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nose with a mine cart and pick ax next to it

The Nose Has A Job to Do Too!

I don’t know about you but I spend so much time thinking about my lungs and my larynx and throat in general that I often forget there’s another piece of my body I should be paying a lot more attention to – my nose!

I think aside from the occasional sniffle or sneeze or need to blow it, I largely take my nose and nostrils for granted.

How the nose helps with oxygen and COPD

And, meanwhile, the nose serves as the pathway of air entering and exiting my lungs! Kind of critical to anyone let along those of us with COPD!

Your nose accumulates mucus, dust, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Ugh!

So, your nose is an ideal environment for germs and sickness.

It’s important to clean your nose daily.

Cleaning the nose to increase oxygen flow

I don’t “pick it” (lol) but once in a while, there is a need to remove a large…um…er…deposit(?) in there that’s blocking the free flow of oxygen into my lungs. This can be done in a dainty manner or, often, a chisel and hammer can be useful. (Feels that way sometimes doesn’t it?)

Is there a more genteel way of saying “booger?” If there is, please write to me and let me know. I was not able to find one and I checked with my pulmonologist who said “snot.” Not very helpful.

What are boogers and why do we have them?

Basically, boogers are dried out mucus that help trap pieces of irritants like pollen and dust. This helps to keep them from traveling down into our lungs.

Our nose hairs, (cilia), move mucus towards the front of our nose so that we can blow our nose to get rid of it.

If we don’t it just sits there becoming a booger!1

5 Interesting Booger Facts (from the “Live Well” website)

  1. If you don’t clean boogers out of your nose, you’ll most likely swallow them throughout the day. To tell the truth, most of the mucus our bodies make ends up in the stomach anyway.
  2. The best way to pick your nose is with a tissue. This isn’t rocket science, but it’s important! You should also wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer at minimum after you blow or pick your nose. If you need help cleaning out your nose, try saline in drop, mist or spray form to help.
  3. If you have a lot of boogers, try drinking more water. If your body is dry, it’s more likely to produce more boogers.
  4. It’s OK if boogers are bloody or discolored. That usually doesn’t mean anything bad. We have lots of tiny little blood vessels in our nose near where the boogers go, so sometimes we will see a little blood in the mucus.
  5. Kids eat boogers because they are salty. Most kids pick their noses and eat the boogers because they taste salty.1

OK. You’re probably not going to want to have lunch after that so I’ll just wish you the best and say, “Take Care of Your Schnozzola!2

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. (n.d.). Why Boogers are Gross but So Good For Your Health (Infographic). Retrieved from https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=78a0011a-bc34-4990-af87-f73bebc5ffd5
  2. (2019, August 22). Jimmy Durante. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Durante

Comments

  • Janet Plank moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Good article Kevin.
    I use sinus rinses and it makes such a difference.
    Janet (moderator)

  • KevinDavitt author
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks Janet.

    I uses rinses too. usually saline but sometimes I’ll use a prescription spray – Fluticasone – which is pretty good.

    Kevin

  • nancyl
    2 weeks ago

    I totally agree with this. Boogers and all. I’m a total mouth breather and trying to learn breathe in thru my nose out thru my mouth. It’s pretty much a fail. It’s hard to think about breathing correctly and then breathe normally. My nose dries out I thought from the oxygen. Nasal passages are very dry and usually inflamed/swollen which makes it even harder to breathe thru. I sometimes b put a bit of Vaseline on a qtip inside my nostrils after cleaning first.

  • KevinDavitt author
    2 weeks ago

    nancyl – I do the same. I also found generic saline solution nose spray helpful but, as always, check with your doctor first. You never know about conflicts with medications.
    Kevin

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