Some things you might do if you have sinusitis and a cat companion

A pet cat can cause sinusitis if you are allergic to cat dander. Sinusitis means an inflamed membrane in the sinuses. The sinuses produce a lot of liquid which makes things worse as they become an ideal medium to grow bacteria. Sinusitis is normally caused by a viral infection and a secondary bacterial infection.

If you live with a cat and have persistent sinus issues you’ll want to (a) know if your cat is contributing to the problem as you might be allergic to your cat without knowing it (tests are available online) and (b) how to alleviate the symptoms. Allergies to cats vary in their intensity. Some cat owners might be slightly allergic without realising it or their sinuses are simply irritated by cat dander. I believe that the obvious cat allergy symptoms might not be present.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I would put myself in the category mentioned above. I have sinusitis. It’s not very bad but it is noticeable and I have to protect against it. I live with a cat. I question whether my cat irritates my sinuses but I don’t know. I don’t take any particular steps such as employing a HEPA filtered air purifier in the home. That, by the way, is one recommendation.

Another recommendation which I don’t endorse is that you wash your cat weekly to remove the cat dander which can be the source of sinusitis. I don’t agree with it because it dries out the skin of the cat and if you aren’t sure that cat dander is causing sinusitis then why put your cat through it?

Sinusitis can be caused by any number of allergens or irritants in the atmosphere which you encounter in your day-to-day living. Some people have sinuses that react badly to these particles. I am one of those people. I been told that this might be because I had my tonsils removed when I was a very young person. This was a standard procedure when I was young. I think it’s a bad procedure but I’m stuck with the consequences.

I do a few things to minimise and reduce sinusitis:

Dry up the sinuses: In order to limit the production of liquid by the irritated and inflamed sinuses, I take an over-the-counter antihistamine tablet daily, before I go to bed. I think this is a very important step in controlling sinusitis. The great problem is the production of liquid. One doctor told me that “you need drying up!” What he meant was that I needed to take a pill which stopped my sinuses producing liquid. It’s this liquid which builds up and becomes thick, which in turn creates a great medium for bacteria to grow. And it can cause loss of balance in extreme cases because the hairs inside the inner ear can become clogged up with sticky fluid. It is these hairs which are called cilia which help maintain balance. The reason why I take this antihistamine pill before I go to bed is because they can cause slight drowsiness. Take them before you go to sleep and they help you to sleep soundly. And they help to keep your sinuses dry. You don’t wake up with a stuffy nose. This is important.

NeilMed: I also used a medicine called NeilMed. This is a saline (salt and water) solution, which you inject into your nose to rinse it out. It keeps your nose clean and irritating particles away from your sinuses. Do this once a day at least.

Lactose-free milk and gluten-free bread and cakes: I believe that lactose and gluten can irritate the sinuses. I changed my diet to one that is lactose-free and gluten-free. I feel that this has made a very positive contribution. I would highly recommend this change in diet. It might take a little getting used to. I use oat milk. Gluten-free breads and cakes have a completely different texture to the conventional breads and cakes. But you get used to them. I always toast my bread because gluten-free bread is like cardboard! The supermarkets are increasingly stocking these products as they are gaining in popularity. You shouldn’t have difficulty in finding them in big supermarkets.

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