The nose and smell are extremely important to good health. They are often signs of health problems. This has particular importance to Covid19 and the influenza virus. Symptoms usually appear quickly and include fever, aches, and chills regarding the flu. Fever aches, and loss of smell and taste are typical of Covid19 infections. About the flu, antiviral treatments can shorten your illness by one to two days; a disease that can exist anywhere between a few days and two weeks. Covid19 on the other hand can be with you for many weeks and months. We can discuss this further in the month of December when doctors will be busy establishing the difference between the two infections.

Why do I get bloody noses all the time?

Parched air draws moisture from your sinuses, so they’re more likely to dry and crack. Bacteria can get in and infect the damaged area if that happens, and both conditions—dryness and infected cracks-- can cause bleeding. Use of a humidifier to put moisture back into the air will help your dry nose and prevent bleeding.

The causes of bloody noses range from allergies, hemophilia, and picking your nose to blood thinners, aspirin, nasal sprays, and more things than I can list here. The bleeding itself isn’t usually serious but if you injure your nose and it bleeds for more than 30 minutes, or you can’t breathe properly you should see a doctor. I’m amazed at the number of people that call 911 and ask for an ambulance because their nose is bleeding. Just go to the ER or call your doctor.

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are usually growths within your nose that are usually harmless. But they can prevent smells from getting to the right cells. Medication or minor surgery can get rid of polyps and make things as good as new for your nose.

Besides covered 19 what are some of the other things that can cause a lack of the sense of smell?

There is a link to smell in a variety of diseases, but one most common link is diabetes. High blood sugar can damage nerves, blood vessels, or organs that make up the complex sense of smell. Diabetes can also upset your endocrine system, the system that deals totally with the glands of your body. If loss of smell is one of your issues you should see a doctor.

Is there such a thing as a brain freeze?

People often say that there are such things as “ice cream headaches” and they call it brain freeze. When it happens something cold touches the nerves in the roots of your mouth. That triggers the blood vessels in the front of your head to swell. This rapid swelling causes the familiar jabbing pain of a brain freeze. An easy solution? Try eating ice cream or other cold foods slowly to avoid getting a headache. I suppose the same kind of brain freeze would happen if you drank a very cold drink with lots of ice like a Slurpee.

What is it mean when my arm falls asleep?

When your arm or your leg falls asleep it’s a very dull feeling that can cause anxiety. It is temporary and harmless as a sensation and inevitably caused by constant pressure on nerves, leaving them unable to transmit messages to your brain. The cure is simple: change positions. As feeling comes back to the area you can experience a tingling (pins and needles) for a little while. Chronic tingling indicates a more serious underlying condition that should be evaluated. In medicine we call this a paresthesia. This simply means that you have numbness and tingling in either all four extremities or one isolated extremity, which could be simply due to compression by a bony surface, or more compicatedly part of a syndrome that your doctor needs to explore.

When I take an air flight my ears often feel like they are blocked. What I do to open them?

Everyone on a plane trip yawns to “pop their ears”. What we are doing is equalizing the pressure between the inside and the outside of our eardrums as the change in altitude occurs. The pop means a tube connecting your middle ear to the back of your throat (called the eustachian tube) has opened relieving pressure. To help you can also close your mouth, hold your nose, and blow gently; or try chewing gum or yawning. During an upper respiratory infection like a simple cold, flying might prolong the dull ear pain or lack of hearing until the tube opens up.

Sometimes my eye twitches. What does that mean?

When your eye twitches it’s called an eyelid spasm. It is unpredictable, bothersome, and’s extremely harmless. Twitching your eyes can be caused by stress, fatigue, eyestrain, coffee, and dry eyes. Severe twitching may be caused by a nerve disorder like Tourette’s syndrome. Eyelid spasms generally go away on their own, but if there severe you might have to see an eye specialist.

The nose and smell are extremely important to good health. They are often signs of health problems. This has particular importance to Covid19 and the influenza virus. Symptoms usually appear quickly and include fever, aches, and chills regarding the flu. Fever aches, and loss of smell and taste are typical of Covid19 infections. About the flu, antiviral treatments can shorten your illness by one to two days; a disease that can exist anywhere between a few days and two weeks. Covid19 on the other hand can be with you for many weeks and months. We can discuss this further in the month of December when doctors will be busy establishing the difference between the two infections.

Why do I get bloody noses all the time?

Parched air draws moisture from your sinuses, so they’re more likely to dry and crack. Bacteria can get in and infect the damaged area if that happens, and both conditions—dryness and infected cracks-- can cause bleeding. Use of a humidifier to put moisture back into the air will help your dry nose and prevent bleeding.

The causes of bloody noses range from allergies, hemophilia, and picking your nose to blood thinners, aspirin, nasal sprays, and more things than I can list here. The bleeding itself isn’t usually serious but if you injure your nose and it bleeds for more than 30 minutes, or you can’t breathe properly you should see a doctor. I’m amazed at the number of people that call 911 and ask for an ambulance because their nose is bleeding. Just go to the ER or call your doctor.

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are usually growths within your nose that are usually harmless. But they can prevent smells from getting to the right cells. Medication or minor surgery can get rid of polyps and make things as good as new for your nose.

Besides covered 19 what are some of the other things that can cause a lack of the sense of smell?

There is a link to smell in a variety of diseases, but one most common link is diabetes. High blood sugar can damage nerves, blood vessels, or organs that make up the complex sense of smell. Diabetes can also upset your endocrine system, the system that deals totally with the glands of your body. If loss of smell is one of your issues you should see a doctor.

Is there such a thing as a brain freeze?

People often say that there are such things as “ice cream headaches” and they call it brain freeze. When it happens something cold touches the nerves in the roots of your mouth. That triggers the blood vessels in the front of your head to swell. This rapid swelling causes the familiar jabbing pain of a brain freeze. An easy solution? Try eating ice cream or other cold foods slowly to avoid getting a headache. I suppose the same kind of brain freeze would happen if you drank a very cold drink with lots of ice like a Slurpee.

What is it mean when my arm falls asleep?

When your arm or your leg falls asleep it’s a very dull feeling that can cause anxiety. It is temporary and harmless as a sensation and inevitably caused by constant pressure on nerves, leaving them unable to transmit messages to your brain. The cure is simple: change positions. As feeling comes back to the area you can experience a tingling (pins and needles) for a little while. Chronic tingling indicates a more serious underlying condition that should be evaluated. In medicine we call this a paresthesia. This simply means that you have numbness and tingling in either all four extremities or one isolated extremity, which could be simply due to compression by a bony surface, or more compicatedly part of a syndrome that your doctor needs to explore.

When I take an air flight my ears often feel like they are blocked. What I do to open them?

Everyone on a plane trip yawns to “pop their ears”. What we are doing is equalizing the pressure between the inside and the outside of our eardrums as the change in altitude occurs. The pop means a tube connecting your middle ear to the back of your throat (called the eustachian tube) has opened relieving pressure. To help you can also close your mouth, hold your nose, and blow gently; or try chewing gum or yawning. During an upper respiratory infection like a simple cold, flying might prolong the dull ear pain or lack of hearing until the tube opens up.

Sometimes my eye twitches. What does that mean?

When your eye twitches it’s called an eyelid spasm. It is unpredictable, bothersome, and’s extremely harmless. Twitching your eyes can be caused by stress, fatigue, eyestrain, coffee, and dry eyes. Severe twitching may be caused by a nerve disorder like Tourette’s syndrome. Eyelid spasms generally go away on their own, but if there severe you might have to see an eye specialist.

I’m a woman and I have hair on my face, can you tell me why?

A lot of women enjoy access hair on their face and their body. But while hairiness can be embarrassing it’s generally harmless. The condition is called hirsutism which means hairiness. Hirsutism affects about 5% of women and can be genetic or caused by certain syndromes. The syndrome that most commonly comes to mind is something called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a condition characterized by an excess of male hormones as a result of cystic ovaries. In some cases, hirsutism is caused by hormone secreting tumors. The treatment for this condition depends on the cause and can include bleaching, echo electrolysis, hormone therapies, and laser hair removal. However, if hairiness is a major problem for you, it is time to see either a dermatologist or an endocrinologist (gland specialist).

I used to enjoy WC Fields and I noticed that he had a big red nose. Can you tell me what that is?

WC Fields was a character who had a condition called rhinophyma, a big red bulbous nose. This is more common in men than in women and genetics most certainly play a role. It’s really a form of rosacea that causes red patches on the sensitive skin of the face. In rare cases the nose becomes thickened and bumpy and that is what WC Fields had. When he was in his prime as a comedian and actor, there were no treatments for rhinophyma. Everyone thought that alcoholism caused Field’s big red nose, but it didn’t. Rhinophyma can be made worse with alcohol, but not cause the condition. The treatments at this time can include lasers and other light therapies, dermabrasion, and electrocautery. If you think you have rhinophyma you should see a dermatologist.