Picking your nose may seem harmless, but in fact there are many hidden dangers

Easy to induce sinusitis, otitis media, pharyngitis, meningitis, etc

◎ Reporter Luo Chaoshu

Recently, foreign media reported that excessive nose picking may cause diseases such as bacterial meningitis. Earlier, there were also media reports that an 8-year-old boy in Shenzhen usually likes to pick his nose, and sometimes he will dig his nosebleeds. At first, the family did not pay much attention, but later it was discovered that the child had a bag in his nose and a high fever, and finally, the child was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The reason is that the child often picks his nose.

Why does picking your nose cause bacterial meningitis? How to deal with nasal discomfort scientifically? In this regard, the reporter of Science and Technology Daily interviewed relevant experts.

May predispose to a variety of diseases

Zhang Juan, chief physician of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital affiliated to Capital Medical University, introduced that the nostrils that people usually call are also called nasal cavity, located between the base of the skull and the roof of the mouth, which is a space surrounded by bone and cartilage, and is divided into left and right sides by the longitudinal nasal septum, and the inner surface is covered with mucosa.

The nasal cavity communicates with the outside world, and the outside air is inhaled into the lungs through the nasal cavity; It can filter some viruses, bacteria, dust, etc. in the air, and with the help of cilia swinging on the surface of the nasal mucosa, it can also excrete viruses, bacteria, etc. that enter the nasal cavity.

When many people feel that there is a foreign body in the nasal cavity, they like to dig it by hand, especially when the foreign body is not easy to come out, they will work harder until the foreign body is dug out. Still others, picking their noses has long become a habit for them, and even if there is no foreign object in the nasal cavity, they will involuntarily poke a few times from time to time.

Zhang Juan pointed out that the act of picking your nose seems harmless, but in fact there are many hidden dangers. The first is easy damage to nose hair. Picking the nose frequently will cause the nose hair to fall out, or make the hair follicles of the nose hair inflamed, reduce the blocking effect of the nose hair on dust and bacteria, reduce the defense ability of the nasal cavity, and the dust and viruses in the air are easy to invade.

Second, picking your nose may cause traumatic nosebleeds. The nasal mucosa is rich in capillaries, and frequent and vigorous fingers pick the nostrils, which can easily damage the nasal mucosa and cause bleeding. Especially in spring and autumn, the climate is relatively dry, the capillaries of the nasal mucosa are more fragile, and picking your nostrils is more likely to cause nasal bleeding.

In addition, due to the connection of the ear, nose and throat, frequent picking of the nose is also easy to induce sinusitis, otitis media, pharyngitis, etc.

"More seriously, the nose is located in the 'facial danger triangle' formed by the base of the nose and the corners of the mouth on both sides, the venous vessels in this part do not have venous valves, and communicate with the blood vessels inside the brain, when the 'facial danger triangle' is infected, it is easy to let viruses, bacteria, etc. spread to the brain through venous return, causing intracranial infections such as bacterial meningitis, or thrombosis formed in the veins, affecting normal venous blood return, inducing cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis, mild fever, headache, severe cases will induce shock, Impaired consciousness, permanent nerve damage, and even death. Zhang Juan said.

Nasal foreign bodies need to be cleaned scientifically

So how to properly clean the nasal cavity of foreign bodies?

Zhang Juan said that first of all, we need to make it clear that the ordinary secretions in the nasal cavity themselves do not need to be cleaned up every day, because the nose hair itself has a certain self-cleaning ability. If washing is really necessary, it is recommended to wash the nasal passages with a specialized saline nasal irrigator. If inflammation occurs in the nose, resulting in a large increase in discharge, it is recommended to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

Zhang Juan reminded that in addition to the behavior of picking your nose, in fact, there is another common action related to the nose in daily life - blowing your nose also hides a crisis.

"This action is not done correctly, it may damage the nasal cavity and ears!" Zhang Juan said that it is not recommended to blow the nasal discharge of both nostrils at the same time, because it is easy to increase the air pressure in the nasal cavity, causing the nasal discharge to flow into the middle ear through the eustachian tube, and the pathogen multiplies to cause infectious otitis media.

"Especially in rhinitis patients, incorrect blowing of nose can increase the chance of otitis media." Zhang Juan suggested that when blowing your nose, you can gently press one nostril to discharge the snot in the opposite nostril.

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Why some people are keen to pick their noses

The earliest recorded history of nose picking appeared in 4000 BC. On the frescoes of ancient Egypt, pictures of picking your nose can be seen.

Why have people been fond of picking their noses since ancient times?

In this regard, Cao Dagang, a member of the China Popular Science Writers Association and a senior psychology teacher, believes that this may be related to the fact that picking your nose will bring people a kind of physical and psychological pleasure and satisfying emotions.

Many people summarize the feeling of picking their noses as "digging for a while, digging all the time, always digging is cool". "Physiologically speaking, the nasal cavity, as our breathing pathway, is very afraid of blockage, when there is a foreign body in the nasal cavity, it will affect normal breathing to a certain extent, and psychologically it will also produce a sense of insecurity. The act of picking one's nose can not only make people feel that their breathing is smooth, but also make the body and mind feel happy and satisfied. This is because there are very rich vascular nerves distributed under the mucosa of the nasal cavity, and the action of picking the nostrils will make people feel like fingers caressing the nasal cavity as long as they are not too hard, which is similar to tickling to make people feel comfortable. Cao Dagang explained.

"But some people pick their noses uncontrollably, which can be a compulsive behavior that occurs in a state of anxiety." Cao Dagang said that such behavior may occur because people cannot cope with current or future events, resulting in anxiety in their hearts, so they adopt such behaviors to escape.

"In this case, self-adjustment should be carried out in time, and if necessary, help from a psychologist can be sought." He said. (Science and Technology Daily)