guy picking his nose

Be Careful when You Pick Your Nose or Pluck Your Nose Hairs

Everybody picks their nose, right?

You need to pick now and then. Maybe something is hangin’ out or it itches like crazy. However, if you pick too frequently, or really get into it, then you could cause cuts or irritations, as well as infections. Tears of the nasal septum, the partition separating the nostrils, are common among people who mine their nostrils for 15-30 minutes or more a day, according to a study from Wisconsin’s Dean Foundation. The less time you spend picking and more care you take to extract those little piece of dry mucus, the better.

You also pluck your nose hairs.

Keep in mind, those hairs are there for a reason. At the same time, no one likes to look at tufts of hair descending from the nostrils of friends or co-workers. Experts say these hairs keep contaminants and harmful microorganisms from entering your brain and respiratory system. But when they aren’t even in your nose? Trim the tips but keep the bases embedded in the nostrils. If you pluck them out, you create tiny open wounds in the skin inside your nose and you become susceptible to infection from all those same microorganisms caught in the protective, surrounding hairs.

Nose bleeds

What To Do Prevent Nosebleeds and Stop Them When They Occur

  1. Don’t pick your nose. That may have started it or will make it worse once you are bleeding.
  2. Don’t stop it with wadded tissues up your nose. Depending on how soft your tissue is, it could be just further scraping your nostril lining.
  3. Pinch your nostrils. Most nosebleeds happen near the front of your nose so firmly hold your nostrils together for five or ten minutes. Don’t rub or twist.
  4. Keep your house air moist. Many nosebleeds start because dry air irritates your tine blood vessels in your nasal lining and breaks them open.
  5. Leave the bridge of your nose alone. The blood vessels that usually bleed are not on the bridge of your nose. That just irritates the bone.
  6. Don’t tip your head back. That just causes the blood to run down your throat and can irritate your stomach. Instead lean slightly forward.
  7. Saline or Vaseline® may help. If you regularly spray some saline into your nose when it feels dry or gently apply a bit of petroleum jelly, you can avoid drying out the lining of your nose.
  8. Don’t put pressure on your neck or apply cold to your nose. Some say their grandma told them to put a cold compress on their nose or pressure the back of their neck. Doesn’t really help. Sorry, grandma.
  9. Use nasal decongestant if need to stop the bleeding. If your nose hasn’t stopped bleeding after 10 minutes, applying nasal decongestant may help because it restricts the blood vessels.
  10. If bleeding still won’t stop, get help. A nosebleed that exceeds 20 or 30 minutes needs a doctor or emergency room care. Or if the bleeding is so heavy, you feel dizzy then you’ve lost too much blood.

5 Facts about Adenoid Surgery

When it comes to throat surgeries in young children, tonsils seem to get all the attention. People talk about how an ear, nose and throat doctor removed their tonsils as a young child. They may fondly remember the days of eating ice cream and pudding as their primary diet following surgery. They may even swap stories on how their doctor told them they had large or small tonsils.

Read: Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor Removes World’s Largest Tonsils

For some reason, people seem to forget about their adenoids—even if they were removed during a tonsillectomy. Adenoids, like tonsils, are important glands that play a critical role in helping young children stay healthy and fight infection. So the Ear, Nose and Throat Center of Salt Lake City has written five facts about adenoids and adenoid surgery to help give these often-forgotten glands the attention they deserve.

Fact #1: Adenoids Are Glands That Fight Infection

Tonsils and adenoids are the twin powers in the throat that help fight infection. Unlike tonsils that are relatively easy to see (especially when they are enlarged), adenoids hide behind the nose and roof of the mouth. Our ear, nose and throat doctors often use x-rays to assess the size and inflammation of adenoids.

Adenoids capture and filter bacteria and germs as they pass through the mouth and help young children stay healthy. But when adenoids become infected, young children will get sore throats, swollen glands in the neck, may breathe heavily through the mouth, complain of earaches and more. At this point, a child may have adenoiditis and require a trip to the ear, nose and throat doctor’s office for diagnosis and treatment.

Read: Adenoids and the Symptoms of Adenoiditis

Fact #2: Swollen Adenoids Often Treated with Antibiotics

More than 100,000 adenoid removal surgeries or adenoidectomy are performed in the United States each year. That may seem like a lot of surgeries, but when you consider the millions of people in America, that number is relatively low. The reason for the low number is that doctors typically recommend antibiotics to treat swollen or infected adenoids. If the child suffers from inner-ear infections, a course of antibiotics is also recommended and in both cases, the antibiotics often prove successful.

Fact #3: Adenoids Disappear as We Grow Older

Adenoids grow between the ages of three and five years old. This is when adenoids are doing their heavy lifting to help strengthen a child’s immune system. Remarkably and completely unlike tonsils, adenoids begin to shrink between the ages of 5- and 7-years-old and typically disappear by the time a child reaches their early teenage years. In essence, adenoids serve their purpose and then get out of the way. That explains why you don’t hear about adults going in for adenoid removal, although in some cases, adenoids silently remain with adults throughout their lives.

Fact #4: Adenoids Often Removed Along with Tonsils

When antibiotics don’t work to reduce or eliminate sore throats, recurring ear infections or other symptoms of tonsillitis and adenoiditis, ear, nose and throat doctors in Utah often recommend adenoid surgery. It’s common for tonsils and adenoids to be removed at the same time. This outpatient surgery is performed quickly and patients are typically able to return home within a few hours of leaving the surgical room.

Read: Adenoidectomy and Recovery from Adenoid Surgery

The benefit of adenoid surgery is that the young patient only has to deal with a single surgical event to remove two helpful, but sometimes troublesome and infected, parts of their inner throat. Recovery is swift and long-term health benefits are often dramatic and positive.

before and after adenoid surgery

Fact #5: Adenoid Removal Often Results in Improved Health

Ultimately, good health is everyone’s goal. If your child struggles with regular tonsil or adenoid infections (three times in a year) or inner-ear infections (three times in a year), they are likely candidates for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. The good news is that the child will likely endure:

  • Fewer sore throats: Tonsil and adenoid removal result in fewer bacterial infections, though viral infections are still possible.
  • Decreased mouth breathing: Your child may still breathe through her mouth. But chances are good she will breathe easier due to the removal of swollen tonsils and adenoids that constrict the space for air to enter the lungs through the throat.
  • Fewer ear infections: While patients may still have ear infections, adenoid removal will likely result in fewer.
  • Better, fresher breath: One of the ugly byproducts of infected adenoids or tonsils is bad breath. Remove the culprits and the child’s breath will often smell much better.
  • Clearer sounding voice: In some cases when adenoids and tonsils are very large, a child’s voice may sound muffled or nasally. Removal of adenoids and tonsils can help improve the quality and clarity of a child’s voice.

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center Can Diagnose and Treat Adenoiditis

Our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City have treated thousands of Utah patients who suffer from swollen adenoids and tonsils. If your child is suffering or exhibiting symptoms of adenoiditis, call us at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment. Better health may just be a phone call and office visit away.