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dry crusty nose
Health

Everything You Need to Know About a Dry Crusty Nose

Having a dry crusty nose can be an annoying situation, especially when you’re in a public setting. You have to fight the urge to pick because it’s unsightly and unsanitary. However, the discomfort and irritation can get overwhelming sometimes.

Want to know how to keep your nose clean and moist so you never have to pick? Here is a list of all the reasons why your nose might be getting crusty and some effective remedies.

What Is Dry Crusty Nose?

Nose

A dry crusty nose is an uncomfortable condition where the nostrils begin to produce sticky, dry mucus. Sometimes, this can even cause your nostrils to get clogged unless you remove the dirt manually.

Sometimes, the crust may even emit a foul odor that you can’t stop smelling since it’s right there in your nostrils. It’s a condition with many potential causes, some external and some internal.

What Other Symptoms Might Occur with Dry Nose?

Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms that can occur with a dry nose; some of them are extreme conditions.

#1. Bleeding

#2. Redness

#3. Warmth

#4. Swelling of the nostrils

#5. Nasal congestion

#6. Foul odor

A dry nose can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Here are some of the symptoms that have been known to accompany a dry nose, possibly due to infection.

#1. Drowsiness

#2. Infection

#3. Dry mouth

#4. Dry eyes

#5. Skin rashes

#6. Swollen salivary glands

#7. Loss of appetite

#8. Dry skin

#9. Fatigue

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms along with a dry crusty nose, you should promptly seek medical attention:

#1. Blurred vision

#2. Difficulty in breathing

#3. High fever

#4. Irregular heartbeats

#5. Urine retention

Causes Of Dry Crusty Nose

Causes

#1. Air Conditioning

Cold air from your air conditioner can trigger the nervous system reflexes in your nose that cause glands and membranes to start producing mucus. This is particularly common in people with allergies. Normally, the mucus is runny, but if the air around you is dry, it can cause a crusty nose.

#2. Desert Climate

One of the main causes of a dry nose is a dry climate. Environments low in humidity can cause your nasal sinuses to become irritated and dry. This causes the mucus produced to become sticky and accumulate dirt from the air you breathe.

#3. Sauna Without Steam

A sauna without any steam is almost the same as being in the desert. If you’ve spent more than half an hour in a seamless sauna, that may be what’s causing your dry nose.
#4. Medications, Such as Decongestants, Antihistamines, And Anticholinergics

Many medications cause nasal dryness as a side-effect, most commonly antibiotics. If you’re on an antibiotic cycle or some other form of medication, your nose should start feeling better once you’ve completed it.

#5. Misuse Of Nasal Sprays

Over or underuse of a prescription nasal spray can irritate your nostrils and cause dryness. You need to follow the instructions provided on the bottle or by your physician when you’re using any kind of nasal spray.

#6. Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic dryness in your nose by attacking the mucus and moisture-producing membranes of the body. This also causes dryness in the mouth and eyes. It needs to be treated by a medical professional.

Treatment For Dry Crusty Nose

Treatment

1. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly, or Vaseline as it’s also commonly referred to, is a moisturizer that’s applied externally to keep your skin or lips moist.

Smear the petroleum jelly on the tip of your finger and apply it to the inner walls of your nostril. This will keep them moist throughout the day. And the jelly’s pretty thick, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally inhaling it.

2. Humidifier

Humidifiers are especially effective if you live in a dry climate. Humidifiers work by adding some much-needed moisture into the air, so that the air you breathe isn’t dry. It can help clear your sinuses, reduce inflammation, and thin mucus.

The effects of a humidifier don’t last long but it does provide instant relief if you’re ever experiencing tremendous discomfort.

3. Nasal Spray

There are a variety of over-the-counter nasal sprays available at your local pharmacy. They contain a small amount of salt and sterilized water and help to loosen mucus that’s trapped in the nose.

Just one spray in each nostril can give you a couple of hours of relief with no dryness or crustiness. It’s an effective solution to eliminate and prevent the crust from forming again.

Make sure you purchase the correct type of spray. They’re each designed to deal with a specific symptom.

  • Steroid Nasal Sprays – For calming inflammation, sneezing, and a runny nose.
  • Antihistamine Nasal Spray – For treating seasonal allergies.
  • Decongestant Nasal Spray – To cure stuffy nose.
  • Saline Nasal Spray – To keep the dry nose moist.

4. Steam Or Sauna

Inhaling warm moist air can thin the mucus in your nasal passageway and clear up your sinuses. There are also a number of other health benefits you can acquire with steam therapy.

5. Damp Wipes

A damp wipe or wet wipe can help you clean the inner walls of your nose and provide a coating of moisture to prevent dryness. It’s a much cleaner solution than picking your nose and lets you have the satisfaction of getting your finger in.

hazel eyes vs central heterochromia
Health

Hazel Eyes vs. Central Heterochromia: What’s the Difference?

Similar to snowflakes, each human eye has its own unique and intricate iris pattern. Melanin content, melanin dispersal, and how light scatters throughout the eye (Rayleigh Scattering) determine eye color. Inspect your eyes using a mirror in natural lighting, wearing a white shirt in front of a white backdrop.

If you see more than one color, you may wonder if your eyes are hazel or if you have heterochromia. What are Hazel’s eyes, what is central heterochromia, and what’s the difference? Read on to know more about hazel eyes vs. central heterochromia.

Hazel Eyes

Hazel Eyes

With their exact color seeming to change in different lighting or clothing, hazel eyes are considered mysterious. Hazel eyes are a mixture of green, gold, and brown, setting them apart from the solid coloring of amber or green eyes. Most often seen in Spanish, Brazillian, Middle Eastern, and North African descent, some celebrities with hazel eyes include Jada Pinkett Smith, Sofia Vergara, and Rashida Jones.

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia

Image source: Pinterest

Heterochromia derives from the greek “hetero,” meaning different, and “chromia,” meaning color. Types of heterochromia include complete, segmental, and central, each defined by the appearance of two contrasting eye colors.

In central heterochromia, a ring of color in the center of the eye surrounding the pupil is different from the rest of the iris. For example, a person with green or blue eyes may have a ring of gold in the center of the iris around their pupil. Celebrities with heterochromia include Kate Bosworth, Mila Kunis, and Olivia Wilde.

How Are Hazel Eyes and Central Heterochromia Different?

The difference between hazel eyes and central heterochromia is the distribution of melanin (the pigment that gives eyes their color) throughout the iris. Hazel eyes may have a mixture of colors, but these colors all blend while moving outward from the pupil.

Under different circumstances, hazel eyes even appear to change color. In contrast, central heterochromia causes a constant ring of color around the pupil that is drastically different from the rest of the iris. Moreover, hazel is considered a normal eye color, while central heterochromia is a medical condition.

Which Is More Common?

Common

Image source: Pinterest

Heterochromia is sporadic, with less than 200,000 people in the United States experiencing complete heterochromia. Researchers are uncertain of the rarity of central heterochromia, as, with its relatively normal appearance, it can be challenging to document. However, the rarity of other types of heterochromia suggests it is rare as well. Hazel eyes are also rare, found in only about 5% of the population.

What Causes Central Heterochromia?

Vast differences in melanin distribution create central heterochromia. While the exact cause of central heterochromia is still unknown, it often randomly happens at birth. When central heterochromia appears as a genetic trait, it’s typically linked to an underlying congenital disease like Horner’s syndrome. Central heterochromia that appears later in life can indicate medical complications such as injuries, diabetes, or infection.

How Is Central Heterochromia Diagnosed?

Diagnosed

Image source: Pinterest

Central heterochromia is usually harmless and does not need a diagnosis. However, central heterochromia occurring later in life or as a genetic trait could indicate underlying health conditions or complications and requires a doctor’s attention.

An optometrist or ophthalmologist will complete a comprehensive eye examination consisting of a visual test and inspection of the optic nerve, peripheral vision, pupils, and eye pressure.

Occasionally the doctor will order an OCT or optical coherence tomography (a non-invasive eye imaging test) or blood tests and chromosome studies for those with genetic heterochromia.

Is Central Heterochromia Treatable?

The underlying cause determines the need for medical treatment and the treatment route. Usually, central heterochromia is a benign condition and does not require treatment. However, those with acquired and genetic heterochromias should seek a physician as the condition could be a symptom of a significant problem that needs treatment.

For cosmetic concerns, using colored contact lenses can correct differences in eye color.

health benefits of beets
Food & Drinks, Health

7 Health Benefits of Beets That You Need to Know

Although often overlooked, beets are a powerful superfood. From their distinct reddish coloring to their impactful earthy flavor, beets contain a unique and beneficial set of nutrients. Here are seven health benefits of beets that you need to know.

What Are Beets?

Beets

Beets are root vegetables full of water, carbohydrates, and fiber with a primary vitamin and mineral makeup of manganese, iron, potassium, folate, and vitamin C. Beet leaves, or beet greens are edible as well and full of B vitamins.

Distinguished by their unique colorings, coming in yellow, pink, white, or the most common dark red, there are many different types of beets. The dark red hue comes from the plant compound betalain, a red pigment containing many additional nutritional benefits.

7 Health Benefits of Beets

Benefits

1. Blood Pressure

The high concentration of nitrates in beets helps lower blood pressure levels and stabilize overall heart health. In the bloodstream, nitrates transform into nitric oxide, sending relax signals to muscle cells near arteries which causes blood vessels to dilate and reduce blood pressure.

The nitrates gained from beets lessen blood pressure levels for a few hours, while regularly eating beets can exhibit long-term benefits.

2. Physical Performance

Nitrates can also improve physical performance. Once in the body, nitrates, transformed into nitric oxide, enhance stamina and boost oxygen by improving mitochondrial efficiency and widening blood vessels. Nitrate levels peak around 2 to 3 hours after ingesting beets.

3. Inflammation

Betalain, the pigment that gives beets their deep red color, can lessen inflammation, such as kidney inflammation. However, human studies would need to be conducted to confirm these results since most of the existing research is on rats.

4. Digestive

Digestive health is crucial to one’s well-being. Beets contain 3.4 g of fiber per cup and assist in regulating stools and preventing IBS flare-ups, diverticulitis, and constipation.

Additionally, ingesting enough fiber is shown to decrease the risk of certain diseases such as colon cancer. Further, the soluble fiber found in beets can help regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol levels.

5. Cognitive Function

A person’s cognitive function typically diminishes with the natural aging process. The loss of sufficient blood flow to the brain might be a significant contributing factor to this decline.

Research suggests nitrates could dilate blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow and, therefore, cognitive functioning. Increasing blood flow to the frontal lobe can influence higher-level thinking, working memory, and even decision-making.

6. Disease-Fighting

Beets may prevent and fight diseases with their high concentration of nitrates, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to their previously discussed benefits, nitrates might lessen the chance of illness by boosting overall health.

Additionally, the natural antioxidant compounds in beets can increase cell protection. Beetroot extract has even shown the potential to slow tumor cells.

7. Weight Loss

While few scientific studies concern the effects of beets on weight loss, beets are 87% water and contain a low-calorie count, making them a diet superfood. Additionally, they have lots of fiber which lessens appetite and helps regulate the digestive system.

Successfully clearing the digestive system helps flush out any extra weight of waste build-up.

How to Incorporate Beets into Your Diet

diet

There are many ways to add beets to your diet, as beets can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. You can even drink beet juice and eat beet leaves.

However, there are some cautions and considerations to make before adding them to your diet. Due to their deep red pigmentation, beets can cause urine to turn pinkish, which, although harmless, people often mistake the coloring for blood.

Beets contain oxalates, especially in their leaves, which have antinutrient properties and can lead to kidney stones if eaten in excess. Additionally, beets have FODMAPs which can irritate those with conditions like IBS.

how to get rid of a crick in your neck
Health

How to Get Rid of a Crick in Your Neck: 4 Steps

“Neck cricks” are neck pains or stiffness and almost always bothersome. While only a specialist can determine the actual cause of most neck cricks, luckily, the majority of them can be cured at home. How to get rid of a crick in your neck? Here are four steps to help.

What Is a “Crick in the Neck”?

Crick

A crick in the neck can refer to many different neck or spine ailments but is typically the result of an injury in the general vicinity of the neck. Cricks are different from chronic pains, as chronic pains are frequently recurring. Additionally, cricks typically show more stiffness than distinct pain and sometimes restrict motion.

What Causes a Neck Crick?

While there are many possible causes for a crick in the neck, muscle spasms, injuries, or overuse are the most common. These injuries can occur from maintaining an uncomfortable position or poor posture, unusual stretching, or incorrect form while exercising.

Sometimes cricks are caused by existing conditions like arthritis. Other times cricks are the result of a herniated cervical disc in the spine or cervical spinal stenosis.

How Long Does a Crick in the Neck Last?

Last

How long a crick in the neck lasts depends on the cause of the ailment. While most neck cricks resolve in hours to a couple of days, those caused by muscular injury can last longer. A person’s general health can also affect the endurance of a neck cramp.

Those with underlying conditions, such as arthritis, will often need to treat the underlying disease to relieve their neck problems. Neck cricks due to lifestyle habits also tend to reoccur if those habits remain uncorrected.

Can You Pop a Crick in the Neck?

It is never advisable to pop a neck crick because cracking it can create more problems. Typically neck cricks are due to muscular discomfort, so popping your neck will not address the issue. Additionally, the popping sound doesn’t indicate successful readjustment.

Generally, popping joints gives temporary pain relief only because it releases endorphins. Overall it is best to leave joint cracking to the professionals, and if you must do something, adopt stretches instead.

Getting Rid of a Crick in Your Neck

Getting Rid of

Often neck cricks will resolve on their own with time. However, there are at-home remedies to help progress the healing process and reduce discomfort. Below are four steps to help treat neck cricks. You may not need to complete all of them, but instead, find the one or two most helpful for your situation.

1) Treat with Temperature

First, treat the area with either heat, cold, or both. Heat relaxes muscles and regains lost motion range. Apply a heating pad, or a clean sock filled with rice (microwaved for 30 seconds), to the area for 8-10 minutes. Ice is best when trying to reduce inflammation.

Use a thick fabric, like a towel, as a buffer between the ice and skin and apply for 20 minutes a few times per day. For more complicated cricks, try alternating heat and ice or test out hydrotherapy.

2) Medicate

Treat intense pain and inflammation with an NSAID or acetaminophen medication. Common over-the-counter medications such as Aleve, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen can relieve pain and inflammation. Make sure to eat and take them with food to avoid potential stomach damage.

3) Rest

An obvious but necessary step is allowing your injury to rest so that it has time to heal correctly. Remember, the faster you recover, the quicker you will be back to performing at 100%. Rest cautiously, though, as too much rest can be more harm than good. The neck and back require a degree of liveliness to avoid deconditioning.

4) Make Small Daily Changes

Making small daily changes can alleviate pressure and pain as well as prevent further or recurring injury. Try changing sleeping positions and pillow arrangements to avoid awkward neck postures. Make adjustments when exercising to ensure you are executing movements correctly and avoiding damage-causing situations.

Sometimes, especially for chronic pain, it can be helpful to add neck exercises and stretches to your routine. However, if you experience sharp pain when stretching, stop immediately.

When to See a Doctor

Doctor

If pain and problems persist for more than a few days or after applying home remedies, seek professional care. A chiropractor or regular physician will be able to pinpoint the problem and prescribe treatment. Most issues are handled with physical therapy, prescription pain killers, or corticosteroid injections.

More advanced cricks may require treating an underlying condition or even undergoing surgery. Extreme weakness, limb numbness, radiating pains, and co-occurring headaches are severe signs that the issue needs immediate attention and care.

why are my hands and feet always cold
Health

Why Are My Hands and Feet Always Cold? Tips to Stay Warm

Getting cold hands and feet is common and usually happens due to changes in the weather. But the loss of warmth in your extremities can also be a warning sign or symptom of an underlying condition. And if you’ve tried warming them up over and over without any or only short-lived success, it may be because of a health issue.

Wondering why are my hands and feet always cold? Here are all the possible causes for your hand and feet always feeling cold and take a look at some useful remedies.

Why Are My Hands And Feet Always Cold: 7 Possible Causes

Possible Causes

#1. You’re Often in Cold Temperatures

Some people live in very cold environments and some others may be working in cold environments such as in a meat-packing factory. In such cases, especially because of the weather, having to deal with fingers and toes going numb is quite common. People in such environments need to wear special protective clothing otherwise they risk developing frostbite.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, sometimes people do develop a tolerance and physical resistance to cold, but it’s still no reason not to wear thermals.

#2. Complications Of Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to poor blood circulation throughout your body that can make your extremities, in particular, feel cold. It also increases the risk of heart disease and narrowing of the arteries, thus constricting blood flow.

To avoid the risk of diabetes and heart disease, you need to watch your daily sugar intake as closely as possible and try to stay within the normal range.

#3. Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition where your body doesn’t produce and release enough thyroid hormone into your bloodstream. This slows down your body’s metabolism rate and can make you feel tired, gain weight, and become more sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

It’s a very common condition in the United States. One of its common symptoms is a drop in the core body temperature, making your hands and feet more sensitive to cold.

#4. Raynaud’s Disease or Phenomenon

Raynaud’s disease is a rare disorder of the blood vessels that makes some areas of the body feel numb and cold. It causes the arteries that supply blood to the surface of your skin to constrict excessively in response to cold.

This limits blood supply to those areas making them extremely cold and turning pale or blue. It’s a chronic condition so it may even last for years or be permanent, but there are some treatment options.

#5. Anemia

Anemia is a common condition in the United States. It’s a condition that causes your red blood cell production and repair rate to drop. This can lead to dysfunctional red blood cells and reduced flow of oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues.

Anemia is typically caused by iron deficiency. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that can transport oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and organs. A lack of oxygen supply to your extremities can result in cold toes and fingers, especially when you’re in cold environments.

To avoid this, you could add some iron-rich foods to your diet, like fish, dried fruit, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.

#6. Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s disease causes your small and medium blood vessels to become inflamed, swell, and develop clots. It is a rare disease that can even damage or destroy your skin tissues, making them more prone to deadly infections and gangrene. Buerger’s disease first starts to show up on your hands and feet as black marks, which are dead skin tissue.

One of the common symptoms of this disease is cold hands and feet. Although no precise cause for this disease is known, studies have shown a strong correlation between Buerger’s Disease and smoking.

#7. High Cholesterol

Diets that are high in cholesterol can cause cholesterol to build up in your blood vessels. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that the body sometimes cannot expel. This obstructs the blood flow to your arteries and the rest of your body, making you feel colder.

Different Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For

Signs and Symptoms

Here are some of the different signs and symptoms you should look for if you’ve been experiencing prolonged cold hands and feet:

#1. Changes in the color of the skin

#2. Numbness or tingling

#3. Open sores or blisters

#4. Tightened skin

#5. Inflammation

#6. Muscle stiffness

#7. Prickling sensations

#8. Chest pain

Ways To Warm Up Your Feet and Hands

Ways To Warm Up

#1. Wear Socks or Slippers

Wearing thermal socks and slippers is an efficient way to retain your body heat during the winters. Making a practice of wearing them indoors can also make a huge difference. Wool offers the most insulation of all fabrics, and it’s also light in weight.

#2. Exercise Every Day

Regular exercise is good for your cardiovascular health. It strengthens all your muscles including your heart, which will then do a better job of supplying blood to all your organs and tissues.

#3. Move Around Regularly

Sitting or sleeping for prolonged hours decreases the body’s metabolism rate and can cause fatty deposits to build up in your body over time. Fatty deposits can restrict the free movement of blood through your vessels and lead to a range of cardiovascular diseases. If you work at your desk all day, get up and move around every hour or so to keep your heart pumping.

#4. Use An Electric Heating Pad

If the cold becomes intolerable, an electric heating pad is an efficient way to stay warm. They might come in the form of a pillow or a strap, and you have some variety to choose from.

When To See a Doctor

Doctor

If you’re experiencing intolerable cold in your extremities for prolonged periods, you should book an appointment with your physician. Especially if this is after you’ve tried everything you can for self-treatment/self-care.

Additionally, if you start to experience any of the following symptoms in conjunction with cold hands or feet, visit a doctor promptly:

#1. Pain during exercise

#2. Difficulty breathing

#3. Fatigue

#4. Dizziness

#5. Sores that aren’t healing

#6. Numbness