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2 Decades of Stuffy Nose - Case of Allergic Rhinitis
Many people have allergies, and a certain percentage is made up of the nose variety. It is commonly believed to be due to pollen or some sort of environmental allergen. Most would go by their day taking anti-histamines, either over-the-counter varieties, or prescribed by the doctor.
If it isn't so serious as to cause problems sleeping or hamper other daily activities, it is usually not a worry. The time to worry is when it is severely plugged up almost on a constant basis, regardless of the environment, or if it comes together with a lot of discharge ranging from the thick to the watery. Having kleenex around at all times to wipe the nose is not a pleasant way to lead one's life of course.
A month ago a young gentleman came to see if I could treat his nose problem. His nose is stuffed up essentially 24/7, on both sides. It doesn't matter what the season is. Good or bad, it is relatively the same throughout the whole year; the variation in the severity of the occlusion is not significant based on what I garner.
I asked if he's used those nasal strips that supposedly work for this problem, especially during sleep. His reply was that it didn't do anything. I also asked if he's gone for other types of treatment, and was told he's done "bio-energetic intolerance", which was an alien concept to me. It didn't do much for the nose, other than dealt away with some food allergies.
I suspect he's probably taken his fair share of anti-allergic medications, as this is usually the first route of treatment that comes to mind for most people, so I didn't bother asking, although he hasn't been taking any medications at least recently.
It is surprising as well, that he's had this problem for around 20 years. His reply was that it's been with him since the 90s. Usually for a problem this long there would be other accompanying systemic problems, which for him do not apply. The nose is the only thing that bothers him; there wasn't any other particular issues of concern. The nose is simply plugged, and so he's sniffing frequently, but without particularly huge amounts of discharge.
From the point of Chinese Medicine, looking at him from top to bottom and inspecting other elements, his problem is not merely an issue of the nose. It is part of his "constitution", which means the nose problem is only a type of presentation for his particular "body type".
I told him he is still young, so the nose is the only issue AT THIS MOMENT, but by the time he reaches middle age, other anomalies could likely appear. And therefore, the treatment I provided for him was not specifically meant for the nose, but for his "constitution".
It is a holistic treatment style which not only deals with the nose but also helps prevent other possible future problems from occurring. To put it bluntly, It's meant to tackle the "root" of his allergic nose. After a short course of treatments, right now one side of his nose is completely open while the other one is only plugged 35%, a huge improvement from before.
Nose problems aren't a concern in themselves. It is the inflammation behind the stuffiness and discharge that could be worrisome. Inflammation when it occurs for too long is believed to possibly lead to tissue changes, such as polyps or cancerous growths.
However it is difficult to say how long it takes for this to occur or if it will even occur. Yet, the risk factor is there as long as the inflammation persists. Also, readers may have found that my remark of the patient having more problems by middle age may seem redundant, as this is the natural progression of illness, being more prevalent as one ages.
This of course is common sense to everyone, but I was really referring to specific conditions he might end up having should the current nose problem be left as is. Particularly, other than the nose issue becoming worse and possibly leading to growth of polyps, certain dermatological and/or autoimmune conditions will probably appear as well. And from experience with so many patients, nose stuffiness pales in comparison to the agony brought about by skin and autoimmune diseases.