February 17, 2012

Care Of The Nose

The nose is a delicate and important part of the face. But how many of us are aware of the simple ways of taking care of our nose.
I am not nosing my way into your nasal matters but only taking the liberty of suggesting some simple measures for the proper care of your nose, which constitutes a very important part of your face.

Many people, for instance, are not aware of the right way of blowing their noses. They often tend to compress the lower part of the nose very tightly with their thumb and forefinger, and blow out with all their might.

This is not only an ineffectual but a highly hazardous method of clearing one’s nose. If one has a cold (as is often the case), and if one tries to blow the nose in the above manner, the high pressure that is developed inside the nose forces the infected material and organisms inside the nose into what are called the sinuses – paving the way for the development of sinusitis.

                                    The right way of blowing the nose                                          

The right method of blowing one’s nose is to press one side of the nose with one’s thumb firmly (using the right thumb for the right side) and to try to blow through the other side which is open. This exercise can be repeated afterwards, on the other side also.

Nose-picking is a very bad habit, which many children and even several adults develop. If one happens to have sharp nails, injury to the highly vascular area (known as Little’s Area), which lies just above the tip of the nose, is possible and may lead to a nose-bleed.

nose picking
Nose picking is not only a bad habit; it could even harm the inner lining of your nose.

Similarly, repeatedly rubbing the nose or dabbling the nose with a hanky (as shown below) will also lead to a trauma to the delicate lining of the nose.

woman rubbing nose with hanky

Putting snuff into the nose is a bad habit, much the same as smoking or chewing tobacco. It leads to chronic irritation, infection, and on rare occasions, even to the malignancy of the nose.

Several precautions have to be taken when one has a cold. Interacting with people at close quarters should be cut down, because a common cold being highly contagious, other persons may also catch the infection.

Swimming is taboo when one has a cold, because infected water may be forced up one’s nose, leading to augmentation of the infection and sinusitis.

Head-lowering asanas, as Shirsasana, Mountain pose, Downward Dog pose, Suryanamaskar etc., should not be done (if one is in the habit of doing Yogasanas), as long as one has a cold. These can be resumed only after the cold has cleared up.

downward dog pose
Head lowering asanas should not be performed when one has a cold.

Some people tend to have the false notion that taking hot drinks, like whisky and brandy, when one has a cold, will have a salutary effect on the problem. Alcoholic drinks, unfortunately, do not have any such property. They may just give a temporary feeling of well-being. In fact, excessive drinks taken when one has a severe cold, may lead to dilation of the blood vessels and severe headache.

Some others cherish the idea that taking Vitamin C regularly will help avert an attack of cold but not only has this attribute of Vitamin C been proved conclusively but also it is hazardous to take pills or supplements without a doctor’s recommendation.

Nose Bleed

When you have a nose-bleed, do not panic. All you have to do is pinch the nose tightly with your forefinger and thumb for 8-10 minute. In most cases, this will arrest the bleeding.

If you have ice ready in your fridge, you can try applying ice-cubes on both sides of the nose for a similar period of time. cold facilities clotting of blood. But a cold compress, applied to the top of the head, is not going to help. See other Home Remedies for Nose Bleed.

People with uncontrolled hypertension (high BP), have a tendency to have a nose-bleed spontaneously; their blood pressure should be maintained within normal limits, by taking suitable drugs.

If your small child has a one-sided discharge of mucus, blood, etc., from the nose, it is very likely that the child has put some substance – a “foreign body”, as it is called – up the nose. This requires the immediate attention of the ENT specialist.

Several people peer into the interior of their noses only to find pinkish round masses and get the erroneous idea that they are cancerous growths. In all probability, these are just normal structures – called turbinates – found in the interior of the nose.

An antral washout is usually suggested as a treatment for sinusitis but many people are reluctant to undergo this treatment because of an ill-founded myth that once an antral washout is carried out, it will have to be done repeatedly. This is far from truth. The antral washout is only a measure directed at evacuation of the pus which has accumulated in the sinuses and may not have to be repeated. Many people find relief with just one wash-out.

Pic Credits: 1, Public Domain Images, Fotosearch

(Guest Post by Dr. M.N.S)

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