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Healthy Nose
Pampering the skin on and around your nose can help keep it feeling and looking healthy.
1. stuffy nose
Whats up with that sudden sneezing, stuffy nose, or sinus pressure? Your sinuses probably are reacting to an irritant or infection. The nose and the sinuses are the first line of defense for your respiratory system, says Joseph E. Kelleher, MD, a specialist in allergy and immunology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. They are lined by the mucociliary transport system, which consists of mucous membranes and the tiny, finger-like projections known as cilia; their purpose is to warm, moisten, and filter the air you breathe. The membrane does this by producing mucus that traps irritants. Then the cilia move the mucus, along with any trapped irritants, out of your sinuses. Anything you can do to keep the respiratory system healthy can help prevent sinus problems, adds Dr. Kelleher.
2. Good Hygiene for Healthy Sinuses
Sometimes, preventing the spread of sinus problems just requires some common sense about hygiene, like covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Viruses and bacteria are the most common causes of sinus infection, notes Kelleher. They can get into your sinuses through droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by people with upper-respiratory infections and can also travel into your nose when you touch your hands to your face. Avoid close contact with anyone who has an upper-respiratory infection and wash your hands frequently with soap and water to prevent introducing an infection into your sinuses or spreading infection to someone else.
3. Changes in Air Pressure
Your sinuses are air-filled cavities within your skull; sudden pressure changes can cause air to get trapped in them, which can lead to sinus pressure, pain, and congestion. This commonly happens during air travel, so its best to avoid flying when you have nasal and sinus congestion due to a cold or allergy. If you need to fly, ask your doctor if you should take a decongestant or a nasal spray first. Diving is another cause of sudden sinus-pressure changes. Diving can also force contaminated water from a pond or chlorinated water from a swimming pool into your sinuses and cause sinus problems.
4. Air Pollutants and Irritants
Contaminated air inside and outside your house can cause sinus problems. Cigarette smoke and other air pollutants decrease the effectiveness of the mucociliary transport system in the nose and sinuses, which can result in swelling and congestion, says Kelleher. Cigarette smoke both from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke contains chemicals and irritants that can make allergies worse and cause other sinus problems. Wood smoke, smog, fumes, and dust are other common sources of irritants.
5. Allergy-Related Sinus Problems
Controlling common allergens can help some people diminish sinus pressure and congestion. For people with allergies, allergens like dust, mold, pet dander, and pollen can all lead to sinus problems, says Kelleher. You can cut back on allergy-related sinus problems by using an air conditioner in your house and your car during warm weather and keeping windows closed during pollen season. Make sure pets stay out of your bedroom and cover your mattress and pillows in plastic to prevent exposure to dander and dust mites. In addition, wear a mask if you are working in moist areas to protect against mold.


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