What our nose tells us about ourselves, is much more than we may initially realize. At this time of year, the sniffles become an unwanted part of many households. There may be many tell-tale signs about our blocked or runny noses that can tell us that bit more.
Why does our nose run? The immune connection
Although a complete pain to have a blocked or runny nose, our nose is often helping us out, our body attempts to expel unwanted or excessive mucus. Often, we do not realize our nose is part of our immune system response.
Within our nasal passages, there is Immunoglobulin A (IgA). These are active immune components of our immune system response. IgA helps in protecting us and tries to get rid of unwanted bugs. They largely exist within our mouth and nasal mucus and help form part of our very first immune response to invaders such as winter-time or year-round bugs.
In times of stress, physical or emotional and sometimes both. We may be overwhelmed and get unwell or struggle with poor immunity, this can play a pivotal role for some. Taking care of ourselves helps us in our long-term immunity and is an essential part of our well-being.
The whole picture – what makes our nose run?
This can be a potentially long list of possible factors, but some of the main and most common ones are below, check and see if any of them may be the reasons why for you.
- Allergies, dust, dander or plant pollen can cause allergy responses, such as hay fever or asthma.
- Enlarged adenoids, are soft tissue lumps right behind the nose.
- Ills and chills, and year-round bugs can cause blocked and stuffy noses (the most common cause for many).
- Certain medications can contribute and cause stuffy noses as a side effect.
- Nasal polyps (can be common in chronic sinus issues or breathing conditions).
- Food allergies or intolerances (dairy can be a common sensitivity or issue here for some.)
What the colour of nose mucus is telling you?
The colour of our nose mucus can tell us much more than just a blocked or a runny nose, see what your colour of mucus says about your well-being and what stage you might be at with your stuffy or runny nose.
- Cloudy or white mucus is a sign of a normal cold with more mucus present.
- Yellow or green mucus may mean more and indicate a bacterial infection.
- Brown or orange mucus is typically a common sign of dried red blood cells and irritation or over blowing your nose and an older standing infection (or a very dry nose).
What can help? – the golden touch
What can you do to help those stuffy or runny noses and excessive mucus? Often nasal congestion can be ongoing and related to allergies or any of the above.
But at times it may only be acute, so very short-term as in the case of being unwell. Some of the easy to do tips below may help ease mucus and clear nasal passages.
- Clear nasal secretions in babies or young children with a nasal bulb syringe.
- Applying nasal adhesive strips (available at your pharmacy) to help open up nasal passages.
- Rinsing with a saline solution or a neti teapot to help remove mucus and clear blocked or full stuffy noses.
- Drink liquids to help thin mucus and using specific ointments such as nasal clearing ointments such as the Kiwiherb De Stuff Rub can help on the chest or directly under the nostrils. See directions for use.
- Use a vaporiser (with essential oils such as small amounts of eucalyptus, and/or thyme) or de-humidifier within the house or bedroom at night to help remove excess moisture and help to breathe.
- Taking herbs such as echinacea, ribwort, elderflower or peppermint may help de stuff blocked noses within the household for both adults and children.
- Having warm drinks with ginger, cinnamon or turmeric may help soothe and settle irritated noses and help expel excessive mucus.
- Eliminating foods, if needed and if you are having suspected allergies go to your healthcare professional for further allergy testing to help and confirm what foods may be the issue.
Finding what works well for you
Including what works well for you, is the most vital ingredient for nasal comfort. This can take time, and some trial and error. Trying some of the ideas above may help in your wellness quest and search for finding the top ingredients for you, and can act as a starting point for your well-being and clear mucus and de-stuff blocked noses.
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