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#255442 - 01/13/13 11:04 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: Arney]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5264
Loc: SOCAL
So far so good, but I haven't had the flu in years -- ever since I stopped getting flu shots. For a few years before that I got the shot (as required being on active duty) as well as the flu, and before that I just got the occasional flu and survived trying to not pass it to anyone else.

I'm wondering if all those years of just getting various flu strains haven't left me with a tad more immunity to the current strains.
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Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
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#255444 - 01/13/13 11:14 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: Russ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Russ
I'm wondering if all those years of just getting various flu strains haven't left me with a tad more immunity to the current strains.

The answer would be "yes". That's survival of the fittest at work. Only recovering from an actual infection will give you lifelong immunity to a particular strain, and partial immunity to related strains. Immunity from the flu shot only lasts a relatively short time.

With the latest H1N1 pandemic scare, it was the elderly who were least vulnerable to infection since many of them had partial immunity from a similar flu decades ago. For the rest of us, the pandemic strain was totally new and we didn't have any natural immunity to it.

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#255445 - 01/13/13 11:26 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
Turns out he eroded a hole in his sinus membranes and was oozing blood for over a year.

Really? Besides using a super salty (and super painful) solution day after day, I can't imagine how that would happen unless there was some other problem going on. Maybe the original sinus infection was festering and slowly going deeper into the nasal membrane tissue? Anyway, I have never heard of Neti pot use causing a problem like that before.

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#255446 - 01/13/13 11:51 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: Arney]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1415
Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
Turns out he eroded a hole in his sinus membranes and was oozing blood for over a year.

Really? Besides using a super salty (and super painful) solution day after day, I can't imagine how that would happen unless there was some other problem going on.


I'm thinking the same thing. Water doesn't exactly provide a lot of friction to wear something away, unless you're irrigating your nose 20 hours a day. It does feel the best the ten minutes after irrigation, so maybe that has tempted some people to do it a lot. Sorry to hear about your relative's health problem, though.

For those who don't want to use a pot, you can use a syringe. Nasaline sells a large syringe with a soft head that makes good contact with your nostrils. I prefer the syringe to the pot.

I didn't quite escape the stuff that's been going around. No flu, but this is one miserable cold. According to my doctor, her patients are taking about three weeks to recover. The onset (fever) was fast and goes away fast, but a highly limiting cough lingers for a long time.

And yes, I got the flu shot earlier this fall.

Stay healthy, wash your hands, take vitamin C.

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#255451 - 01/14/13 01:52 AM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
I should also add it wasn't an actual Neti Pot, but that squeeze bottle with the domed top.

I've never been a fan of using sqeeze bottles for nasal irrigation. Well, forcing water up your nose, that is. Too easy to shoot water up there and possibly have it go somewhere or do something that it otherwise wouldn't go/do versus if you were just letting gravity flow the water through your nasal passages.

My only exception might be for someone who can't really bend over a sink easily, like perhaps someone with back or neck problems. I can't really think of another case where a pouring action may not be feasible.

If you're really congested from a cold and your nasal passages are swollen, forcing water up there would be a bad idea. It's just going to get trapped inside your sinuses because it can't drain out and possibly lead to an infection.

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#255452 - 01/14/13 01:58 AM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: bacpacjac]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Word around here is that the strain of flu knocking people out is not one of the ones they put in the flu shot.

Each region is different, but the CDC says that most of the flu samples it has tested match the two influenza A and one influenza B strains in this year's flu shot. But it's certainly possible your area is unlucky and a strain that the flu shot doesn't cover is predominant.

The other likely possibility is that a bug other than influenza is actually prevalent in your area, and people think the flu shot isn't working because so many people are sick.

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#255463 - 01/14/13 04:37 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: ]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
Afrin's medication is oxymetazoline. It is not in the aspirin family. It is tricky stuff to be sure. It is only to be used for about 3 days maximum - according to my experience and doctor's instructions. When I was in the Air Force, I was talking someone who had experience with aircraft mishap investigations. The investigators would often find many bottles of Afrin in the flight bags. Those guys are/were addicted to the stuff.

The major problem with this med is that after the three days it starts having the opposite effect. It starts to cause extreme congestion and blockage. Then vicious cycle begins of overuse. It really is nasty. The one time I had half of a bottle squirted into my nasal passages - by a doctor - it was awful. I cannot remember which ran more, my eyes or nose. It is strong and effective; you just have to follow the rules - 3 days max.

My $.02
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"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

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#255466 - 01/14/13 04:43 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: MoBOB]
RNewcomb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
I've had two respiratory infections and the stomache flu since late October. I've just getting over my second respiratory infection now. It's been years since I have been this sick this many times in one season.

Now I am debating about going and getting the flu shot...on the chance that there's still more bugs running around out there that I haven't managed to pick up yet. At this point, I'll do about anything to try to increase my odds.

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#255473 - 01/14/13 06:32 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: MoBOB]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Oxymetazoline is a vasoconstrictor, which is why it helps "unplug" congested nasal passages. It's also the same ingredient in Visine ("to get the red out") eye drops. Cocaine is also a powerful vasoconstrictor, so overusing either substance in your nose is going to starve the tissues of blood flow and they will start to die. I didn't realize that you could get a hole in your septum from overuse of nasal spray, though.

Actually, nasal spray addiction is a huge problem, although it doesn't really get much attention. As MoBOB mentioned, if you use these chemical nasal sprays for more than a few days, you end up with rebound congestion, pressure, and headaches--exactly the things the person was trying to get rid of. So they end up in a vicious cycle of using the nasal spray to keep the symptoms at bay. I think there's something like 50 million Americans that have long term sinus issues. If even a fraction of that number is "hooked" on nasal sprays, that's still a large number. Among other things, chronic use can eventually damage your liver.

Izzy, there are safer alternatives out there, if you were interested. There's a brand of capsaicin nasal spray that I've heard is quite effective and has no adverse health effects that I'm aware of. (Yeah, you're basically pepper spraying yourself--directly up the nose--for relief! smile )

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#255478 - 01/14/13 07:57 PM Re: Did the flu get you? [Re: ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
As for the Afrin being addictive. That explains my Grandmother using it the way she does.

Yeah, actually the suggestion was for your grandmother. wink

Be careful not to blow your nose too hard, Izzy. I recently discovered that there's actually a study out where they used--I forget exactly which type of imaging technique--to observe what happens to nasal mucous when you blow your nose.

Blowing your nose, especially when done forcefully, will often force more mucous up into the sinus cavities than out your nose. That mucous then just becomes a good growth medium for bacteria, which may partly explain why people with chronic sinus infections continue to have lingering or repeated infections. These people are often frequent nose blowers all of the time. I guess they feel that keeping their honker clean all of the time will help prevent recurrent sinus infections. Probably a smart idea, but maybe not the best way to do it. So, other methods like a Neti pot, steam inhalation, maybe this capsaicin nasal spray, drinking lot's of water, is probably healthier because they promote the excess mucous to come out without blowing your nose.

Y'know, in Japan, it is considered impolite to blow your nose in public. In school, you'll have a whole classroom of sniffling kids in the wintertime because they are chastised for blowing their noses. It is also one (of a couple) reason why you see so many people wearing masks, either in the wintertime or during hay fever season in Japan and perhaps the same reason in other parts of Asia. The Japanese don't blow their noses but simply sniffle and let them run so the masks hide that. So, turns out that there may actually be a health reason for that custom after all!

I'm curious, is anyone aware of other cultures where nose blowing is also discouraged?

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