There is a saying that the eyes are the window to the soul, but it is also true that the nose is the gateway to the lungs. The quality of air passing through your nasal passages has a direct effect upon your lungs, and that is why it is important to address issues that can interfere with healthy nasal breathing. One such issue is dry nasal passages; a dry nose is not only uncomfortable, it can be a cause of trouble for your entire respiratory tract. Below is more information on what causes dry nasal passages and how you can address the problem at home:
What causes dry nasal passages
The reason that lies behind a dry nose can include one of several internal and external factors. Below are several of the causes that might be behind the excessive drying inside your nose:
Climate extremes - A significant cause of dry nasal passages is the presence of hot, dry air that is experienced in arid or desert climates. High temperatures coupled with low relative humidity can pull moisture from your nose and lead to dryness. At the opposite end of the spectrum, cold air can also contribute to drying of the nasal passages. For example, air conditioning reduces most of the ambient atmospheric water inside a closed space; this results in more comfortable air for building occupants, but it can also contribute to nasal drying.
Dehydration - Another cause of excessively dry nasal passages is a lack of adequate internal hydration. If you are not drinking sufficient quantities of water or other fluids, then your nasal passages will dry out much faster.
Medication - Any medications that are designed to reduce fluids inside your body, such as blood pressure pills and other diuretics, can lead to dry nasal passages. Some other types of medication can cause dry noses, including drugs intended to treat anxiety or even medications used to reduce nasal congestion.
Illness - Several illnesses can cause nasal passage drying. Ordinary colds are the culprit in many situations, but other conditions such as allergies, asthma and hormone imbalances can be precipitating factors. A rare autoimmune disorder, Sjogren's syndrome, causes drying of various membranes throughout the body, and it can be the cause of dryness inside nasal passages.
What can be done to eliminate dry nasal passages
Fortunately, there are several measures that can be taken to help eliminate dried nasal passages, and most of them are readily doable at home at little expense. Below are some things you can do to restore your nasal passages to normal moisture levels:
Drink plentiful amounts of fluids - One of the simplest steps you can take to overcome an excessively dry nose is to step up your fluid intake. Internal hydration is effective, and it is also inexpensive. Remembering to drink enough water can be a problem for some individuals, so use a fitness tracker that reminds you to drink water on a regular basis if that applies in your situation. You can also drink beverages other than water, such as milk or fruit juices. However, be careful not to drink excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages, as they can actually increase dehydration by upping the production of urine.
Utilize non-addictive nasal sprays or gels - Many over-the-counter nose sprays are aimed at relieving nasal congestion; however, if they are used for lengthy periods of time without a doctor's supervision, a dependency can build and make quitting their use difficult. That is why you should purchase saline (salt water) sprays or gels. These medications are able to penetrate dry nasal passages and may be used as often as needed without creating dependencies or causing other complications. If you're experiencing allergies as well as dry nasal passages, try using a nasal spray designed to help with allergies as well.
Increase indoor humidity levels - If you are located in a dry or cold climate, then you may need to increase the amount of moisture inside the interior air. One way this can be accomplished is by using humidifiers placed in strategic locations. However, always keep humidifiers clean by draining all moisture at least once per week and sanitizing the inside of the unit as directed by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you run an increased risk of catching airborne illnesses that can be propagated within a humidifier. If you don't have access to a humidifier, you can raise interior humidity levels by filling bathtubs with hot water and letting them sit for several hours. This will allow moisture to evaporate into the interior air directly.