Respiratory: Allergies & Sinus Problems/allergy affectin breathing and sleep


QUESTION: Hello Mr. Sperling,

Thanks for being available to answer my question.

I have chronic bronchitis brought, on I believe, by my allergies.  

My difficulty is that I react to allergens by drying up and my lungs become sore and the air feels hot and dry.  I am taking an steroid inhaler for the lungs.  

But the last fifteen nights my nasal passages are drying out, heating up and bleeding a bit with the allergy.  Mucous is getting caked onto the linings of my nose.  My doctor told me to take Otrivine but I am afraid that might be drying me up even more. I have sprayed my nostrils three times in the last 24 hours.

My lungs are reacting to this situation with shallow breathing and soreness.  I am driven demented as I haven't been able to sleep for fourteen days - just an hour here or there.

What I do when I wake up is have a hot drink and a menthol sweet but this only relieves things very temporarily.  Last night I also tried some steaming which I think helped a little too.

It is driving me crazy and exacerbating other health problems.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.



ANSWER: Nuala...Very involved and difficult question(s).

Tell me a little about your personal environment inside your home, immediately outside your home and in your immediate community.

Concentrate on everything inside including carpeting, materials, HVAC system, and their ages.

Outside comment on the neighborhood, the vegitation, and the air.

Community concentrate on factories, industry, pollution and the releases that they may give off.

Cheers, Gene

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for your prompt reply.

I am working on moving out of my apartment at the moment, as it is single aspect, hence practically no air circulation.  The corridor outside my apartment has no windows either.  I also look out on a very busy road.

My aim is to find an apartment with a large bedroom with little furniture and a large window.  I'm looking out for a dual aspect apt. with a through flow of air.  

In the interim I would love if you could possibly recommend any remedies that might ease the situation:  steaming, essential oils, liquorice, marshmallow, nasal drops, hot drinks or menthol?  I feel these might be helping me but I would really appreciate your opinion.  

I know I am allergic to any materials that have little particles coming off them (wool, cotton etc). Someone said silk is good for people with allergies.  Would you know anything about that?

I am also allergic to some rubbers, cats, birds, dust and mould.


There is no cure or alternative for living in a crowded, city such as Dublin. You will never get ahead of the adverse aspects of the pollution....especially in a stuffy apt. I arrive at this through about 30 years of experience.

Me advice is to seek medical attention until you can move. Remedies will probably no longer work.

Cheers, Gene  

Respiratory: Allergies & Sinus Problems

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Gene Sperling


I can answer questions about indoor air quality, respiratory medications, home toxins, allergies and VOC's (volatile organic compounds). Home and office environmental issues and general medication questions regarding side effects and interactions.


I have been a pharmacist for 30 years. I have been director of pharmacy services for a large teaching hospital, and have served as a consultant pharmacist to various out-patient programs. I have organized and managed various infusion programs treating infectious disease, immunologic diseases, and metabolic disorders. For the past 15 years I have operated a national respiratory pharmacy and devoted my time to assessing asthma, COPD, and emphysema patients and their problems. I know how to set-up and maintain a 'clean room' environment and I know how to resourcefully remediate environmental issues that cause health problems.

I am a current or past member of IAQA, IESO, CA Pharmacists Assoc., NCPA, Consultant Pharmacists Assoc., Calcerts, and many others. I have licensing from the GSA (Government Services Organization). I have served on the California Task Force for Disaster Preparedness under the Department of Health Services.

I am in the process of researching the application of Building Science as it relates to the Healthcare Industry. The purpose is to show the relationship(s) between 'sealed environments', poor construction, and improper equipment installations in modern homes and offices. The building boom of the 90's and 00's accelerated at a pace that did not allow proper oversight or adequate research of new techniques in construction design and the trades that applied them.

I have a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma. I have upper division courses in bio-pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, immunology, microbiology,etc. I have taken numerous post-graduate courses on respiratory disorders, mold, environmental issues, indoor air quality, building science, HVAC, clean room set-ups, womens health, and medication therapy management.

Awards and Honors
I have received a distinguished achievement award from the County of Los Angeles for work with the Asthma Reading & Education Program sponsered by the UCLA clinics and Martin Luther King Medical Center. I have sponsored winter ski retreats for children with asthma. I have served on the Boards of several home health agencies. My highest honor comes when I can help someone understand how their personal environment influences their health, and how their own awareness positively impacts their quality of living. There is no greater award than helping others.

Past/Present Clients
My past and current clients have been the thousands of patients and physicians that I have consulted for and with to assess alternative approaches to disease management through common sense treatment, and how our personal environment influences our overall health.

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