When the kitchen floor is dirty the first thing
we do is sweep it.
For example, the highest incidence of ear infections
in this country, and probably the world, is in the Native
Tribal elders tell us that before these people were "civilized" they
did not have problems with their ears.
Part of the civilizing was putting them in homes instead their
traditional houses that were more open to the elements.
The relative humidity in the winter in their traditional environment
is close to 100% while that in a well insulated house is closer
to 30% at best.
These people had adapted over the thousands of years they lived
in this climate, and are having trouble with the newer, nicer,
but dryer environment.
One of the practices these native peoples used to have was
wrapping their babies warmly and taking them out into the cold
air means that the nose needs a lot more blood to warm
the air, and that means more fluid in the nose that helps
to wash it out.
Doctors think that these people get
ear infections because they are genetically disposed to them by
the shape of the Eustachian Canal in the back of the nose. But
the same tribal elders point out that children from the same genetic
pool living in a more traditional environment in Nome's sister
city of Provideniya, Siberia do not have trouble with their ears
today. Our doctors say they are just not diagnosed, but it does
not take a doctor to tell that a screaming child that pulls on
his ear or complains of an ear ache has a problem, especially when
it drains a few days later. Tribal elders often have more wisdom
than some like to acknowledge.
Besides the environmental factors, things that hurt the cilia
will also lead to more problems.
Cigarette smoke, even passive smoke from someone else,
is toxic to the cilia. Smokers and their families are only
sweeping with half a broom or less.
If there is enough smoke the cilia don't sweep at all.
This is why some pediatricians consider it child abuse
for parents to smoke when their children are around.
The cilia and mucus working together clean out the great majority
of bacteria and other pollutants that enter the nose. When we look
at the back of the nose with a microscope we can see the bacteria
caught in the mucus and riding on top of the cilia. These bacteria
are not going to cause problems. In normal cleaning they are swallowed
along with the mucus and are killed by the acid in our stomachs.
In order to cause infections bacteria must find a place in the
back of the nose where there is no mucus protecting the cells. The
first step in any infection is bacteria or viruses that are holding
on, the scientific word is adhering, to our cells. Even
most of these bacteria are killed by our own antibacterial substances
in the airway surface fluid that bathes these cells.
Sweeping back-up: If we cannot remove the dirt from
the kitchen floor with sweeping we need to get out the soap and
It's the same with the nose.
Irritants in the nose, whether they are infectious (viruses
and bacteria) or allergenic, trigger special cells called mast
These cells release granules that contain histamine and an
enzyme called tryptase.
The fluid, or plasma, comes from under the surface/epithelial
cells than line our nasal passages.
This fluid percolates up around these cells bathing them and
winds up under the mucus which it virtually lifts up and washes
out making room for the new clean mucus.
It is a very efficient washing mechanism which we should try
a Swedish physician who has extensively researched the role
of histamine in the nose, points out that this is a normal
a biologist looking at allergies, came to the same conclusion.
Defenses help us to deal with insults from our environment—they
should be honored and supported because they function to keep
us healthy. But researchers in the 1940's weren't interested
in defenses. They found that histamine was associated with
a runny nose
and that antihistamines stopped the nose from draining. They
sanitized the snotty nose by turning off its defensive washing.
Two things happened in the early 1970's to promote these problems:
Antihistamines and decongestants were made available
over the counter and began to be heavily advertised on
Entitlement programs like Medicaid made these drugs
available to our poorer populations.
drugs act to block our normal, but bothersome, nasal cleaning.
Antihistamines block the effects of histamine so the
washing never gets turned on and decongestants close
down the blood
vessels that histamine has opened so the water gets turned
off. It does not require a whole lot of training to see
that if we stop the washing we will have more dirt.
This is also suggested by the side effect studies of one
of these drugs.
Loratadine is a commonly used non-sedating antihistamine
now available without prescription.
The study looking for side effects in children lasted
for two weeks and was probably done in the summer, because
few of the children got upper respiratory infections or
But the incidence of these two problems was doubled
in the group given the drug.
What if this study had been done in the winter when it
is not uncommon for 20% of a classroom to be absent with
upper respiratory infections.
If 40% of the children got sick or wheezed would we
pay more attention?
While two weeks is enough time to evaluate the side effects
for the drug, such as dry nose or sedation, it is hardly
long enough to see the side effects of taking the drug for
We have now had
an uncontrolled thirty year trial of what happens when we
block a normal defense and we ought to pay attention.
Blocking defenses is not new in our medical history. When a person
gets infected or injured our immune system recognizes a problem
and signals that more blood is needed to deal with it. This is
called the inflammatory reaction. In an injury it causes swelling
and pain so the area is splinted by the swelling and we know from
the pain to stay off it until it is better. In an infection the
increased blood helps the body deal more effectively with
For almost 4000 years a person who went to the doctor with these
symptoms would usually be bled; their arm would be cut and allowed
to bleed into a bowl until the swelling and the redness went
away. It was a very effective therapy for the symptoms because
blood is potentially much more serious than infection; shock
trumps the immune system. The symptoms would rapidly disappear.
the mid-19th Century, when we finally got around to asking the
question, we found that more people treated this way died. It
probably did not harm those bled for a sprain or gout, but bleeding
with an infection allows the infecting agent some time to spread
and get a better hold in the person. More of them died.
When we finally get around to asking
this question about our current practices I'm sure that we will
find that more people die today from infections that could have
been washed away, or from asthma that is triggered by pollutants
that could have been similarly removed. We're continuing the
mistake we made when we bled people and it's time to stop.
need to ask the question we asked about bleeding—why did this
symptom develop and is it defensive; does it help us deal with
environmental insults? If the answer is "Yes" then we ought
to honor rather than block those symptoms.
Click on the BACK button to return to
Read about more examples where we block
body functions of fever and diarrhea.
Go on to read about helping clean
Nasal mucosal endorgan hyperresponsiveness.
Svensson C, Andersson M, Greiff L, Persson CG
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery,
University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
Nonspecific hyperresponsiveness of the upper and lower airways is a well-known
characteristic of different inflammatory airway diseases but the underlying
mechanisms have not yet been satisfactorily explained. In attempts to elucidate
the relation of hyperresponsiveness to disease pathophysiology we have
particularly examined the possibility that different airway endorgans may
alter their function in allergic airway disease. The nose, in contrast
to the bronchi, is an accessible part of the airways where in vivo studies
of airway mucosal processes can be carried out in humans under controlled
conditions. Different endorgans can be defined in the airway mucosa: subepithelial
microvessels, epithelium, glands, and sensory nerves. Techniques may be
applied further in the nose to determine selectively the responses/function
of these endorgans. Topical challenge with methacholine will induce a glandular
secretory response, and topical capsaicin activates sensory c-fibers and
induces nasal smart. Topical histamine induces extravasation of plasma
from the subepithelial microvessels. The plasma exudate first floods the
lamina propria and then moves up between epithelial cells into the airway
lumen. This occurs without any changes in the ultrastructure or barrier
function of the epithelium. We have therefore forwarded the view of mucosal
exudation of bulk plasma as a physiological airway tissue response with
primarily a defense function. Since the exudation is specific to inflammation,
we have also suggested mucosal exudation as a major inflammatory response
among airway endorgan functions. Using a "nasal pool" device for concomitant
provocation with histamine and lavage of the nasal mucosa we have assessed
exudative responses by analyzing the levels of plasma proteins (e.g., albumin
alpha 2-macroglobulin) in the returned lavage fluids. A secretory hyperresponsiveness
occurs in both experimental and seasonal allergic rhinitis. This type of
nasal hyperreactivity may develop already 30 minutes after allergen challenge.
It is attenuated by topical steroids and oral antihistamines. We have demonstrated
that exudative hyperresponsiveness develops in both seasonal allergic rhinitis
and common cold, indicating significant changes of this important microvascular
response in these diseases. An attractive hypothesis to explain airway
hyperresponsiveness has been increased mucosal absorption permeability
due to epithelial damage, possibly secondary to the release of eosinophil
products. However, neither nonspecific nor specific endorgan hyperresponsiveness
in allergic airways may be explained by epithelial fragility or damage
since nasal absorption permeability (measured with 51CR-EDTA and dDAVP)
was decreased or unchanged in our studies of allergic and virus-induced
rhinitis, respectively. Thus, the absorption barrier of the airway mucosa
may become functionally tighter in chronic eosinophilic inflammation.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and
- The Allergy Report. Vol. 1, page 4.
The function of allergy: immunological defense against
Division of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University
of California, Berkely 94720.
This paper proposes that the mammalian immune response known as "allergy" evolved
as a last line of defense against the extensive array of toxic substances
that exist in the environment in the form of secondary plant compounds
and venoms. Whereas nonimmunological defenses typically can target
only classes of toxins, the immune system is uniquely capable of
the fine-tuning required to target selectively the specific molecular
configurations of individual toxins. Toxic substances are commonly
allergenic. The pharmacological chemicals released by the body's
mast cells during an IgE antibody-mediated allergic response typically
cause vomiting diarrhea, coughing, tearing, sneezing, or scratching,
which help to expel from the body the toxic substance that triggered
the response; individuals frequently develop aversions to substances
that have triggered such responses. A strong allergic response often
includes a decrease in blood pressure, which slows the rate at which
toxins circulate to target organs. The immune system identifies as
toxic the following kinds of substances: (1) those low-molecular-weight
substances that bind covalently to serum proteins (e.g., many plant
toxins); (2) nontoxic proteins that act as carriers of toxins with
low molecular weights (e.g., plant proteins associated with plant
toxins); (3) specific substances of high molecular weight that harmed
individuals in ancestral mammalian populations for a span of time
that was significant from the standpoint of natural selection (e.g.,
the toxic proteins of bee venom. Substances that bind covalently
to serum proteins generally are acutely toxic, and because many of
these substances also bind covalently to the DNA of target cells,
they are potentially mutagenic and carcinogenic as well. Thus, by
protecting against acute toxicity, allergy may also defend against
mutagens and carcinogens. The toxic hypothesis explains the main
phenomena of allergy; why IgE-mediated allergies usually occur within
minutes of exposure to an allergen and why they are often so severe;
why the manifestations of allergy include vomiting, diarrhea, coughing,
sneezing, scratching, tearing, and a drop in blood pressure; why
covalent binding of low-molecular-weight substances to serum proteins
frequently causes allergy; why allergies occur to many foods, pollens,
venoms, metals, and drugs; why allergic cross-reactivity occurs to
foods and pollen from unrelated botanical families; why allergy appears
to be so capricious and variable; and why allergy is more prevalent
in industrial societies than it is in foraging societies. This hypothesis
also has implications for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment
The spray described in these pages
is not a drug. This means that the people manufacturing this spray
cannot advertise what the spray does to prevent disease and illness.
The spray only helps to clean your nose. The benefits come from
a clean nose. The only way people will learn about this practical
and sensible way to help the immune system wash pollutants from
the back of the nose is by interested people, like you, sharing
If you have family or friends with any of these problems, they
may benefit greatly from your sharing this information with them.
Links in the other sections, referring to a person or study, will
take you to a Medline summary, from the National Library of Medicine,
of the article in question.
This spray is protected by United States and international patents.
While careful reading of these pages will tell you how to mix this
spray yourself we request that you do not sell such spray on the
open market. Such sales would be prohibited by the above mentioned
Disclaimer: All material provided in this web site is provided
for educational purposes in the hope of improving our general health.
Access of this web site does not create a doctor-patient relationship
nor should the information contained on this web site be considered
specific medical advice with respect to a specific patient and/or
a specific condition. Copy sections of this page and discuss them
with your physician to see if they apply to your own symptoms or
Dr. Jones specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal
or otherwise, that is or may be incurred as a consequence, directly
or indirectly, of use or application of any of the information
provided on this web site.
A. H. 'Lon' Jones D.O.
812 West 8th St. Suite 2A
Plainview, Texas 79072
Phone (806) 291-0700
Fax (806) 293-8229