US Corona masks: That's why your nose runs under the mask

15:15  28 october  2020
15:15  28 october  2020 Source:   bunte.de

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You can't avoid mouth and nose protection due to the corona pandemic. But every time you pull it up, your nose starts running and you get a mask cold? Perhaps you think you are allergic to the face mask or even that the mouth and nose mask is making you sick. But mostly the phenomenon is based on completely harmless causes.

Schwitzen unter Maske © iStock / svetikd Sweating under a mask This is how our nasal mucosa works

Our nasal mucous membranes take on a variety of functions. They clean, humidify and warm the air you breathe. The mucous membranes always produce a secretion, even without a cold, in order to flush out foreign bodies and protect the sensitive mucous membranes from drying out.

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When it is cold, the blood vessels in the turbinate expand so that more heat is emitted and the air is warmed up. So it doesn't arrive in our lungs freezing cold. When we come from the cold to the warm, our nasal concha swell again and the excess secretion runs off. Our nose starts to drip.

It often happens in winter, for example, that our nose starts running as soon as we come into the warm office from outside and we first reach for the handkerchief (even without a cold!).

When to pay attention to a mask cold

If you have a runny nose and the cold lasts longer, you should be careful. It could be more than a natural body reaction. This is an alarm signal, especially if the secreted mucus turns yellowish-green in color or becomes viscous. In this case, you should definitely reduce your social contacts and consult a doctor in order to rule out a corona infection and not endanger anyone.

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Mouth and nose protection: That's why the nose runs The corona mask changes the nasal climate

If we pull the mask on, the air between the mask and face is warmed up quickly, especially compared to the cooler air outside. That may hardly be noticeable at first, but even 5-10 degrees Celsius makes a difference here. When the air is warmer, the blood vessels in the mucous membrane contract. The excessive secretion runs down the throat and nose. So that's a natural reaction.

In addition, there is another effect that favors this: The air inhaled in the mask is quite humid, which should actually lead to less secretion being produced. However, we also quickly breathe in some dust and microscopic particles of the mask, which can irritate our mucous membrane. This reacts with secretion production to foreign bodies and in extreme cases even with the urge to sneeze.

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The increased resistance when breathing with a face mask can also lead to more secretion.

As a rule, the effect disappears after a few minutes when we touch each other are used to the mask and the changed conditions in the mask environment and the secretion has expired. If our nose runs under the protective mask, this is not an indication of an allergy, but rather the function of our nose.

What can I do if my nose is running in the mask?

Of course, you shouldn't take off your mask in the supermarket to blow your nose extensively. This could - if you are really infected with the coronavirus - unnecessarily endanger other people. Put on the mask a few minutes before you go to the supermarket or other enclosed space so that your nose can get used to the conditions in the mask. If you then notice that your nose is starting to run, take the mask off again briefly outside and clean your nose. Keep in mind that you may have secretions on your hands - even without noticing it. That's why you should disinfect your hands afterwards and dispose of the handkerchief safely. Then you can put the mask back on.

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If you are on the road for a long time and permanently suffer from a moderately runny nose, it is advisable to pack a replacement mask so that your mask does not become soaked with the secretion. Not only is this uncomfortable for you, it is also unhygienic.

Even if it sounds less chic and not very ladylike: the masks have to be washed or changed anyway after they have been worn once. That is why the motto is sometimes, as long as it is not flash floods, just let your nose run - after all, you usually only wear the mask for a short time.

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