“If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter,” said Blaise Pascal, “the whole face of the earth would have been changed.” Beauty apart, the nose is basically a natural filter and an air conditioner.
Oxygen from the air is necessary for living but very often air contains injurious material that can damage the lungs and consequently shorten the life span. So remember when next you smell a pleasant odour, there is a far more important job your nose is doing as you breathe.
The nose has been provided with three protective mechanisms which make the air you breathe safe for your system. The two nostrils are divided by a flexible wall (septum) of bone and cartilage. Its delicate lining is constantly active in removing impurities from the air, while the hairs seen at the nostrils strain out larger particles.
Next, all along the inner passage of your nose a sticky yet fluid mucus is secreted to hold and wash out more dirt. You will have noticed that when you are heading for a cold, a running nose is one of the first sign. This nasal discharge of mucus is actually a much more than normal activity and is a defensive measure towards washing out irritating or infective substances.
The third protective device consists of microscopic hairlike projections called cilia which extend from the lining. It propels the dust outside. It’s very efficient defence activity is very often lessened when you thoughtlessly apply unwanted substances to the nasal passages.
A Stuffy nose:
As we said before, besides serving as a filter your nose is also like an air conditioner. The mucus membrane of your nose contains an exceptionally large number of capillaries. These diffuse a flow of warm blood which reduces the chill of the air you breathe. When you have a cold these capillaries are over worked and rapidly become congested with blood and tissue fluid. The result is a swollen lining that obstructs the passageway of the nose.
Result: You suffer from a stuffy nose. At such a time a good nasal decongestant helps. It’s effectiveness lies in contracting the capillaries and so reducing the swelling to open up your nasal passages. Care should be taken to see that the nasal decongestant is non-irritating as the inner lining of your nasal passages is sensitive.
Also contributing to the protective washing-out process are cavities in the facial bones called
A clogged nose means much more than just discomfort. You are forced to breathe though your mouth thus exposing yourself to the danger of impurities normally present in the air. So never treat a stuffy nose lightly. At the first feeling of a congested nose use a nasal decongestant – thus preventing more prolonged use at a later stage when the congestion in your nose gets worse. It is a very good practice to have a nasal decongestant, like nasal drops, handy in the house.