(BPT) - Winter is a great time to get cozy and enjoy indoor activities, but it can also cause winter allergies to flare up. According to Healthline, you’re more likely to spend more time indoors because of the colder weather, which increases your exposure to indoor allergens. Allergies cause your body to release histamine, which creates an inflammatory response, such as nasal inflammation.
Some of the most common indoor allergens that can trigger your winter allergies include:
- Airborne dust particles
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
In addition to allergens, the winter season can also trigger sinus issues like excessive mucus production because of dry air and heating. All these triggers combined can cause chronic nasal inflammation, a condition called sinusitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 28.9 million adults nationwide have been diagnosed with sinusitis.
If allergies and sinusitis cannot be adequately managed, they can lead to another condition, nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are inflammatory growths along the lining of nasal passages or sinuses. Nasal polyps can get irritated and swollen, partially blocking the nasal passages and sinuses.
Some of the symptoms of nasal polyps include
- Nasal obstruction
- Loss of sense of smell
About 1% to 4% of people develop nasal polyps. The incidence of nasal polyps increases with age and is likely the greatest between 40 and 60 years of age.
Tips to keep in mind
You can take several preventative measures to decrease your chances of winter and indoor allergies, which can also lower your risk of developing sinusitis and nasal polyps.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, here are a few tips that can help you manage your winter and indoor allergies and may also help prevent nasal polyps:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on taking your allergy and asthma medications, and address any changes in breathing through your nose with your doctor.
- Avoid breathing airborne allergens or irritants that lead to inflammation of your nose and sinus cavities.
- Practice good hygiene. Certain types of bacteria or viruses cause nasal and sinus infections, so be sure to wash your hands regularly.
- Use a humidifier in your home to help moisten your breathing passages.
- Use a saline nasal rinse or spray to remove allergens or other irritants that may cause nasal polyps.
If you do develop chronic sinusitis or nasal polyps, you have options. Several treatments can help, which range from lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies to prescribed medications and surgery. These treatments aim to reduce sinus inflammation, allow air to circulate well in your nasal passages and enable mucus to drain.
To decrease the size of your polyps, your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter oral or injectable treatment. Other treatments include intranasal steroid sprays, nasal saline irrigation, oral steroids, and sinus surgery. While these treatments may bring you some relief, they’re not foolproof. Studies show that if an intranasal spray is used alone, only a relatively small amount of the medication reaches the sinus cavity. Oral steroids can be effective for short-term use, but they may cause systemic side effects in the long run. Also, after sinus surgery or sinus implants have been removed, nasal polyps can still return.
If conventional treatment options do not work for you or if nasal polyps return after surgery, the SINUVA (mometasone furoate) sinus implant may help. It is a prescription steroid-releasing implant that can treat nasal polyps in patients 18 years or older who have undergone ethmoid sinus surgery. This nonsurgical, in-office treatment is placed among the nasal polyps and provides targeted, continuous symptom relief up to 90 days, with a low rate of side effects. The product works automatically, which means users don’t have to remember to take it, which may help increase compliance.
To learn more information about SINUVA, including safety and precautions, visit Sinuva.com/Learn-More.
SINUVA Sinus Implant is a prescription steroid-releasing (mometasone furoate) implant indicated for the treatment of nasal polyps in patients 18 years or older who have had ethmoid sinus surgery.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Who should not use SINUVA?
Do not use SINUVA if you are allergic to mometasone furoate or any ingredients of the implant.
What should I tell my doctor before receiving SINUVA?
Before you receive SINUVA, tell your doctor about all medical conditions you have including nasal/sinus problems (such as nasal ulcers or trauma), eye problems (such as glaucoma or cataracts), or any untreated fungal, bacterial, or viral infections.
What are the possible side effects of SINUVA?
Serious side effects of SINUVA can include:
- Local reactions including nosebleed and injury to nerves or blood vessels in the nose/sinus.
- Serious allergic reactions have happened in patients using mometasone furoate including rash, itching or swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat, and breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these reactions.
- Weakened immune system that may increase your risk of infections. Avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases such as chickenpox or measles. Call your doctor right away if you have been near someone with chickenpox or measles.
- Adrenal insufficiency
is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not make enough steroid hormones and can cause tiredness, weakness, nausea and vomiting and low blood pressure. Talk to your doctor if steroid effects such as Cushing Syndrome and adrenal suppression appear.
The most common side effects of SINUVA in clinical studies were bronchitis, cold symptoms, middle ear infections, headache, lightheadedness or dizziness, asthma, and nosebleeds. The following side effects have been identified during post-approval use of the SINUVA sinus implant. These events include implant migration, lack of efficacy, nasal pain, headache, and nosebleeds.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.
Risks related with the insertion and removal of SINUVA are similar to other endoscopic sinus procedures.
SINUVA is made from materials designed to soften over time and may fall out of the nose on its own as polyps decrease or if you sneeze or blow your nose forcefully. The implant will be removed 90 days after placement or earlier at your doctor’s discretion.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have any changes in vision, excessive nasal bleeding, symptoms of infection or symptoms suggesting that the implant has moved, such as irritation or a choking sensation in the back of the throat.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
For important risk and use information, please see Full Prescribing Information for SINUVA.