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Respiratory Therapist/Dust Allergy / One Side Nose Blockage.


QUESTION: Dear Karel,

Good Day to you.

I would like to have your kind expertise for my dust allergy & Sinus problem. I am having this problem since past 5 years or so. Specially I feel nose blockage in my right nostrils resulting weazing in the early morning or around 3-4 am in the night in Autumn & Winter Season. For this I have to nebulize or to take steam of hot water containing half tbs of Balm (Vicks Vapourub). I need to come out of this as my winter season is always pain full  for me when I go through with above situation. Also tell me that is this disease will be forwarded in my kids (Inheritance). Need your kind expertise in this regard.



ANSWER: When you describe nebulize.  I am assuming it has medication in it such as albuterol.  Your problem may be first a few tips .The first thing you must do, I tell all my patients with asthma, which if you have a nebulizer machine is what you have. Is that each of these machines have a filter . Usually it on the front of the machine under a little round circle which pops off with a butter knife. or its in the back.The newer machines have a white round  roll sticking out which comes out to wash. Either way its imperative you find where the filter is on your machine. The manual should have it, if not bring to your pharmacy. When you pop the button off you will see a little less than a dime size sponge or piece of cloth. My guess when you take it out it will either be discolored or contain bacteria particles. This is what you are breathing back in when you nebulize. You must change that filter, I tell my patients each time you nebulize or once a month or when it turns dirty.  All of these machines filters can be replaced with a piece of a cotton ball.  They are one dollar a bag . The company as well as the pharmacy will say we have the filters and will charge you 20 dollars for a sponge, when the cotton balls serve the same purpose.  Now you should buy either online or at your local drugstore the vicks pediatric size is good for adults, a cool mist humidifier. You fill it with cold water and put a tablespoon of table salt in the water. Plug it in in your room about
2 or 3 feet away from you. and close the bedroom door 3/4 of the way. What will happen is the water filters the air and the salt stops the clogging.  All vicks does is make it worse not better. However there cool mist humidifier is great.  It sells for around 40 dollars. You must buy a package of filters. These like the nebulizer machine should be changed once every 3 months or when they get dirty.  If you have a cvs in your area, You can purchase the cvs brand cool mist humidifier which is $22.oo  It is a machine that will help you unbelievably.  Now you should ask your physician to put you on singulair which is for allergies .  Now where you sleep at night if you have carpet in your bedroom. Place a plastic garbage bag on the floor at night  to cover the floor on the side of the bed you sleep on. This stops the dust on the rug from irritating you.If you have allergyinduced asthma which is what I think you may have.  It is hard to say if your children will get it, however I must tell you that usually if the parents have it the children wind up with it, but more so if the mother has it.  Either way asthma is not life threatening, the way to control it is to educate, the patient , monitor it, take the meds.  You can go to the american lung go to their disease section and click on asthma, they have a great website to educate you. Next you should get a peak flow meter. It cost around 20 dollar at a surgical supply store or on  You simply blow into this machine,and get the number the arrow falls on.  You must do it 3 times successively, and take the highest number .. Do this for 7 days straight and out of those 7 days take down the highest number you got. Go to asthma acion  download the form take it to your doctor and tell him the peak flow number you got after a week.  He will give you ranges, of what meds to take depending on the number you get. This little machine will tell you when you are going to get an attack before you get it, and what meds the doctor tells you to take when you feel symptoms coming on you take the peak flow, it has a red zone, yellow and green. The key is to always be in the green zone. If lets say you have a cold one day. You take your peak flow meter again always 3 times in a row. You take the highest number and see on the asthma action plan that your number falls in the yellow. that means your going to have an attack. the md will tell you what to do.It may be nebulize for example. You then wait 15-30 minutes, take your peak flow again and it will be in the green zone range so you prevented from having an outbreak.  Here are the links to educate yourself and the asthma action plans.

Ifd your doctor haS prescribed for you an inhaler to use. If you dont use it correctly it is useless. First blow all your air out. Then put inhaler in mouth. take a seep breath in at the same time press the inhaler.  Dont take it out of your mouth. Hold your breath and the inhaler in your mouth for a count of ten.   then remove the inhaler and whistle the air out of your mouth . reason for this is by holding the med in your mouth for a count of 10. the meds work by soaking into the gums then going to the airway.  by whistling it out after you are coating your airway up and down. If you dont do it this way you are just wasting your time.  Unfortunately doctor never take the time to explain, asthma control which is why may people wind up in the emergency room, and most of them even it doesnt dawn on the md is because their filter on the machine is dirty.  feel free to email again.  remeber education is key to managing asthma and allergies to lead long productive lives.  Karel.

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

QUESTION: Dear Karel,

Thanks for a brief reply. I just read it. Last night when I went to home from my office, Around 08:30 pm, I took steam of Vicks Vapourab. I broke the blockage of my nostril a lot. Right after taking the steam, I started to sneeze. I sneezed around 20-25 times in 10-12 min and with every sneeze alot of mucus came out but it was white in color, not yellowish or green. With every sneeze, i felt relaxed and relaxed because it was releasing blockage every time. After taking steam, I had dinner after 1 hours but in the night when was going for bed, I took steam in the same way again. The gap was of around 4-5 hours between both sessions. After the 2nd session, I slept after 3 hours but when I woke up in the morning, I was feeling weazing. The sound was coming out from throat not from nose this time. I feel that is is due to the cold because I took breath from both nostrils after a huge gap. My chest is clear but I am feeling dry cough. I haven't had the breakfast in the morning. Due to weazing, i had a half cup of warm water with 1 Tbs of honey. I relaxed for a bit and when I came to office. I took a cup of warm milk with MILO and till then I am feeling very very relaxation in my chest. Since I have taken 2 sessions of steam, the irritations of blockage has removed but my nose gets dry and wet with regular intervals. What do you suggest, do I take the said steam regularly or do I take neubulization. Your kind suggestion in this regard will be appreciated.



Until things clear up you should nebulize how many times the doctor prescribed.  The dry cough as stated is fro the allergies. You need to get what I told you.  ask your doctor for singulair, and put the plastic bag over the rug in  your room.   all vicks does is make it worse and can harm the membranes in the nose.   I would get the humidifier as stated.   Karel

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Karel Sleis


Basic questions on coping and maintaining asthma, copd, emphysema.Basic questions on oxygen therapy at home, no ventilators.


I have been a Respiratory Therapist since 1989

American Association of Respiratory Care

University of Mississippi Respiratory Care Program NYC Dept of Education Respiratory Therapist License

Past/Present Clients
Have been n expert on sleep disorders also on this website for years

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