You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your nose–until you have a cold or allergies, that is. Even a couple of days of a runny nose or nasal congestion can lower your ability to sleep, energy level, and quality of life in general.

Your nose is vital to healthy living. The air that passes through your nose goes into your lungs, 18,000 to 20,000 liters a day! Your nose helps to filter out pollen, dust, and other foreign objects so that they don’t go into your lungs. It also moistens and warms the air you breathe so that your bronchial tubes and the lining of your lungs don’t dry out.

Paying attention to the health of your nose can mean healthier lungs as well. A dry nose is more vulnerable to germs. If your nose becomes dry, a common problem in winter or while traveling by airplane, try over-the-counter saline nasal spray and home humidifiers.

If your nose becomes clogged, nasal decongestant sprays can help, but be sure to read the label carefully and use exactly as directed. Prolonged use of decongestant nasal sprays can damage the tiny hairs in your nose and actually cause the congestion to worsen.

The nose is also affected by many oral medications. Anti-anxiety and diuretic blood pressure medications can dry out the nose. Birth control pills, erectile dysfunction pills, and beta-blockers can cause nasal congestion.

In short, paying attention to how your nose feels may help to diagnose and keep on top of other health-related issues. Let’s give the nose its due!


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