Health Tips for Seniors

Archive for December, 2005

Diseases of the nose

Skin Cancer and Other Growths. Skin cancers often begin on the skin of the nose, especially where the nostril flares into the cheek. Other skin growths, for instance, warts and blood-filled tumors, oftentimes are found in the skin of weather-beaten faces such as farmers and outdoors men. (See Skin Diseases).

External Nasal Deformity. Irregularities of the nose are very common. It is rare to find both sides of any nose exactly alike and the inside of the nostril varies slightly in size and shape, although such variances have no importance at all. The septum of the nose, which should be nearly in the mid-line, is often somewhat off to one side, possibly as a natural occurrence or as a result of trauma. This is of no significance unless it results in breathing difficulty. Deformities in the profile of the nose claim most people’s attention because of cosmetic appearance. It can be reshaped considerably with plastic surgery, however, patients are rarely satisfied after nose surgery.

Allergy (Rhinitis). Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, produces a wet, dripping nose through which it is usually very difficult to breathe. Considerable irritation and redness of the nose may be present along with swelling and soreness and tears often flow from the eyes because they cannot drain into the nose as they normally should.

In seasonal rhinitis, air-borne pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds are most frequently the offenders. However, in the type which is present the year round, allergic factors such as animal danders, house dust, feathers or mattress stuffing are more than likely the cause. People with allergies should avoid these offending substances as determined by an exact investigation, and testing by the allergist, the doctor who specializes in the investigation and treatment of allergic diseases.

Fig. 18. Sinuses are room-like cavities within the skull, communicating with the nose. They lighten the skull and “hollow out” the voice. The biggest sinuses form the eyebrows and cheekbones. Frequently infected, they often cause bad breath and continual throat dripping.

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Examining the Nose for problems

Examination of the Nose

The nose should be examined by close-up mirror observation with a good light in various positions of the head.

1. Observe the skin of the nose for any unhealing sore, warty growth, soreness, redness, recent enlargement or bleeding areas. These findings may indicate skin cancer or other growths.
2. Observe the profile and centering of the nose on the face. Both nostrils should be equal with the nasal septum in the center. Major differences indicate the very common external nasal deformity.
3. Determine the patency of each nostril by rapid inhaling and exhaling. An obstructed nostril may mean an internal
nasal deformity, allergic rhinitis or sinus disease.

Fig. 17. The nose encloses large volumes of air passageways above the mouth and deep behind the visible nose. Disease in these chambers is very common and is termed “upper respiratory disease.”

4. Tap along the bony ridge of the eyebrow, cheekbone and bridge of the nose with the knuckles. Tenderness in these regions and continuous discharge from either nostril usually denote sinus trouble.

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