Ever seen kids with their finger stuck in their nose, picking snot? That usually happens when the child is suffering with cold and flu. However it is not a healthy way to get rid of dried mucous in the nose. Mucus is a slimy substance secreted by glands in various parts of the body such as your gut, nose and wind pipe (trachea). The purpose of this mucus secretion is lubrication and protection of the organ it’s being produced in. our nose needs to be protected from mildly irritating to downright harmful particles present in the external environment. These particles can range from dust to pollen to bacteria.
Nose has more functions than simply conducting air from the environment to the wind pipe It warms, filters and moistures the air going in to prevent damage to more sensitive trachea and lungs by the help of mucous membrane. Any particles trapped in mucous secretions, dry up and adhere to nasal hair. It is also the organ for sense of smell and plays a role in projecting sound of your voice. Therefore, it is essential to keep your nose clean and use the right way to clean it.
While solidified mucous adheres to the nasal hair, liquid mucous mixed with harmful particles is directed toward the nose into the throat, from there to the gut where the bacteria is killed by stomach acids and excreted out of the body through feces. Another way your body protects your from harmful particles is through the mechanism of sneezing.
How To Protect Your Nose
First of all, you should alter your living habits if most of your time is spent in a polluted environment. You can reduce environmental threats present in your house by regularly cleaning and vacuuming dust. Prevent allergen build up by avoiding carpets. Avoid smoking inside your house and use exhaust when you cook food.
Next, you need to maintain proper nasal hygiene by keeping it clean. Just like your regularly brush your teeth, similarly you should clean your nose. Regular nasal care routine includes rinsing and flushing your nose. This can simply be done with water. Make a tiny cup from your hands and put some water in your nose and blow. Do this 3-4 times a day. This keeps your nose moisturized, clean and efficient in working.
Saline water products are also used to rinse nose for regular clean up and also to reduce symptoms of rhinitis, sinusitis and common cold. They are available in different forms for different age groups and requirement. Droppers and flushers are usually used for infants and kids however adults can use this too. Nasal sprays and single dose ampoules are typically used by adults especially sinusitis and asthma patients.
Different kinds of solutions are also found in market such as isotonic and hypertonic. Isotonic has similar osmolaltiy as fluids in the body where as hypertonic have higher osmolality. Nasal sprays with flow mist and different range of pressure are also available. For pharmaceutical use they are often medicated with eucalyptus, mint or other medicine. Those are not required for regular nose cleaning but are specially made for patients.
Common Nasal Issues
Infants are most likely to suffer from respiratory tract infection as they have low immunity and are new to the external environment. Therefore it is essential for the care taken of the baby to use saline water to keep airways clear. Similarly, adults commonly suffer from cold worldwide. There is no known for cold but only ways to relieve symptoms. It is not considered healthy to forcefully blow out mucous from the nose, but usage of saline water is promoted which is often medicated with anti allergy medicine.
Another problem faced by adults and children worldwide is dry nose. This usually happens in winters due to dryness and low humidity in the environment. Burning sensation, itchiness and crusting mucus in the nose are common problems due to dryness. Dry nose may also be caused by radiation therapy of head or neck and asthma medication taken through nasal sprays. Dry nose symptoms can be relieved by nasal lubricants or petroleum jelly is nasal lubricant is not available.
Home remedies for dry nose or nasal lubrication should be avoided. In case you have serious respiratory or nasal disorders you might need to visit your doctor. For better understanding of nasal lubricants, rinses and droppers visit your pharmacist.