Ask a Health Blogger: Dry, Bloody Nose

Lately when I blow my nose, I see red or brown streaks on the tissue. What’s going on? I’ve had a stuffy nose lately — but I thought it was just fall allergies. Should I be worried? I don’t think you have an emergency on your hands. My first question in response is: how dry is it in your house? When I have blood in my snot (red or brown streaks), it’s often because things are dry. I also tend to get nosebleeds a LOT during the winter. Something as simple as running a humidifier in your bedroom might help. … Continue reading

Foods that Help Reduce Colds and the Flu

My 3-year-old daughter just came down with her first cold of the winter season. Technically, winter doesn’t officially begin until December 22nd and she had a horrible bought of the flu in early November so I’m hoping this latest round of fever, sore, throat and the sniffles is not a sign of things to come. Making matters worse is the fact that my daughter refuses to take oral medication. She will make herself throw up if a drop of medicine comes anywhere near her lips. (Any prescribed medication is administered via shots—an agonizing process to say the least.) Which means … Continue reading

Travel and Your Nose

My parents gave me a great birthday present this year: a ticket to fly home for a visit. It’s the first time in more than a year that I’ve flown, so I was more than a little nervous as we rose into the sky. In the end, I made it to the East Coast and back safely and had a lovely vacation. The only problem was my nose. The morning after my arrival, I went to blow my stuffy schnozz and ended up with a nosebleed. It’s not too hard to figure out why: I’m most likely to get nosebleeds … Continue reading

Clogged Ears

When I get sick, it usually goes to my sinuses and throat. And those are problems I know how to handle! I’ve had a lot of success holding off sinus infections by using an irrigation kit. But for the last few days, my left ear has been clogged. Maybe it’s lingering water from the shower, maybe it’s something more serious. I’m starting to get that achy feeling down towards my jaw that reminds me of swimmer’s ear. Time to turn to my trusty home remedy resources! The general consensus among my library of natural remedies is that water may indeed … Continue reading

Health Advice I’m Glad I Took

I’ve been writing the Health Blog for about two and a half years now. With every piece I write, I learn something new — about myself, about the history or future of medicine, and more. But there are some bits and pieces that have really stuck with me. Probably the best advice I’ve ever gotten from a doctor — and one I’ve given out repeatedly here in the Health Blog is the sinus rinse. Whenever I feel a sinus infection coming on, I break out my sinus rinse kit and shoot warm salt water up my nose. It’s definitely … Continue reading

More Natural Remedies for a Sinus Infection

You may have noticed my ongoing fight against sinus infections. Whenever I get one, I start up my “sinus experiment”. The key component in my big plan is shooting salt water up my nose with a sinus rinse kit. It’s gross, but it really does work! I definitely wouldn’t have started doing it if an ear/nose/throat specialist hadn’t said it was that or another sinus surgery — the right motivation is everything. Now that I’ve seen it successfully fight off multiple sinus infections, I’ve been trying to get other people onto the sinus rinse bandwagon. If you can’t stomach the … Continue reading

Score Another Victory For The Great Sinus Experiment

A few days ago, I woke up with a sore throat. It must be allergies, I told myself. Post nasal drip, because I have a certain brown dog who hogs all the pillows and I end up sleeping flat on my back. But the sore throat stuck around. Yesterday it was joined by a stuffy nose. And a headache. My nose and sinuses got more and more congested as the day went on, and I finally had to conclude that it wasn’t allergies. It was the beginnings of a sinus infection. I pulled out the Echinacea and goldenseal and took … Continue reading

The Sinus Experiment: Day One

Over the last few days, I’ve been feeling the rumbles of an impending sinus infection. I’ve got the headache, with pain in the forehead and in the cheeks (below my eyes). I’ve started the nasal congestion, though so far my mucus has been clear. And I’ve got a general feeling of blah… my body is kind of achy, I have less energy than usual, and my appetite is funny. My usual method is to just live with the discomfort until it either goes away or gets bad enough that I go to the doctor. But not this time, sinus infection! … Continue reading

What Is Post Nasal Drip?

Here’s a really gross fact for you: the glands in your nose and throat produce one to two quarts of mucus a day. In as little as two days, you can produce a gallon of snot. Mucus is actually a good thing for your nose and throat. It helps keep things moist and clean up in your nose. Mucus can help humidify air and trap foreign matter. Mucus is actually a good infection fighter because it traps things that could cause you to get ill. Usually, we swallow mucus without thinking about it. But the feeling of it collecting in … Continue reading