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Colds and the Flu: The Unusual Running Nose and Nasal Congestion.
The nose: the purpose of the mucus and the hair
The nose we see on our faces is a complex anatomical appendage of our facial features that define how we look . However,underlying the outward structure is the nasal structures: the septum,the sInuses and the hair. The sinuses are filled with air and they have small hair-like structures called cilia. The cilia help move particles trapped in the sinuses outwards where they are eventually swallowed keeping the sinuses clean. They also help to moisturize and warm the air that we inhale while filtering it before it is transferred to the lungs for absorption.
The mucus produced in the nasal structures helps lubricate the nasal passages to allow for easy flow of air inhaled and exhaled.
Sinuses of the nose: Anatomy of the nose
Unusual Running Nose
Running noses in most people are caused by the common problems such as colds, flu,allergies,medications, and unknown causes.
However,not many doctors have dealt with the unusual running nose that starts with mild stuffiness and progresses over a few days to a full blown running nose with symptoms similar to the common running noses caused by a cold,flu,or allergies.
The unusual running nose is accompanied by exra-nasal symtpoms such as a swollen and a reddening on the face, and tearing eyes.
The victim keeps blowing their noses to reduce the mucus clogging the sinuses and causing sinus congestion.After a week the symptoms disappear and the victim is back to normal. Another time again the same appears just like with seasonal flu and allergies.
Seek Medical Attention Where Necessary
When should we seek medical help when we have a sinus problem?
The Medical Doctors Who Can Treat a Sinus Problem
The primary doctors refers the patient to the allergist. The allergist runs all the tests known in the world and finds nothing.
The allergist refers the patient to the Ear,Nose and Throat(ENT) specialist who, just like the allergist ,does all kinds of tests and scans but comes up with nothing.
The ENT doctor refers the patient to the neurologist. The neurologist performs the examinations diligently and researches with all kinds of sophisticated tests,scans and procedures but comes up with no conclusive diagnosis.
This patient is referred to a well know teaching and research hospital institution in the USA where a team of residents,fellows, medicals students and their preceptors are waiting to see him. The team reviews all the medical reports,tests,x-rays,exams and procedures from the previous doctors. The team orders a battery of fresh exams,tests,scans and procedures. They, too,yield no conclusive diagnosis.
Finally, a well known ENT specialist comes up with a suggestion that there is no known cause for the unusual running nose and maybe this was the first case ever seen or recorded.The neurologist looks at his ENT colleague and smiles while he says," What if this is the only first case ever seen where the brain of the patient tells the nose when to run and when to stop?"
"What do we call this condition for the purposes of documenting the diagnosis we have arrived at?" asks one of the senior residents.
"Lets call it vasomotor something...." says the neurologist, " where the patient's brain tells the nose when to run and when to stop with no explanation," he explained.
" Well, we can call it vasomotor rhinitis," adds the ENT specialist.
That was then confirmed as the diagnosis for the unusual running nose with a very rare occurence.
The vasomotor rhinitis does not respond to any kind of treatment used for managing allergic rhintis,flu,cold and sinus congestion.
It attacks the patients and goes away by itself in a few days. The main symptoms are running nose,nasal stuffiness, face becomes red and may be swollen. The eyes may also be tearing every now and then until it clears.
Nasal Congestion and Running Nose.
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Treating Running Nose
How to keep our noses clean
We need to keep our nostrils clean to avoid contaminating the air we inhale. We should cut or trim the hair that grows in our nostrils that can be disgusting and keep us from breathing properly or even affect our smelling stuff.
We must keep the nasal passages clean by rinsing our nostrils to get rid of the trapped particles and allergens. Irrigate with nasal rinses, the sinuses, to remove any infection and excessive mucus that may fill the sinuses and cause pain.
We should not touch our nostrils without washing our hands and we should not pick our nostrils with our hands to avoid contamination and catching the colds and the flu.
Sneeze on clean tissue whenever we have to sneeze and discard the tissue immediatley. Do not reuse the tissues.
Nose piercings and tagging may increase accumulation of dirt and need to keep these clean all times.
Test Your Knowledge on Over-The-Counter Sinus Medication.
Which of the following allergy medication works for running nose?
Cleaning our noses: after piercing and tagging.
- All About Nose Piercings
Learn about the types of nose piercings (nostril, septum and bridge), jewelry (rings, bones, studs, screws), see how nose piercings are done and other information for before you get pierced.
The use of nasal irrigation to keep our nostrils clean.
- How and Why to Use Nasal Irrigation
What is nasal irrigation? Nasal irrigation, also known as nasal rinse or nasal wash, is simply the act of rinsing the nasal cavity with a saline (salt water) solution. What are the benefits of nasal...