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It's not what you think, says Professor Gary Meadows. Get it? It snot what you think? Anyway, Professor Meadows is an immunologist at Washington State University. That means he looks at what could make you sick and how your body protects itself. So as you'll see, he's kind of a snot expert! "The drainage from your nose," says Professor Meadows, "is largely made up of mucous and fluid." MEW-KUSS? The internal portion of your nose is lined with something called a mucous membrane, same as the inside of your stomach. In the stomach, mucous defends you against yourself. Its slimy, lubricating coating guards the lining of your stomach against the hydrochloric acid that helps digest your food. But maybe that's a subject for another day.Professor Meadows helps me understandhow the body protects itself. Multi-purpose mucous In the nose, mucous has two roles. Along with tiny hair-like projections called cilia (SILLY-UH), it traps dust, bacteria, and other small particles breathed in with air. Working together as a filtering team, they make the air easier to breathe, cleaner and more free of such harmful things as bacteria. But mucous also lubricates and protects the nose. So it's pretty complicated stuff. Basically, it's a mixture of water and the particles that it and the cilia filter out. It also includes shed epithelial (EH-PI-THEEL-EE-AL) cells, dead leukocytes (LOO-KUH-SITES), dead bacteria and their products, mucin (MEW-SUN), and inorganic salts. Epithelial cells line all the inside surfaces of your body, including your nose. They die and are shed much like the skin that peels off in the shower when you have a sunburn. Mucous acts like a shower in your nose, washing away the elderly cells. White blood cells, or leukocytes, are soldiers in the war on bacteria and other foreign material in your nose. Leukocytes protect your nose (and your body) by swallowing all that bad stuff. Then they die and are washed out in mucous. Mucin is a sugar made by the mucous membrane that lines your nose. It is one of the products that helps moisten, lubricate, and protect the inside of the nasal passage. The inorganic salts are materials breathed in that can harden. In other words (and I really can't think of a polite way to say it), that's what boogers are.Why are little kids always snotty-nosed? Some doctors estimate that young children get an average of twelve colds a year. That's a lot of Kleenex--and a lot of snot. One possible reason why some children produce so much snot is because they haven't learned how to blow their noses yet. Seems simple, but did you know that many children by kindergarten age are unable to suck from a straw? Both blowing your nose and sucking through a straw involve control of nasal breathing, and as with many activities, some children learn faster than others. Another reason is that young children get sick easier because they can't fight off infection as well. For each of those twelve colds, figure two weeks of mucous. Then add the mucous caused by hay fever and other allergies--and that's a pretty snotty year!
and I can't believe I missed the opportunity of "an olfactory load of wadding....."
Most of the trouble you have breathing through your nose when you have a cold isn't because the hole is bunged up with snot. It's because the lining of the nose is swolen and so the hole is smaller.
First of all..me wishes ewe better Mr Beaver Sir.Contrary to popular myths...a dripping wet beaver can be quite infuriating ! This is clearly a consequence of the Snot Fairies paying a visit to your Olfactory Sinus system.They seek out poorly individuals with colds in an attempt to appease the 'Cold Dragon'.......The crackly Popping ewe describe is in fact the little darlings attempting to allure the ' Cold Dragon ' down your nasal nostrils tunnels by using little Castanets..it is most captivating !!....The streaming that ewe experience is the result of the fairies wings spreading ' Snot Heat ' and causing a flow !!..despite contradictions in debate and minor scuffles it is now generally accepted that 'Cold Dragons' find it almost irresistible to withhold from sliding down the 'Nasal Snot Slide ' and thereby as a consequence ewe are released from your cold.This is all true !!Glad I could help !!
I don't understand Carolyn.....this is all true !!
This triggers a powerful immune response which, amongst other things, leads to the localised release of inflammatory chemicals. These open up blood vessels and also make them leaky, to help the immune system to access the infected area. This also has the side-effect of increasing the production of mucus and making the mucus much thinner (more watery) since this helps to flush out the offending viral particles.
To an extent, yes. The nose is lined with a very dense network of fragile blood vessels - this is why people use it as an effective way to take drugs (cocaine, snuff) because the drugs can access the bloodstream quickly.But these vessels can be easily traumatised and the combination of inflammation and physical damage (both virus proliferation, sneezing and over-zealous nose-blowing) can rupture some of them, leading to localised bleeding from the mucosa.Chris
We all know that the doc really just luffs to stick ketchup up his nose !!