I have a hair growing up my right nostril that irritates me when it rains (or so it seems). It’s one of those really long ones that I can feel moving around in the breeze of my in-breath. Most of the time, it doesn’t trouble me, but sometimes, just sometimes – it can be a real pain in the … nose.
I fantasise about being able to get my tweezers up enough to be able to pluck that hair out by the root, but I know that’s it’s too far up. At my most irritated moments, I think of putting a smudge of hair-removal cream on a cotton bud and shoving that thing up my nose until it hits that sweet spot.
Thankfully, my nostrils are usually wide enough to accommodate this mutant hair, but it’s the times that the passage narrows that bug me. Like, when …
Okay, that dot-dot-dot thang (…) was the point at which my knowledge-pot ran dry. And then my imagination failed me, so I switched to Plan C – an internet search. This led me to this marvellous site: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/swollen-nasal-passages/.
Here’s the stuff that I didn’t know. The passages in my nose sometimes narrow because the lining gets swollen and some of the things that cause that are allergens (like mould, dust, grass, or pollen) or other irritating stuff (like fungi, viruses, or bacteria). Not because of the rain.
I know various things that stop the irritation. My favourite method is to snort salt water up my nose, from the palm of my hand, and then spit it out of my mouth into the sink (apparently there is something called a Neti Pot that you can use instead of the palm). Strangely enough, if you use clean water for this, it stings like heck, but salty water doesn’t. I guess the nose is used to the saltiness of
snot nasal mucus.
If just one of my nostrils is blocked (or swollen, as I now know to be the case) and all the air is going up the other nostril, then there’s something about taking all the load that gets that open nostril irritated. That irritation can sometimes lead to the generation of excess sn… nasal mucus. In other words, my nose starts running. If I don’t deal with it, this can lead to me developing a cold. So I deal with it.
First port of call is to clean my nose out. Sometimes blowing it can do the trick, but at other times, I need to get my finger up there to ascertain what’s happening. If you’re going to try this at home, wash your hands (and up your fingernails) first. There’s a lot of bacteria floating about that wouldn’t do your nose much good it got jammed up there.
Obviously, when reaming out your nose, you need to make sure that there’s no-one around that you know. A crowded train is fine for this, but a better option is the bathroom. It’s funny, but partners, friends and parents don’t seem keen on seeing us digging up our noses – even though we all do it. Well, apart from the Queen of England of course. She has staff for that.
So, you’ve cleaned all your bogies (UK word for boogers) out and still no relief? It’s time to try something else. Breathing better. Here’s how this works:
- Sit somewhere comfortable
- Get up again and go find the mentholated rub (yeah, like Vicks)
- Throw away the empty jar
- Go and buy another one
- Sit down again and blow your nose
- Get up again
- Throw away the snotty tissue
- Wash your hands properly
- Smear a bit of Vicks (or similar) under your nostrils
- Get up again
- Wash your hands
- Sit comfortably
- Sigh meaningfully
- Rub the tips of your index fingers …
- Pick up your phone and look up ‘index finger’
- Notice that you have three new comments on your blog
- Read the comments
- Reply to the comments
- Read the replies to your replies
- Look up an hour later and see that it’s time for lunch
- Eat lunch
- Try to remember what you were doing before lunch
- Fail to remember what it was
- Pick up phone again
- Play Candy Crush Saga until … whenever; it’s your life!
Yeah, I know – I kinda lost the way there. But hey – look on the bright side – it’s lunch time!