Dry Nose

image001 Nose is the first part of the respiratory tract where the air is warmed and pollutants, viruses and bacteria are trapped and kept out of the rest of the respiratory system. Dry nose can be an irritating symptom of other problems. Typically, this symptom is not an indication of a life-threatening problem, but it can be uncomfortable and may become worse because a dry nose is less able to provide those filtering functions. So it is important to understand the causes and potential remedies for the problem.

Causes of Dry Nose

When you think of your nose, you probably usually think of the runny nose you have had with a cold. However, just as important is the dry nose you may experience because of many causes.

Cause

Description

Environment Factors

First, your environment may be the cause of your dry nose. If you live in a hot and dry area, it is likely that you have experienced this symptom as the moisture in your nose evaporates.

Rhinitis

Rhinitis is the infection in the noise that can lead to either a runny nose due to over-production of nasal mucous, or, less often, a dry nose.

Nasal Sprays

Many nasal sprays can result in a chronic dry nose – particularly when they are used for more than a few days. These sprays may have a rebound effect that causes you to have to use them for longer periods. Consult your healthcare provider for other options if you need a nasal spray for more than 3 or 4 days.

Medication Side Effects

Decongestants and antihistamines pills and oral liquids are designed to dry out your respiratory system and that includes your nose. Be aware that when you are taking these medications, you will usually develop a dry nose.

Sjögren's Syndrome

Sjögren's Syndrome is a relatively rare autoimmune disease that causes all of the mucous membranes in the body to dry. As a result of this dryness, you may develop irritation in your nose, eyes, and other body areas that are typically moist.

Hormone Changes

As women age, the normal hormone changes associated with menopause will cause drying of all of the mucous membranes in the body including the nose, eyes, mouth, and vagina.

Hypertension

If you have episodes of bleeding along with a dry nose, it is important to be sure to have your blood pressure checked. Although dry nose can result in occasional bleeding, hypertension can also lead to frequent nose bleeds.

Home Remedies for Dry Nose

Before treating a dry nose, it is important to know what has caused the problem. If you know the cause, there are some simple home remedies that you can try to help relieve the dry nose.

  • Be sure to get plenty of fluid each day in order to keep your body hydrated. If you are dehydrated, your nose will also be dry. Unless there is a medical reason that you should not drink fluid, try to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water or juice each day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine since excessive use can cause your nose to be dry.
  • Use a humidifier if you have one to add extra moisture to the air. If you do not own a humidifier, you can simply place a can of water on each radiator or heat vent in your house. As the heat moves over the can of water, some of the water will evaporate and go into the air you breathe. Increasing the moisture in the air in your house or office will keep your nasal membranes moist.
  • Purchase a saline spray at your drug store or purchase a Neti pot and make your own saline solution at home. Be sure you only use a spray that is salt water. Other nasal sprays should be used for limited times and only at the direction of your healthcare provider.
  • Use a moisturizer cream on the inside of your nose. Be sure to rub the cream in to your skin so you do not accidentally inhale the cream. Do not use petroleum based products in your nose since they will cause pneumonia if inhaled into the lungs.
  • If your dry nose is accompanied by a headache, take ibuprofen or another pain reliever. Be sure that the pain reliever does not contain an antihistamine or decongestant since those medications can make your nasal passages even drier.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking. Some prescription medications can cause a dry nose. If you are taking over-the-counter drugs, talk to the pharmacist and see if those drugs can be causing your nasal dryness.

Cautions

Before using any product in your nose, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider. Some products can be very irritating to the mucous membranes in your nose. Others can cause problems over time. Particularly, any petroleum based product can lead to pneumonia if it is inhaled into the lower respiratory tract.

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