The most common reasons for a runny nose are colds, hay fever, and sinusitis. All of these conditions affect the nose in a similar manner: they cause it to swell and produce extra mucus in an attempt to clear the nasal passages of irritants. In other words, they make it annoying.
While this is the body’s way of healing itself, it’s not fun for us in the process: inflammation and mucus lead to nasal congestion. And that leads to us wishing we’d bought stock in Kleenex.
Blowing the nose helps, but the nose knows how to be a problem child, too. When mucus becomes thick or sticky, it gets harder to clear. This can perpetuate a cycle of mucus-making. Keeping mucus in the body (instead of blowing it out) can lead to throat irritation and cough (the result of post-nasal drip).
While it seems benign, there are instances of people blowing their noses so hard (or so often) that they caused serious damage. Some reports include people who have fractured their eye sockets. Others have ruptured their esophagus or have experienced pneumothorax, a condition that occurs when air forcefully enters the space between the chest wall and the lung. Most folks who blow with this kind of pressure have chronic sinusitis.
None of the above is to say that handkerchiefs need to come with warning labels, but those who suffer from chronic sinus problems may benefit from thinking outside the box of tissues.
One alternative is nasal irrigation.
Nasal irrigation has experienced a surge in popularity over the years, but it’s actually an old and ancient tradition – people use to walk uphill both ways through snowstorms just to clear their sinuses! It’s been around for so long because it works: it helps the body repel infectious agents that like to sneak into the nose and make themselves at home.
Naturally, the nose engages in a little bit of self-defense on its own: nose hair doesn’t just add to our natural good looks; it serves a purpose, too. The “hair” that does most of the work are called cilia; they are hair-like structures that catch dirt, bacteria, and viruses (as well as anything else) and keep them out of the body. Mucus helps this process, also: it acts like a sand trap.
But, when someone has sinusitis, allergies, or even the common cold, mucus changes its consistency and this lessens its ability to do its job. That’s where nasal irrigation comes in: it not only helps restore the mucus’s natural texture, but it also improves the cilia’s ability to remove foreign particles from the sinuses.
Nasal irrigation can reduce the need for tissues (and the need for medications). They don’t just help the nose, either. Regular nasal irrigation can help reduce the risk of developing inner ear problems.
ResQRinse is a new nasal rinsing system that uses choanal occlusion, a process that eliminates the negative side effects of other devices. ResQRinse also improves effectiveness by delivering the saline rinse directly through the nasal cavity. To learn more about the wonders it can do for your nose, please contact us.