A comment to a recent blog post about distinguishing between a cold and allergies got us thinking.
During the winter months, people sometimes experience a runny nose. It could be due to extreme cold or from being inside in the heat. You might also experience in a dry environment such as in arid climate or on an airplane.
Why does this happen? We asked our resident expert, Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD, FAANP and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center.
Neuzil says it’s a defense mechanism of sorts:
“It’s a compensatory response by the body in response to the dry air,” said Neuzil. “The purpose of the nose in essence is a filter. It filters out dirt, pollen and other contaminants it also moisture and heat to the air before getting to the lungs.
Basically, the nose is producing increased fluid to do what it was designed to do.
“If you notice many times a person’s nose will drain excessively during cold weather. For the most part, it’s clear and can be very excessive. When a nose becomes too dry it can become very congested as well so the nose will make extra moisture to compensate.”
One way to counter the excessive moisture is to add some to your sinuses. A moisturizing saline spray can give your nose a little extra fluid to keep it healthy while potentially avoiding an “overflow.”
Coincidentally, Neuzil developed an herbal-enhanced, non-medicate nasal spray. Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator nasal cleansing spray essential oils have natural moisturizing properties that help keep nasal passages healthy.