A Bit about the Nose
Yes, we all know the nose provides us with a sense of smell and enables us to breathe (and therefore keeps us alive). However, what else is there to know about this important bodily function?
Well, in order to prevent cold air from entering the body, the nose warms and humidifies air when you inhale. Not only that, the nose also filters inhaled air to make sure nothing harmful gets inside the body. In order to do this, a nasal mucous membrane and fine cilia line the nose – can you believe that the cilia cleans 10,000 litres of breathing air per day?
Although most of the time the nose performs these functions well, occasionally a virus or other problem can result in nasal dryness.
What causes nasal dryness?
Along with the more common explanation of a cold, you may be surprised to know there are many things that could cause or worsen the problem of a dry, crusty nose.
Cold and Flu
As I’m sure we’re all aware, and have first-hand experience of, too much nose-blowing during a bout of cold or flu can leave our nose feeling sore and dry. Also, as the linings inside the nose are incredibly fragile, when you wipe the area constantly, damage is easily done. The linings begin to crack and this is what can cause nose bleeds to occur.
A cold or flu may be the most common cause of a dry, crusty nose but it is not the only thing that might result in this problem. When the air is cold outside for example, it can dry out the nose. Also, indoor heating (which is usually put up to maximum during the winter months when it’s chilly outside), lacks moisture and humidity which can cause more nasal dryness. So, it seems unsurprising that dry, crusty noses and nose bleeds become a bigger problem in winter.
Also, it probably won’t surprise you to know that it’s not just your home that can have low humidity - offices and aeroplanes are also big culprits when it comes to this issue. So, if you’re working indoors nine-to-five or have recently been on a holiday overseas, it’s not surprising that a dry nose should become a problem.
Hayfever comes about when the immune system reacts to pollen or another allergen as if it were poison. Huge amounts of histamine are produced in response and this causes, as sufferers will be aware, inflammation, skin irritation, swelling and itching. The membranes lining the nasal passages can also become irritated and inflamed, causing too much mucus to be produced. This can result in a dry, crusty nose as the individual must rub their nose constantly to get rid of the mucus. This, along with other uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes and a blocked nose, means hayfever can be miserable.
However, there’s no need to get too down about the situation! Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray helps cleanse the nose of hayfever and other allergens quickly and effectively. It also restores fluid and moisture in the nasal passages to sooth and comfort. What’s more, Pollinosan contains no chemical preservatives and in fact, there are seven hayfever-busting herbs instead! This product can be used alongside other hayfever medication so don’t worry if you already have a prescription – this one is worth trying too!
It is possible for a woman to experience nasal dryness when going through the menopause because this process causes a hormonal change in the body. This change can cause the mucus membranes to dry out in areas such as the mouth and nose. For some more useful information on the menopause have a look at our blog ‘A Vogel Talks Menopause’.
This is an autoimmune condition, meaning the immune system attacks healthy parts of the body. It tends to affect bodily fluids so it is no wonder it is linked to the problem of a dry nose. However, it’s important you don’t jump to any of your own conclusions! Sjogren’s Syndrome has many symptoms so don’t automatically think that because you have a dry nose, this is the cause. The NHS provides valuable information on the issue so read this first. If you have concerns after that we’d advise you to visit your GP for more information.
In most cases, your prescription will only cause a dry nasal problem if the medication is new to your body. If you do experience this problem we’d advise you to stay on your medication but to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. They’ll be able to say whether or not your prescription needs changed to resolve the issue of a dry nose.
The good news is that although a dry nose is uncomfortable, and can lead to nose bleeds, it is rarely more serious than that. However, if the problem lasts more than one to two weeks it is worth visiting your doctor to see if the issue needs investigating further. Also, if there are signs of infection before then such as fever, discharge, or constant and long-lasting nose bleeds, you should contact your doctor immediately.
What might help?
Sinuforce Dry Nose Nasal Spray
If you often suffer from a dry nose, together with nasal congestion, or even if it’s just a short term problem, you might feel you’ve exhausted the traditional treatments. Well, you could try our Sinuforce Nasal Spray. This contains menthol and eucalyptus to help provide rapid relief of nasal catarrh and a blocked or congested nose, whilst helping to reduce swelling of the nasal mucous membranes, but ensuring the the natural protective and lubricative functions remain intact. Also, the addition of chamomile extract means the product soothes and supports the regeneration of tissue. Overall, this reduces the inflammatory processes and makes you less vulnerable to nose bleeds.
What’s more, Sinuforce Dry Nose Nasal Spray can be used by children with congestion and dry noses, and also by vegans and vegetarians too!
Drink lots of Water!
Also, remember to look after the inside of your body too! Drinking lots of water will not only keep you hydrated, but it will maintain mucus levels to help the problem of a dry, crusty nose.
It’s worth noting that coffee and tea can also dehydrate your body due to the high caffeine content. Therefore, it may be best to cut down your consumption of these drinks whilst you’re unwell. Herbal tea is a refreshing and tasty alternative to your usual brew!
Invest in a Humidifier
You could also invest in a humidifier for your home as this will increase the amount of moisture indoors. This counteracts the effects of central heating which, as we have already discussed, tends to take moisture from the air. In turn, this should help to relieve the problem of a dry nose. It’s also important to note that humidifiers are not too expensive and, because they can ease your nasal problems, it sounds like a good investment!