Friday, March 18, 2016

FRAGRANCE FOLLIES

If you have sinus congestion, sinus allergies and sinus headaches, before automatically reaching for a decongestant or antihistamine, consider how many different fragrances surround you in your home and at work. 
 Fragrances in an average household: 
 Body wash, shampoo, lipstick, foundation, facial cleansers, hair spray/gel, Chapstick, hand sanitizers, fresh wipes, diapers,   body powder, baby powder, baby oil, foot sprays, acne medicines, deodorant, lotions, moisturizer, perfume, shaving lotion, shaving cream, hair conditioners, plug ins, carpet freshener, bleach (Tilex, Clorox, powdered cleansers like Comet), detergent, fabric softener, dish soap, dishwasher soap, candles, pet hair/supplies, carpet cleaner, spray cleaners, oven cleaners, soap, car air fresheners, kitty litter, Fireplace logs/sprinkles, mouthwash, toothpaste…
 And the list goes on and on and on.  And that is just fragrance added to consumer items.  There’s also a whole list of household chemicals that can damage the sinuses, as well as cause allergic reactions such as hives, rashes and headaches. 
Not to mention what happens if you mix chemicals.  Never use ammonia products and chlorine products together.  (For example Windex and cleanser containing bleach.)  Mixing ammonia and chlorine releases Chlorine gas which is poisonous and lethal. 
My recommendation is to use unscented products as much as possible.  This is kinder to your own body, and the sinuses of others whom you come into contact with during the day.  Whether you suffer from allergies or not, it’s rather unpleasant to be in an elevator or car pool with several people who have marinated in their perfume or after shave. 
As far as cleaning goes, vinegar can be used to clean kitchen surfaces.  I personally fill a spray bottle with vinegar and use it in the microwave (spray the inside of the microwave and run it for a few seconds and then wipe, careful of the hot vinegar), on counter surfaces, windows and mirrors.  It will take care of mildew in the shower.  And the best part is, there’s no chemical residue like from chemical cleaners.  You can clean a counter or cutting board with vinegar and chop veggies on it and it’s completely safe. Plus, a quart of vinegar is less than a dollar.  Can’t say that about a bottle of 409 or Windex! 
 Baking soda can be used in place of carpet freshener.  Corn starch can be used in place of talc and is easier on your lungs. 
Also, everything does not need to be scented.  In fact, scented air fresheners aren’t eliminating odors, they’re masking them and the bacteria that is causing the odor. 
Sometimes the best answer is to clean.  Steam clean a sofa or carpet.  You don’t need heavy duty detergents or cleansers, that’s the point of steam cleaning.  The steam heat kills the bacteria and the odors. 
Hopefully eliminating some of the strong fragrances and chemicals from your daily routine will relieve some of the overload and damage to your sinuses and nasal passages. 
 

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