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To most people a nose is just an organ in the centre of our face. It may be straight and aquiline (enhancing perceptions of classical beauty), snub or button-shaped, flat or crooked. Some of us do not like the way our nose is structured and try to change its appearance. Elderly relatives may pull a baby’s nose several times a day in an attempt to make it grow longer. Others may grab a wallet and head to the nearest plastic surgeon for a “nose job” (rhinoplasy)….…CLICK & SEE
Whatever the shape, the nose warms and humidifies the air that enters our body. It is lined with fine hair that prevents dust from going into the lungs. This acts as a first line of defence against viral and bacterial infections. On contact with an organism or a noxious chemical, it secretes fluid that washes out the offending material (causing a dripping nose).
Sometimes violent sneezing is triggered which expels these substances far away from the body.
Until the age of 18 years, the nose grows and changes in shape and size. As we get older, the nasal cartilage loses its elasticity. This causes the tip of the nose to lengthen and droop. This makes the nose appear larger in older people.
The nose enables us to smell. This helps us identify substances and distinguish between pleasant harmless odours and noxious harmful ones. Like other animals, man once had a keenly developed sense of smell. This helped him identify potentially dangerous animals as well as warring strangers from other regions and tribes. We adults have lost this ability with evolution. However, smell is the best developed of all the five senses in a baby. Infants can distinguish between their mothers, other lactating women and strangers.
The sense of smell contributes to the taste of our food. People suffering from anosmia, or loss of the sense of smell, do not find food palatable. This causes them to lose weight. Anosmia may be a temporary phenomenon when the nose is blocked as a result of a cold. It may occur when the “smell centre” in the brain is damaged, or if the person has Parkinson’s disease. Attempts to relieve a blocked nose with repeated use of nasal sprays can damage the lining of the nose sufficiently to cause a permanent loss of smell.
Some people tend to pick their using their fingers. This is an unsavoury, socially unacceptable habit. It may also resul noses t in damage to the lining of the nose and bleeding. Constant trauma to the nostrils can cause infection of the hair follicles in the nose. This can result in fever, swelling and pus formation.
A pierced nose is perceived to enhance the beauty of a woman. It is a common practice in India from ancient times and was believed to ease the pains of childbirth. The area that should be pierced is just below the cartilage. If the nose cartilage is accidentally pierced instead, serious complications like bleeding, infection and permanent deformity can occur. Even otherwise, infection, redness, swelling and scar formation may occur.
The jewellery used may cause problems. It may come loose and be accidentally swallowed. The back of the stud can become embedded in the skin, or nose rings can get caught in clothing and violently pulled out. Also, once you have pierced your nose, even if you change your mind and decide against jewellery, there will always be a little hole.
About 60 per cent of people experience nose bleed (epistaxis) at some time in their lives. It occurs most often under the age of 10 and over the age of 60 years. This is usually due to a local problem in the nose like a cold, nose picking, a foreign body, irritants like cigarette smoke, or an injury. Less often it may be due to a systemic disease like high blood pressure or clotting disorders like haemophilia. It can also occur owing to blood thinning medicines such as aspirin, clopidogrel, heparin or warfarin. The patient may have purchased medicines over the counter, or may be taking non-allopathic drugs and may be unaware of their side effects.
Most nosebleeds can be tackled at home:
*Make the person sit up. This prevents blood from filling up in the throat and choking the person
*Pinch the nostrils firmly and maintain steady pressure for 10 minutes
*Instill a decongestant nasal spray containing oxymetazoline (Nasivion or Otrivin).
Most nosebleeds are harmless. Very rarely, they can be fatal. You need to seek medical help if the bleeding has lasted for more than 20 minutes, or if it followed a fall, a blow to the head or an accident.
Recurrent nosebleeds with no identifiable or correctable cause need to be tackled by an ENT surgeon.
Source : The Telegraph ( kolkata, India)
- What is anosmia? (zocdoc.com)
- Nosebleed – All Information (umm.edu)
- Simple Facts and Cures for Bloody Nose or Nosebleeds (momblognetwork.com)
- How Do I Stop a Nosebleed? (brainz.org)
- When Is a Nosebleed a Sign of Nasal Cancer? (everydayhealth.com)
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