You may undermine the importance of your nose, but encounter a bad nose and you’ll know how vital body organ this is. Nasal congestion and a runny nose have a noticeable effect on quality of life, energy level, ability to breathe, ability to sleep, and ability to function in general.
Why your nose holds much significance?
Nose processes the air that you breathe before it enters your lungs. Much of this activity happens in and on the turbinates, located on the sides of the nasal passages. An adult passes approx 18,000 to 20,000 litres of air through the nose every day.
Your nose protects your health by doing the following:
- Filtering all that air and retaining particles as small as a pollen grain with 100% efficiency.
- Humidifying the air that you breathe, adding moisture to the air to prevent dryness of the lining of the lungs and bronchial tubes.
- Warming cold air to body temperature before it arrives in your lungs.
Because the connection between the nose and lungs is so important, paying attention to problems in the nose
- allergic rhinitis for instance, can reduce or avoid problems in the lungs
such as bronchitis and asthma. Ignoring nasal symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, runny nose
, or thick nasal discharge can aggravate lung problems and lead to other problems:
- Nasal congestion reduces the sense of smell.
- Mouth breathing causes dry mouth, which increases the risk of mouth and throat infections and reduces the sense of taste. Mouth breathing also pulls pollution and germs directly into the lungs dry cold air in the lungs makes the secretions thick, slows the cleaning cilia, and slows down the passage of oxygen into the bloodstream.
- Ignoring nasal allergies increases the chance of developing asthma. Moreover, it also makes asthma worse if you already have it.
So, it is important to treat nasal symptoms promptly to prevent worsening of lung problems.
Tips to improve health of your nose and lungs
If you have a dry nose, its different functions will be affected. Try over-the-counter salt-water nasal mists and sprays to help maintain nasal health
. These can be used liberally and at your discretion.
Beware of over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays prolonged use of these sprays may damage the cilia that clear the nose and sinuses. Decongestants can become addictive and actually cause nasal congestion
to get worse.
Think of your nose when you’re travelling. Air-conditioned cruise ships may have high levels of mould in the cabins. Airplane air is very dry and contains a lot of re-circulated particles and germs a dry nose is more susceptible to germs. Use saline nasal mist frequently during the flight, and drink lots of water.
Right medications for nose problems
Be aware of the nasal effects of other medications.
Be aware of medication side effects no medicine works well for all people, and all medications can cause side effects.