Colds and flu

Updated 11 July 2014

Ward off dry nose this winter

There are a number of things you can do to keep your nose healthy during winter.

The nose plays an important function in keeping us alive – it helps us to breathe in and exhale vital air. As we inhale through the nose, air is cleaned, humidified and warmed before it reaches the lungs. 

With a change of season, a dry nose can occur, putting your lungs and overall health at risk. It is thus crucial that nose health is kept in check and that a dry nose is treated as soon as it occurs.

Nasal dryness usually occurs in winter. As the weather turns cold, the air becomes cool and indoor heaters and air conditioners are put into operation to pump hot, dry air into homes, malls and offices.

This can cause the lining of your nose to become dry, irritated and more sensitive.  A dry nose may also lead to nosebleeds.

  • A topical saline nasal spray or saline drops offer quick relief from a dry nose as they helps to keep the nose lining lubricated and moist.
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night can help to add moisture to the air, making it less dry and allowing you to breathe more comfortably.
  • Turn down the heat and put on an extra layer of warm clothing instead.
  • Place a bowl of water near a heater to add moisture to the air.
  • Try not to rub, pick or scratch a dry nose as this will damage the delicate skin inside and outside the nose, increasing the risk of infection. 
  • Try to limit exposure to irritants such as dust, cigarette smoke, pollen, pets and household detergents.

(Press release, Iliadin)

(Picture: man using nasal spray from Shutterstock)


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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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