Importance of nasal hygiene
The nose is an important and an amazing organ of our body and is also subjected to aggressions the whole year long in all climates. Also, our nose is put to the test everyday by exposing it to dry air i.e., air conditioning, pollution, irritant substances such as car’s smoking or to certain treatments for common colds, sinusitis or allergic rhinitis that dries the nasal mucosa. Therefore, every day, the nose must be cleaned to remove any infectious agents, allergens or irritants to Nasal Hygiene.
Our nose is a natural air-purifier. It is one of our first lines of protection and a built-in filter against impurities, microbes and irritants. Therefore, it should be our top priority to keep our nose in good condition so it can work properly. Proper and good nasal hygiene can ease nasal congestion.
Please Keep Your Nose Clean
If the nose doesn’t function properly, then it is almost impossible to taste food. Nose can be used as a warning if there is a nearby danger. If you have a runny nose, then you might even experience headache and other irritating symptoms affecting your daily life routine. Here are few suggestions for taking care of our nose.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
If you have a stuffy or a blocked nose, keep hydrating yourself by drinking plenty of water. Also, one can have clear chicken broth or hot soups that can help make your mucus thinner. This will help to drain the mucus faster from your nose and also the sinuses. Consuming lots of liquids helps to keep the airway membranes lubricated. Try to avoid beverages like caffeine that can lead to dehydration.
Take Plenty of Rest
If you are not feeling well and your nose is blocked, it is important to get plenty of sleep so that your body can heal by itself. Research studies have shown that our body makes new immune system cells when asleep. They help in fighting infection and inflammation that are produced and released during sleep. Resting and sleep can give you a break from blowing your nose continuously.
Applying a Warm Compress
Apply a warm compress to your nose and forehead several times in a day, as it can help to relieve the upper respiratory symptoms such as nasal congestion. Alternatively, you can try moistening a washcloth with warm water and apply it on your face a few times a day. This can also help to loosen your nasal mucus relieving nasal congestion.
Whenever you have a stuffy or blocked nose, sit in the bathroom with a warm shower running. The steam running from the shower will loosen the thick mucus. Also, you can take a bowl of hot water and breathe from the steam coming out.
Inhaling warm steam can help to ease the mucous membranes lining of the nose and makes the mucus thinner helping you to drain your mucus faster.
Use a Humidifier Regularly
A clean humidifier or mist vaporizer is one of a great way to increase moisture into your environment and surroundings that relieves the symptoms of nasal congestion. When the air is very dry, your nose mucus can get thicker and your sinuses might not drain properly. One can use a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer to add humidity or moisture into the air, as it will keep the nasal passages moist and allows mucus to drain faster.
Use a Saline Nasal Spray
Research says, Using gentle saline nasal spray help in clearing the nasal congestion from a common cold or allergies. A saline nasal spray keeps the nasal passages clean and open by washing out any allergens such as pollen, dust, or pet dander that can cause nasal congestion. It can also loosen thick or dried mucus to make it easier to remove. The saline solution spray also helps in soothing the dry and irritated nasal passages.
Rinse Nose with a Neti Pot
Use a neti pot to rinse mucus from your nose if you have symptoms of nasal congestion. A neti pot is a pot specially designed to flush out mucus. Bend your head sideways over the sink and place the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril and slowly pour a saltwater solution into the upper nostril. Let the salt water drain down from the lower nostril. You can also use some other devices like squeeze bottles and pressurized canisters instead of a neti pot.
Smoking and the Nose
Cigarette smoking is damaging to overall health. The nasal cavity gets more damage from smoking menthol cigarettes than from non-menthol cigarettes. Cigars, pipes and other forms of smoking can cause irritation and damage the lining of the nasal passages. If you quit smoking then you are helping your nose in preventing the long-term dryness, sensitivity and irritation to allergen triggers. Also, avoiding cigarette smoking is good for health.
Objects, Nose Jobs and Surgery
Sticking certain objects, including your fingers, into your nose is very dangerous. Avoid scraping your nasal membranes with an object or a fingernail that can lead to infection. Infections in the nasal passage is very difficult to treat. It is better to prevent anything putting in your nostrils. Sometimes surgeries are performed on the nose for medical reasons. Follow your doctor’s instructions and consult immediately if you have any concerns. Avoiding infections is important after nasal surgery.
Have a Spicy Meal
If you have a runny nose, eat spicy food. The chemical in spicy foods, known as capsaicin, can help in relieving a runny nose that is not triggered by any allergies. Capsaicin is the compound giving chili peppers and their heat. Your runny nose might get worse at first while eating spicy foods, but gradually the heat will relieve your runny nose.
These are few home-care tips to practice nasal hygiene. If your nasal symptoms extend beyond a few days, consult your doctor and take the over-the-counter cold medicines according to his consultation for relieving your runny nose and symptoms of nasal congestion along with other common symptoms of cold and flu. Identify your symptoms apart from runny nose and nasal congestion to make sure you get the right treatment.
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