A Thin Line

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I thought it was just a pain, but it's snot

Over the past couple of weeks, my nose has been in overdrive. I have produced a ridiculous amount of snot. I blow my nose, and 2 seconds later, I'm stopped up again. This has gone on all day, every day. 

Why, oh why, is there so much snot? What the heck?

Snot, or mucus, is the gooey, sticky, slimy material made inside your nose. The nose and sinuses make about a pint of snot every single day. Anybody else stocking up on Kleenex?

Mucus helps protect your body from allergens, viruses and bacteria. Believe it or not, snot helps you get better faster. It's made up of about 95 percent water and 5 percent salt, carbohydrates and proteins. It contains antiseptic enzymes and immunoglobulins that help your body fight off infection. 

Who knew? I always just thought it was my body's way of annoying me.

Snot comes from the mucus glands around the nose and sinus cavities. It runs down your nasal cavities to keep them moist, and to trap anything foreign that might enter the nose. 

Your nose will run for a variety of reasons. I've been blaming mine on allergies. Your nose can also run when you have a cold or the flu. If you have either of those, you nose goes into overdrive, making enough snot to keep the germs out of your lungs and the rest of your body. The mucus runs down your throat and out of your nose. It can also fill your sinuses and just, well, stay there.

When you cry, you also get snotty. Tears come out of the tear glands and drain throughout the tear ducts that empty into your nose. Tears mix with the mucus in your nose and run out.

Sometimes, when it's cold outside, your nose will try to warm up the cold air your breath before sending it to your lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils dilate to help warm up that air. Then it's drip, drip, drip.

So…snot is annoying. Snot can make you miserable. But it actually serves a purpose. Wow.

I'll try to remember that the next time I blow my nose, which should be in about…now.

Posted: Aug 05 2011, 11:42 AM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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