Noses Have 'Profound Effect On Body' New Report Concludes Print

At this time of year, when colds and virus infections are rife, we all recognise the symptoms of feeling blocked up and congested. Now a new report by a leading virologist has shed light on the science behind why nasal congestion makes us feel so rotten.

Dr Rob Lambkin-Williams, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Virology at the University of London who authored the report explains:

 

"The nose is an important part of the human body and many people don't realise the profound effect it can have on them when it's not working properly. When you catch a cold, a chain reaction is triggered in the nose where it becomes inflamed, starts producing excess mucus, which cannot clear quickly enough through the reduced airways and sinus pressure and pain builds up."

 

This then has a knock-on effect on many other aspects of life including breathing, sleep, ears, hearing and speech, as the ability to hear your own voice is significantly affected.

 

While a normal person will breathe in and out between 10-20 times per minute, this rate may substantially increase when suffering nasal congestion due to the need to compensate for the reduced oxygen that is taken in with every breath.

 

Dr Lambkin-Williams comments

"When your nose become inflamed, the airways shrink, and so your body has to work harder to get enough oxygen. This is why you often see people with gaping mouths when congested as they resort to breathing through their mouths."

 

The report also reveals the extent of sleep-disordered breathing and sleep fragmentation that results from nasal congestion.

Dr Lambkin-Williams continues

"Sleep disruption is common, with both sleep time and quality affected. This has been shown to have a direct impact on work performance, productivity, concentration levels and memory."

 

"However to compound things, not getting enough sleep can make you more susceptible to nasal congestion with evidence to suggest that if you sleep for fewer than seven hours, you're three times more likely to catch a cold."

 

Research also indicates that the impact of stress can also leave us susceptible to nasal congestion and colds.

 

Your local pharmacy is a great place to go for advice and a range of suitable products for colds, nasal congestion and sleeping aids.

To help ease the symptoms of nasal congestion and sinus pressure experts recommend:

 

• Keeping well hydrated

 

• Getting plenty of sleep

 

• Eating a healthy diet

 

• Keeping the upper body upright particularly at night and the head elevated as this may make breathing more comfortable

 

• Using an over-the-counter decongestant, which help reduce the swelling in your nose – available from you local pharmacy without a prescription

 

• Avoiding swimming pools as the chlorine can irritate the mucous membranes in your nasal passages

 

At this time of year, when colds and virus infections are rife, we all recognise the symptoms of feeling blocked up and congested. Now a new report by a leading virologist has shed light on the science behind why nasal congestion makes us feel so rotten.  Dr Rob Lambkin-Williams, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Virology at the University of London who authored the report explains:

 

"The nose is an important part of the human body and many people don't realise the profound effect it can have on them when it's not working properly. When you catch a cold, a chain reaction is triggered in the nose where it becomes inflamed, starts producing excess mucus, which cannot clear quickly enough through the reduced airways and sinus pressure and pain builds up."

 

This then has a knock-on effect on many other aspects of life including breathing, sleep, ears, hearing and speech, as the ability to hear your own voice is significantly affected.  While a normal person will breathe in and out between 10-20 times per minute, this rate may substantially increase when suffering nasal congestion due to the need to compensate for the reduced oxygen that is taken in with every breath. Dr Lambkin-Williams comments

"When your nose become inflamed, the airways shrink, and so your body has to work harder to get enough oxygen. This is why you often see people with gaping mouths when congested as they resort to breathing through their mouths."

 

The report also reveals the extent of sleep-disordered breathing and sleep fragmentation that results from nasal congestion. Dr Lambkin-Williams continues "Sleep disruption is common, with both sleep time and quality affected. This has been shown to have a direct impact on work performance, productivity, concentration levels and memory."

 

"However to compound things, not getting enough sleep can make you more susceptible to nasal congestion with evidence to suggest that if you sleep for fewer than seven hours, you're three times more likely to catch a cold."

 

Research also indicates that the impact of stress can also leave us susceptible to nasal congestion and colds.


Your local pharmacy is a great place to go for advice and a range of suitable products for colds, nasal congestion and sleeping aids. To help ease the symptoms of nasal congestion and sinus pressure experts recommend:

• Keeping well hydrated

 

• Getting plenty of sleep

 

• Eating a healthy diet

 

• Keeping the upper body upright particularly at night and the head elevated as this may make breathing more comfortable

 

• Using an over-the-counter decongestant, which help reduce the swelling in your nose – available from you local pharmacy without a prescription

 

• Avoiding swimming pools as the chlorine can irritate the mucous membranes in your nasal passages