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The Eyes Have It - An Intimate Connection with the Nose

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The tear duct (nasolacrimal duct) drains tears from the eyes and empties those tears under the lowest turbinate. This is why crying often results in nasal discharge. This also explains why nasal washing is done incorrectly can push the solution up and out through the tear ducts. This pathway may contribute to allergens entering the eyes, draining into the nose and causing allergic symptoms in the nose. There is also evidence that there may be backward (retrograde) flow from the nose back up into the eyes as well. For example, if you’re wearing goggles but are exposed to outdoor pollen, you might develop itchy eyes. The pollen has entered the nose but because of the retrograde movement of the pollen, the eyes may itch. This is another example of how the individual parts of our facial anatomy are all connected.



It’s All Connected
  • We breathe 10,000 liters of air per day through the nose.

  • We produce one pint to one quart of mucus per day.

  • We have 8-10,000 taste buds in the tongue.

  • We have 100 million olfactory neurons.

  • Cilia beat 700-800 beats per minute.

  • Cilia beat 17% more effectively after washing with hypertonic saline.

  • Normal pH of nasal mucus in adults is 5.5-6.5.

  • Normal pH of nasal mucus in infants and children is 5.0-6.7.

  • Best pH to foster excess mucus clearance is 6.9-9.5.

  • Buffering with sodium bicarbonate improves the ow of mucus.

  • Buffering is beneficial for both hypertonic and isotonic solutions.

  • 60 million Americans suer from allergies.

  • 80% of infections of the ear and sinus will resolve with nasal washing alone.

  • Sinus opening allowing mucus to drain is less than 1/4 inch.

Excerpt from "Clearing The Air One Nose at a Time: Caring for Your Personal Filter" by Hana R. Solomon MD, 2013"

References:
Li, C.-L., Lin, H.-C., Lin, C.-Y., & Hsu, T.-F. (2019, January 9). Effectiveness of Hypertonic Saline Nasal Irrigation for Alleviating Allergic Rhinitis in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of clinical medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6352...
Gordon, S. (2020, November 18). Nasal Saline Rinses Reduce Ear Infections in Kids
. HealthDay. https://consumer.healthday.com/respiratory-and-al...