15 Effective Remedies To Cure Dry Nose
What causes a dry nose?
A dry nose usually results from lack of moisture in the nasal mucosa. Simply put, our nasal passages are anatomically designed to secrete mucus that keeps the environment in the nasal cavity humid and provide optimum conditions for respiration. However, certain medical conditions and environmental factors can disrupt the normal functioning of the mucosa and it fails to produce mucoid secretion. As a result, your nose feels scratchy and dry. This may result in excessive itching and bleeding in severe cases.
Signs and Symptoms
Depending on the etiology of dry nose, it may be accompanied by varying signs and symptoms, some of which are listed below. In any case, consultation with a physician is of utmost importance to reach the correct diagnosis and start immediate treatment.
- Impairment of smell sensation
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fissuring of the mucosa
- Nasal infections
- Polyp formation
- Nose block
- Foul smelling discharge
- Imaginary unpleasant odors
- Nasal congestion
Understanding the Causes
A dry nose is not always a result of seasonal change or environmental pollution. It can be a reflection of underlying pathology in many cases and can even manifest as a side effect of certain drugs.
The overdose of anti-histamines:
This anti-allergic medication has atropine as its active ingredient. Atropine, when taken in form of nasal sprays or even tablets, can dry out the nasal mucosa because of its anticholinergic effect. Withdrawing the medicine for a few days will automatically reverse the changes in the nasal mucosa.
Warm weather and lack of humidity can generally contribute towards a dry nose. Inhabitants of the desert area like Africa and Saudi Arabia are more prone to this problem compared to the standard population.
Autoimmune diseases mean that the immune cells of one’s body start attacking the healthy cells instead of fighting the bacteria. One such disease is Sjogren syndrome which is associated with dry eyes and dry nose. Individuals suffering from Sjogren syndrome are unable to produce saliva, tears, and mucus. As a result, their oral cavity, eyes, and nose are usually dry and itchy.
Medicated nasal sprays that are prescribed for blocked nose and congestion may end up drying the nasal mucosa when used for more than a week. This complaint can be reversed by changing the prescription or switching to another anti-congestant.
Individuals who are exposed to the air-conditioned environment for most of the time are more likely to experience dry nose. Air conditioners strip moisture from the air, leaving the indoor air dry and devoid of humidity. This makes it difficult for the nasal passages to adapt and they end up getting dry.
People with respiratory diseases who are forced to breathe via continuous positive pressure ventilation (CPAP machine) are prone to develop dry nose as a side effect. This is why most of the machines today are fitted with a heated humidifier to combat this side effect.
Reduced intake of water can lead to overall dehydration which in turn dries out the nasal mucosa. Moreover, other dehydrating ingredients like salt, caffeine, and alcohol in the diet may prove to be the contributing factors.
Medical conditions like atrophic rhinitis can lead to the permanent dry nose. Atrophic rhinitis is an idiopathic chronic condition characterized by the reduction in the size and functioning of the nasal mucosa. Because of reduced functionality, nasal mucosa becomes unable to produce enough mucus to keep the nasal cavity moist.
Marijuana and tobacco have been linked to increased incidence of nasal dryness and crust formation. Chain smokers are more likely to develop this condition as opposed to their non-smoker counterparts.
Treatments for Dry Nose:
A dry nose is quite a common complaint among the general population and a number of treatment options are present to help relieve the discomfort. This section discusses both the pharmacological and herbal remedies to get rid of a dry nose. It must be noted that while herbal remedies are quite effective in alleviating symptoms, the ideal approach is to back them up with pharmacologic drugs. This would result in a more sustained and long-lasting effect. Besides, a few lifestyle modifications are also required to enhance the effect of the drug.
Humidify the environment:
Purchasing a humidifier is a good way to make the air around you suitable for breathing. A humidifier works best when placed in a bedroom or any closed space where you spend ample amount of time. On the off chance that getting a humidifier is out of reach, placing a hot bowl of water near the heating system would do the same job.
Modify your bathing routine:
Taking regular appointments at the sauna can solve your problem to a considerable magnitude. Sauna or steam bath humidifies the nasal passages and thus provide relief from the excessive dry nose. A hot shower can work as a substitute if the sauna is not easily available.
Any medication that lists dry nose as its side effect should be discontinued immediately. Anti-histamines and decongestants are common examples. Substitute these medicines with other therapies or discontinue the treatment altogether.
Consume around eight glasses of water daily to keep your body well hydrated. Juices and healthy beverages should be made a part of your dietary regimen.
Many over-the-counter nasal sprays and gels can cure dry nose really quickly. These sprays usually contain saline water that lubricates the nasal passages and retains moisture within them.
Aloe Vera and almond gel:
An effective home remedy is to mix almond oil and Aloe Vera gel in a ratio of 2:1. Apply this solution to the inside of your nostrils with a cotton bud or a dropper. This herbal remedy lubricates the nasal passages and relieves itching.
Application of coconut oil inside the nostrils before bedtime relieves dryness and discomfort. This remedy can be repeated three times a day, depending on the severity of the condition.
Sesame oil mixed with a few drops of chamomile extract can relieve itchiness, dryness, and pain. The same method can be used with extra virgin olive oil.
The multifaceted properties of petroleum jelly have made it an all-time lifesaver. Application of petroleum jelly to the nasal mucosa helps moisturize it and increase the production of mucus secretion thus relieving dry nose.
Wiping the nostrils with damp wipes or baby wipes can relieve dryness and itching. However, this remedy provides temporary relief and must be adopted in conjunction with other therapeutic options.
Vitamin E capsule:
A few drops of Vitamin E when instilled into the nasal cavity can do wonders in relieving dry nose. The benevolent properties of Vitamin E make it the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. This remedy can be repeated twice a day.
Heat some water in a container. Pour it into a bowl, cover your head with a sheet to avoid heat escape and inhale the steam for ten minutes. Blow your nose, later on, to get rid of excessive secretions. Not only is this remedy effective for congestion, it also helps relieve dry nose.
Jalapeno, chilies and other spicy foods do wonders in clearing up the sinuses and moistening the nasal cavity. Soup and warm beverages are also helpful in this regard.
American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology stated that excessive use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs contributes to the drying out of nasal mucosa. It’s better to stay away from such medications and try other remedies to get rid of stress. This would automatically solve the dry nose issue.
By practicing a good oral and nasal hygiene, you’d be able to keep bacteria and viruses at bay. One of the most significant causes of the dry nose is recurrent infections and by preventing it, the dry nose would no longer bother you.
Is dry nose a serious problem?
In the majority of the cases, having a dry nose is no big deal. It’s a temporary occurring that can be easily relieved with medications and herbal remedies. However, in minority of cases, the dry nose may be accompanied by other serious problems like dry skin, epistaxis, blurred vision, rashes, wheezing and respiratory discomfort. Consultation with an expert physician is mandatory in such cases to avoid further life-threatening complications. But on a general note, there is nothing to worry about if you’re a victim of a dry nose!