominated by one or the other symptoms of the flu.
The disease usually evolve smoothly towards the cure, resulting in full recovery between three and seven days after the onset of the same; in some cases cough and general discomfort it may prolong for one or two weeks more.
In general, the disease does not require medical care, however, if any of the following symptoms is essential to carry out a medical consultation: persistent high fever, difficulty breathing, pain in the chest, bluish-colored skin, dizziness, confusion, hypotension.
The flu can complicate producing primary viral pneumonia or pneumonia by bacterial superinfection. Primary viral pneumonia is rare in seasonal flu, although it is most common in the pandemic. It emerges quickly between three and five days of onset of the disease, usually in patients with obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, obesity, or in pregnant women. Secondary bacterial pneumonia occurs when symptoms of the flu are beginning to improve, arising in the elderly during seasonal influenza, especially in those with chronic diseases. Their cause is infection by pneumococcus, Staphylococcus or other bacteria.
In addition to the above, complications may also occur even if very little common, such as: myocarditis, pericarditis, encephalitis and Guillain Barre syndrome.

Treatment of influenza

There are medications for the treatment of influenza used to relieve the symptoms as common analgesics (paracetamol or ibuprofen). It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids and take extra measures of hygiene such as: wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, do not attend school or workplace with flu symptoms.
Also have antiviral treatments for influenza such as oseltamivir and zanamivir, used in patients with risk factors for complications. These medications reduce the ability of multiplication of the virus, relieving the symptoms.
Antibiotics are indicated as a treatment for the flu just in case of complications caused by bacterial infections.
There are no direct possibilities of action about the virus and transmission mechanisms, the measure of prophylaxis of influenza is vaccination. Currently there are inactivated vaccines used throughout the world and attenuated vaccines that are still in the experimental phase. Inactivated vaccines that circulate today correspond to three main antigenic types of influenza viruses: the a(H1N1), a(H3N2) and B.
It is recommended to administer the vaccine to high-risk groups or those people which complications can arise: people older than 65 or younger than five years, immunocompromised patients, with previous respiratory or cardiac illnesses.

Flu prevention

Influenza normally spreads from person to person, and because of that the transmission is usually occur when infected don't even know they have the virus, prevention is not easy. You can take, however, a series of precautions for the prevention of the spread of the flu, or that this the most mild and manageable results possible.
Extreme hygiene: wash your hands often, especially after touching an object or surface, and as soon as get home after travelling by public transport. Wash your hands, do it slowly and thoroughly, without leaving any area without clean.
• Carry a disinfectant cleaning solution to be used when SOAP and water are not available.
Banish the habit of touching the mouth, nose, or eyes: virus penetrates through the mucous membranes, and if we have touched a contaminated surface or a person, and we do not we have washed us hands after we give the spread of the virus.
• Keep the House cleaned, especially the places where cooked or eaten, especially if there is a sick person in the family. Also clean more often door knobs, bath, furniture surfaces, the phone because the infection also occurs by direct contact with a contaminated surface.
Air home: every morning is suitable to open the windows and ventilate the House for ten minutes approximately. So the air is renewed and if any family member is affected it is easier to avoid contagion.
Avoid, whenever possible, contact with an infected person: this, of course, is only possible when because of the infected status is known. However, in times in which traditionally develops the flu and about especially when an epidemic is underway, it is best to not go to closed places where many people, shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants are concentrated.
Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, preferably with a disposable tissue, respiratory droplets expelled from contaminating others. After wiping the snot, should pull the handkerchief used to trash and wash your hands immediately.
No share objects and clothing with sick people that, if possible, should sleep in a room separate to not infect the rest of the family.
Get vaccinated: people who belong to the so-called risk groups (over 65, children under 5 years, immunocompromised due to disease or treatment, and those who suffer from heart or respiratory conditions) should be vaccinated. It is also appropriate that vaccinated people whose profession makes them to be in contact with many people, such as health professionals, teachers, carers of children or the elderly, etc.

8. What is sinusitis

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (hollow cavities located in the bones surrounding the nose) due to an allergy or a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection.
It sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (hollow cavities located in the bones surrounding the nose) due to an allergy or a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Often accompanied by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, by what often is known as rhinosinusitis.
There are four types of paranasal sinuses: maxillary sinuses, ethmoid sinus, breasts sphenoid and frontal sinuses. Sinus affecting most frequently is the maxillary sinus, which is the breast that is located below the cheekbone.
In the majority of cases, the sinus are secondary to an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a virus. It is estimated that they occur in 5-10% of viral respiratory infections of children and 1-2% of infections in adults. They tend to resolve spontaneously in seven days with a symptomatic treatment. However, in the 0, 5 - 2% of the time can be complicated with a secondary bacterial infection, which requires treatment with antibiotics.
In general, it is considered that sinusitis is acute if it lasts less than 4 weeks, if lasting from 4 to 12 weeks is called subacute sinusitis, and lasts longer than 12 weeks is called chronic sinusitis.

Causes of sinusitis

The paranasal sinuses are usually sterile cavities, is that there are no any micro-organism, or are colonized by bacteria that do not pathology. This is because the secretions produced in the bosom move continuously by a few small Cilia that are in the cells of the epithelium that covers the breast and are drained through a small hole into the nasal cavity.
The mechanism by which occurs sinusitis includes three factors:
• Obstruction of the outlet port of the breast, for example by the inflammation of the mucosa by an infection or an allergy, or when there is a nasal polyp.
• Reducing the movement of the Cilia that are in the epithelium that covers the breasts, and that normally clean the breasts by respiratory secretions. This occurs in some diseases of genetic origin, such as Kartagener Syndrome, but also by exposure to tobacco, drugs, chemicals, infections, allergies, etc.
• The increase of the viscosity of secretions which occurs in some diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
When one or more of these factors occur, secretions are retained within the breast and become infected, causing an acute sinusitis. When these factors are not met, the symptoms may last for many weeks resulting in a chronic sinusitis.
The causes of sinusitis are viruses, mainly the rhinovirus, adenovirus, and the virus influenza (the flu) or parainfluenza among others.
Among the bacteria, in 70-80% of the cases is due to Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumococcus), Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Following the sinusitis caused by the expansion of dental infections generally caused by various bacteria at the same time.
There are hospital-acquired sinusitis (which we call nosocomial) caused by aggressive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, or what is known as Gram negative bacilli. Less frequently in hospitals can be acquired infections by fungi such as Candida albicans.

Risk factors for sinusitis

There are certain factors that increase the chance of developing sinusitis. These are:
Age: both young people and the elderly are more susceptible groups present sinusitis.
Sex: normally women are more likely to have sinusitis than men.
Environmental factors: as for example travel to high altitudes, or air pollution.
Smoking: the increased chance of suffering from sinusitis occurs both in smokers and in liabilities.
Certain activities: for example to fly or swim.
By various medical conditions that increase the chance of developing sinusitis:
or have had a cold.
or certain medications, such as prolonged use of decongestant sprays.
or nasal obstruction due a:
 facial bone abnormalities.
 deviated septum.
 cleft palate.
 Polyps.
 Tumor.
 Allergies.
or chronic diseases, such as:
 Diabetes.
 Cystic Fibrosis.
 Kartagener Syndrome
 the cilium still syndrome.

Types of sinusitis and symptoms

There are three different types of sinusitis: the bacterial acute, chronic, and the fungal:

Acute bacterial sinusitis

The symptoms include nasal congestion and pain or compression sinus, whose location depends on breast parasinusal that is affected. The following are the different symptomatologies according to the sinus that is swollen:
• Pain in the maxillary sinus is generally perceived in the cheekbone or the dental arch top, and can produce pain in teeth. Approximately half of patients with this type of sinusitis have fever.
• Sinusitis in the ethmoid sinus causes pain between and behind the eyes.
• The frontal sinus pain you feel above the eyebrows and forehead.
• The sphenoid sinus pain occurs in the upper area of the face.
The most frequent clinical feature seen in bacterial sinusitis is that cold symptoms persist between seven and ten days. Normally, the diagnosis is very useful x-ray sinus in 3 projections. Computed tomography of the breast, can also be used since it has greater sensitivity that radiography. However, in the majority of cases no need make no imaging test to diagnose an acute sinusitis, because it is enough with the clinical history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis.

Chronic bacterial sinusitis

It is characterized by the permanence of the symptoms of inflammation for three months or more. Patients have a continuous oppression in the sinus and nasal congestion, especially in the mornings. Many patients notice an unusual nasal discharge (it becomes thick and takes on a greenish tone).
The CT scan is often recommended in all patients with chronic sinusitis, and possible allergies and immune deficiencies should be also assessed. The study by the Otolaryngologist is fundamental, since information can be added with a nasal endoscopy in the query.

Fungal sinusitis

This type of sinusitis can be non-invasive or invasive. Non-invasive affects immunocompetent patients, is chronic, and is often characterized by an exceptionally thick mucus. In this condition the mass of fungi present in the breast may cause symptoms of obstruction while not arrive to invade the mucosa.
Invasive fungal sinusitis affects not equals to immunocompromised patients than immunocompetent. In immunocompromised patients, pathology has an acute evolution, with a very aggressive course and poor prognosis; While immunocompetent persons is a slowly progressive disease.

Treatment of sinusitis

The treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis should be against the most common bacterial pathogens. The choice of antibiotic depends on the degree of resistance of bacteria to antibiotics in each country or region. Amoxicillin, claritromicia or azithromycincan be used as a first line of treatment. Where evolution is not good, used antibiotics of second line such as levofloxacin, cefuroxime, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and so on.
Cases of sinusitis caused by dental infections require specific treatments against a so-called anaerobic bacteria that are often involved in this type of infections.
Sinusitis treatment is given for one to two weeks. Sometimes it is necessary to administer antibiotics intravenously and most serious patients with symptoms of general illness.
In the case of nosocomial sinusitis (infection contracted in the hospital), the most common pathogens are Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative bacilli; in these circumstances it should be practicing crop sinus to guide treatment. Initially applies an intravenous treatment of wide spectrum, which will then be adapted to the culture results.
In patients with severe acute sinusitis, may be needed surgery to widen the holes and drain thick secretions, especially if the ethmoidal or sphenoid disease does not respond to the initial intravenous treatment.
In the case of Chronic bacterial sinusitis the need for antibiotic therapy should be evaluated on an individual basis; antibiotics should be chosen based on the results of the most recent crop.
As for the fungal sinusitis treated by surgery and the use of antifungal drugs.
Traduction authorized by the website: MedlinePlus
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

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