Joan Rothchild Hardin
Natural Treatment For Seasonal Pollen & Mold Allergies
AccuWeather 2019 US Spring Allergy Forecast
If you’re one of the one in five Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies and your sense is that your sinuses are making you more miserable each passing year, you’re not imagining it. The cause of all this misery is climate change. Rising average temperatures and wetter conditions lead to surging amounts of pollens and longer allergy seasons.
More pollen means more seeds and even greater amounts of pollen the following year. To make matters worse, warmer average temperatures across the year mean spring starts earlier and winter arrives later.
Researchers estimate that pollen counts of all varieties will double in large parts of the US by 2040. (Irfan, 5/21/2019)
Changes in tree pollen allergy risk by 2100 if CO2 reaches a concentration of 970 parts per million
“A recent study in the journal Lancet Planetary Health found that airborne pollen counts have been increasing around the world as average temperatures climbed. The majority of the 17 sites studied showed an increase in the amount of pollen and longer pollen seasons over 20 years.
“And the faster the climate changes, the worse it gets. That’s why residents of Alaska, which is warming twice as fast as the global average, now face especially high allergy risks.
“Taken together over the long term, seasonal allergies present one of the most robust examples of how global warming is increasing risks to health. Allergies are already a major health burden, and they will become an even larger drain on the economy.
“’It’s very strong. In fact, I think there’s irrefutable data,’ said Jeffrey Demain, director of the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska. ‘It’s become the model of health impacts of climate change.’
“And since so many are afflicted — some estimates say up to 50 million Americans have nasal allergies — scientists and health officials are now trying to tease out the climate factors driving these risks in the hopes of bringing some relief in the wake of growing pollen avalanches.” (Irfan, 5/21/2019)
Climate Change Projections for Pollen Production
So pollens are making us feel miserable … then there are the molds!
The symptoms of mold allergies are similar to pollen allergies and bacterial infections of the sinuses. The difference is that mold spores breathed into your sinuses form biofilms in there to create warm, cozy protected spaces for the colony to live. If you spray a decongestant up your nose, the biofilms keep the spray from reaching the spores inside the biofilm. So if you’re having what feels like a cold that won’t go away no matter what you do or extra-terrible, long-lasting pollen allergy symptoms, it could well be molds have made themselves at home in your sinuses.
WHAT ARE BIOFILMS?
Biofilms are communities of micro-organisms which adhere to each other and often also to a surface. These groups of adhered cells produce a slimy protective coating around themselves and like to embed themselves inside warm, moist cavities like our sinuses where they can keep themselves safe from other pathogens. (Nature.com, 2019) & (Wikipedia, 5/21/2019)
BIOFILM OF MOLDS ARE A PROBLEM WHEN THEY EMBED IN OUR SINUSES
“Symptoms such as an inflamed nasal passage, body aches, and a cold that worsens usually suggest a sinus infection caused by bacteria. However, sometimes sinus problems aren’t due to bacterial infections alone but are caused from molds.
“Sinuses are air-filled passages in the face and head that are lined with a mucous membrane, which is a thin, moist layer of tissue. A sinus infection from mold is a condition occurring when the mucous membrane becomes inflamed because a person inhales airborne spores released from mold, which is a type of fungus, usually growing in moist damp areas.
“A mold sinus problem and infection caused by molds can easily be overlooked. Exposure to mold in people who live in fungal conditions are likely to suffer from sinus infections yearly.
“Understanding the production of bio-film from mold,bacteria and yeast is key in understanding how to rid the body of pathogens from the sinuses, lungs and other parts of the human body.
“Bio-film is produced by certain species of fungus/mold, bacteria, and some forms of yeast. These pathogens secrete a slime, or protective coating around themselves protecting them from other environmental pathogens, which would attack or disable them. Since pathogens within the bio-film are protected by the bio-film they have no direct contact with the blood, therefore any anti-fungal, or bacterial medications rarely have an effect on those protected pathogens. This is why many people suffer multiple sinus surgeries, over and over again, as the surgeon failed to remove all of the bio-film from the sinus cavities allowing regrowth to occur and the continuation of the Mold Sinus Problems (emphasis added).
– (Mold Victim, 2019)
This short video tells you perhaps more than you want to know about biofilms and why they cause us misery when nasty ones take up residence in our sinuses or elsewhere in our bodies. Gross but very interesting.
The most northern parts of the globe are getting hardest hit by global warming and the resulting increase in allergies.
“Alaska is warming so fast that computer models have had a hard time believing the results. That’s having huge consequences for allergy sufferers in the state, and not just from pollen.
“Demain from the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska explained that rising temperatures are melting permafrost beneath Alaskan towns, causing moisture to seep into homes. This dampness then allows mold to grow, causing more people to seek treatment for mold allergies.”
A NATURAL WAY TO BREAK UP MOLD & OTHER BIOFILMS IN YOUR SINUSES
If your sinuses have been making you miserable this spring, here’s a natural way to help yourself feel a whole lot better – without taking any decongestants, other allergy meds or antibiotics.
Here’s a video of how to use a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses to remove any nasty allergens that have taken up residence in there:
A few suggested variations that differ from the way Ashley uses her neti pot in the video:
I recommend getting a ceramic rather than a plastic neti pot – much easier to keep it clean. The ceramic ones can be put in the dishwasher to sterilize. I’ve used the same white ceramic model for a few decades.
You can buy those more expensive packages of neti pot salt or get a big container of pure sea salt and use some of it. I like La Baleine Sea Salt (Fine).
Using warm, filtered water in lieu of distilled water should be fine too.
If you use your neti pot in the shower, you don’t have to worry about dribbling the salt solution on your shirt and can also lean against the shower wall to get your head at the right angle so the solution doesn’t run down the back of your throat.
So that’s the basic way to use a neti pot to get the gunk out of your sinuses – clean hands, warm water, and sea salt.
ADD THE CONTENTS OF A PROBIOTICS CAPSULE TO GET STUBBORN ALLERGENS OUT OF YOUR SINUSES
You can break open any probiotics capsule you take in supplement form and add its contents to your neti pot along with the warm water and sea salt.
A warning: You’ll probably feel a burn as you pour the resulting solution into your nostrils. I can only say a few minutes of mild to moderate burning is worth the relief you’ll feel when you realize you can breathe again.
OTHER THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR NETI POT TO BREAK UP BIOFILMS AND GET MOLDS OUT OF YOUR SINUSES
his is what I came up with when I had some kind of long-lasting fungal infection in my sinuses during the fall of 2016. Fungi are a group of spore-producing organisms that feed on organic matter – including molds, yeast, mushrooms and toadstools. I was pretty sure no mushrooms or toadstools were growing in my sinuses and nasal passages but was pretty sure the infection contained molds and/or yeast because it felt different and much more intense than any of the sinus infections I used to get when I was younger before I started tending better to my gut microbiome.
So I added the contents of these two supplements to the warm water and sea salt in my neti pot.
I already knew about the biofilm-penetrating property of a supplement called Allicidin because I’d taken it to break open the endospores formed by Clostridium difficile when I had that nasty bacterial infection living in my colon in 2010.
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Then I chose the probiotic formula RepHresh as the probiotic to add to my neti pot because it contains two lactobacillus probiotics (L-reuteri and L-rhamnosus) to target vaginal yeast infections, a type of fungal overrun.
You can also buy RepHresh on Amazon: RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Supplement for Women, 30 Oral Capsules A few comments on this two-step attack on fungal infections in the sinuses and nasal passages:
If you’ve got a heavy-duty fungal colony living in biofilms inside your sinuses and nasal passages, try using Allicidin alone in your warm water and sea salt solution for a day or two to give the biofilms a chance to be truly penetrated.
Then use Allicidin the following day with the addition of RepHresh in your basic solution so the probiotics in the latter can gain good access to the fungi to do them in.
You’ll experience a mild garlic smell inside your nose after the Allicidin solution has run through your sinuses. There’ll also be some small black specks inside your nose. Changing the solution in your neti pot to just warm water and sea salt will get both out.
The Allicidin and RepHresh solutions will both likely burn a bit as they come in contact with the delicate mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses. Again – that short discomfort is worth getting rid of the fungal infection so you can breathe again and feel like your old energetic self.
You might need to repeat the two-step process one more time if you’ve got long-established bacterial and fungal colonies growing in your sinuses.
Please let me know if you have success with these neti pot treatments or come up with useful modifications of my suggestions. OTHER POSTS ON SINUSES
Sinuses Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection What I Did for Sinus Misery Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them? Yerba Santa for Sinuses TO CHECK THE POLLEN AND MOLD COUNTS IN YOUR AREA
If you’d like to know which particular pollen and mold counts are high in your area, you can check the National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Reports issued by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. You can also sign up for personalized email alerts from them.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (5/26/2019). National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Reports. See: https://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts?ipb=1
Hardin, J.R. (2013-2014). Sinuses. See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/gut-symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis
Hardin, J.R. (2014). Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/probiotics-for-sinusitis-and-sinus-infection
Hardin, J.R. (2016). What I Did for Sinus Misery. See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/what-i-did-for-sinus-misery
Hardin, J.R. (2017). Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them? See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/do-you-want-to-just-suppress-your-allergy-symptoms-or-actually-fix-what-s-causing-them
Hardin, J.R. (12/24/2017). Yerba Santa for Sinuses. See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/yerba-santa-for-sinuses
Irfan, U. (5/21/2019). It’s not your imagination. Allergy season gets worse every year: Pollen allergy seasons continue to get longer and more intense as temperatures rise. See: https://www.vox.com/2019/4/8/18300342/pollen-season-2019-allergies-climate-change
L. H. Ziska et al. (3/2019). Temperature-related changes in airborne allergenic pollen abundance and seasonality across the northern hemisphere: a retrospective data analysis. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3:3. See: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(19)30015-4/fulltext Mold Victin. (2019). Mold Sinus Problems & Bio-Film in the Body. See: http://moldvictim.org/mold-sinus-problems-bio-film-in-the-body/ Nature.com. (2019). Biofilms. See: https://www.nature.com/subjects/biofilms Wikipedia/ (5/19/2019). Biofilm. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm © Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Comments submitted prior to 8/25/2021
Interesting article – I’ll look into those supplements for my neti routine. FYI, adding baking soda to the salt cuts the burn. You may need to play with the ratio to find the right mix for you. I use a plastic neti bottle as it provides a little stronger wash, along with the prefilled mix packets. I like that the packets are quick and easy to use and I don’t need to think about the mixture (but, yes, more expensive that a pot of the salt). I also add Alkolol sinus wash to my
mixture (it has menthol, eucalyptol, thymol, etc). You can find it online (e.g., https://www.amazon.com/Alkalol-Natural-Soothing-Solvent-Cleaner/dp/B003YFG0M0/ )
or drugstores may carry it either in the aisle next to sinus medicines or sometimes behind the pharmacy counter. Some drug stores (e.g., Duane Reade) will special order it for you if you ask.
In reply to Jafe Campbell
Thanks for this useful info, Jafe.