Why do my boogers smell like feet

Ozäna - what's behind the “stinky nose” phenomenon?

By Christian Glass | February 21, 2021, 5:47 p.m.

Anyone who suffers from a so-called stinkase is primarily a burden on their environment. Because an unpleasant odor emanates from the olfactory organ. The nasty thing about it: Those affected usually don't even notice it themselves. FITBOOK spoke to an expert about what is behind the disease.

Stinky nose? It may sound strange, but it is certainly not fun for those affected. Because behind the strange-seeming term there is an unpleasant disease of the nose. Typical characteristic: a putrid smell escaping from the olfactory organ.

What is a smelly nose anyway?

In an Ozäna, as the stinky nose is technically called, the nasal mucous membrane recedes. There is strong incrustation in the interior of the nose. As a result, green-yellow crusts form, which can clog the nose and make breathing difficult. Sometimes the crusts even hang from the back of the nose and fall uncomfortably into the throat. Bacteria settle in the diseased olfactory organ and produce a slimy coating. And it is this topping that gives off the rather bad smell. The mean thing: Those affected usually do not notice that they stink from their noses - but their fellow human beings even more so.

Primary and secondary smelly nose

In the "Primary smelly nose" In addition to the nasal mucosa, blood vessels and mucus-producing nasal glands also recede. Sometimes the bony part of the turbinates in the nasal cavity also atrophies. Primarily women and younger people suffer from a primary smelly nose. The researchers do not yet know exactly why, but they suspect that the primary ocean is geological.

The other form of the disease is that "Secondary smelly nose". It occurs when the mucous membranes are injured or dehydrated. "However, it is very rare in Germany that this happens as a result of an infection," says Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Deitmer, Secretary General of the German Society for Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery in conversation with FITBOOK.

Ozena due to the lack of turbinates

The cause of a smelly nose is usually an injury to the mucous membranes. For example after an accident, a tumor disease or after radiation therapy. Prof. Deitmer explains: “Ozone can occur as a result of a tumor operation in the nasal area. For example, when the turbinates have to be removed. ”These are a kind of air conditioning system for the nose and warm and humidify the incoming air, continues Prof. Deitmer. If the turbinates are missing, the nasal mucous membrane will dry out and the bacterial coating will form.

Danger: Years of abuse of nasal sprays and drops, which swell the nasal mucosa, can also cause a smelly nose. However, Prof. Deitmer gives the all-clear for boogling: "Even intensive drilling in the nose does not cause a smelly nose."

It doesn't always have to be Ozena

The diagnosis does not always have to be “stinky nose” when it smells from the nose. Connected with a slimy secretion, there can also be a purulent sinus inflammation behind it. The suppuration of a tooth root or an infection with a nasal fungus is also possible.

Why don't those affected smell their smelly nose?

“The disease attacks the olfactory nerves in the nose. This leads to impairment or loss of the sense of smell, ”explains Prof. Deitmer. The sense of taste, which is partly conveyed through smelling, can then be impaired. “The fine taste is actually a smell. Strictly speaking, only sweet, sour, salty and bitter are tasted. "

If someone has a smelly nose, he often also suffers from social isolation. Because family members, friends or work colleagues avoid those affected - at first they don't even know why. As a result, a depressive illness threatens.

In order to break the vicious circle, it is important to make it clear to those affected that their nose smells unpleasant. It is best if the person concerned should be examined and treated by an ENT doctor as soon as possible.

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How do I know if I have a smelly nose?

Although the nasal cavity enlarges as a result of the receding nasal mucosa, those affected often have the feeling that they can barely breathe through their nose. Reason: Normal noses pull and push the breath in and out uniformly. In the case of an Ozena, however, the air flow is diffuse and swirled due to the larger nasal cavity. Prof. Deitmer: “We also notice that nasal breathing is good because moisture evaporates in the nose when we breathe in, thereby cooling the mucous membrane. If the nose is dry, nothing can evaporate and there is no noticeable cooling. "

Sick people often also suffer from headache and nose pain or feel pressure in the head. Sometimes there is also a nosebleed. More often, a purulent secretion runs from the nose, accompanied by crusted crusts. At the latest, when you can no longer smell properly, you should urgently consult an ENT doctor.

Also interesting: don't put your head back! What really helps with nosebleeds

How can a smelly nose be treated?

In most cases, a smelly nose cannot be completely cured. However, the uncomfortable symptoms can be treated. The nasal mucosa should be kept moist, for example with a nasal oil or a spray with mineral salts. Inhaling and rinsing with salt water can also help moisten and cleanse the mucous membranes.

A problem that often occurs in the cold season is too low indoor humidity.

Drinking enough water - two to three liters of water a day - also keeps the mucous membranes moist. In order to promote the regeneration of the nasal mucous membranes, patients can take supplements with vitamins A and E and zinc in addition to normal food.

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