Why does our Nose Run?

Why does our nose run? Because it wants to defeat Usain Bolt. No. We can get a runny nose due to common cold, flu, allergies, sinus infection, etc. But, let’s first see what we actually mean by a runny nose. Our nose consists of a mucous membrane which secretes a slimy substance called mucus. However sometimes, this membrane produces excess mucus which comes out of our nostrils. Thus causing a condition called rhinorrhea, popularly known as runny nose. But why is our body producing mucus in the first place? For protection. Mucus contains mucins. Which give mucus its gel-like properties helping it trap germs, dust, etc. And thus preventing them from entering our body. Mucus also contains antibodies. And immune cells which kill germs and other foreign particles. Besides this, mucus even warms and moisturizes the inhaled air. Thus preventing our breathing passage from getting damaged. Topic: Human Nose. Why do we get nosebleeds? I don’t know!! Alright. I will explain. The medical term for a nosebleed is epistaxis. The most common epistaxis is anterior epistaxis. Where bleeding happens from the front part of our nostrils. Each of our nostrils has a mass of blood vessels called Kiesselbach’s plexus. Which is very close to the skin surface. Now, usually the mucus moisturizes the skin in our nose. Thus protecting the blood vessels in it. Wow. Mucus is so useful. Yes. It is. However during winter, the air is dry. Hence, when we inhale this dry air, it draws moisture from the mucus. Which in turn leads to the drying of skin in our nose. Now, some people’s skin is very sensitive. If it dries, the skin and blood vessels in it get easily damaged. Causing an anterior epistaxis or nosebleed. Topic: Human Nose Why does spicy food make your nose run? Because it is not that strong to make me run. No. Our nose consists of tiny hair and a sticky substance called mucus. Can I use this mucus to stick my broken vase? Oh gross. Please don’t do that and listen. During breathing, the hair and mucus trap harmful substances. Thus prohibiting them from entering deep inside the body. Now, spicy food items like chili, mustard, horseradish and wasabi. Contain chemicals called capsaicin and allyl isothiocyanate. When we eat such food items. The capsaicin and allyl isothiocyanate travel through the pharynx. And reach our nose. Here, the chemicals activate the heat sensing receptors. Thus causing inflammation in our nose and irritation of the mucus. Hence, as a defense mechanism more mucus is produced in our nose. To get rid of these chemicals, thus making our nose run. How to stop a sneeze? By saying Cheese. Oh dude. At least once think of a sensible answer. A sneeze is controlled by the trigeminal nerve present in our face. When irritants like dust and pollen enter our nose. The trigeminal nerve triggers sneezing to expel them out with huge force and pressure. Now, many people close their nostrils and mouth to stop a sneeze. But this can lead to transfer of force and pressure inside their heads. Thus damaging their eardrums or other tissues. Normally, sneeze should not be stopped. But in exceptional situations. A relatively safe way to stop a sneeze is to press our finger above our upper lip. Since the trigeminal nerve is also present above our upper lip. Such pressing action also sends a signal through that nerve to the brain. This interrupts the sneeze response and distracts the brain.