health nose

Your nose can give you important clues if something is going on in the rest of your body, so pay attention to your symptoms and talk to your doctor about any concerns.

Your nose is an important part of your face, warning you when you are about to step in something nasty or alerting you to nearby donuts. Of course, like most of your body parts, your nose can be more than meets the eye.

When your nose seems to be working overtime or going haywire, it’s hard not to take notice. A nose that is leaking like a faucet or turning red every time you go out in the sun could be embarrassing. Sometimes a simple nose problem could be a sign of something more, so keep an eye out for these symptoms.

Sneezing

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that an itching nose and lots of sneezing are probably allergy symptoms. But while allergies may seem like a simple issue, they can cause severe problems for some people. If you live with hay fever, you might experience itchy eyes and nose, sneezing and a runny nose. People with more severe symptoms could have trouble sleeping and disruption in school, sports and other social functions.

Bloody nose

Nosebleeds are a common malady and are usually no cause for concern. However, some nosebleeds need medical attention and could even be a sign of a bleeding disorder. People who take blood thinners can end up with a bloody nose that won’t stop and can experience significant blood loss. See a doctor for a nosebleed that occurs after head trauma or if you become dizzy.

“Everybody gets nosebleeds now and then, and they can often look worse than they are,” says Eric VanWalleghem, administrator at Siena Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “A good rule of thumb is to see a doctor for a heavy nosebleed that won’t stop after 15 minutes.”

Red nose

A red nose and rosy cheeks can make for a jolly complexion, and they can also be a sign of rosacea. Weather conditions, exercise, hot drinks and stress can make this condition flare up, causing redness, acne and even bumpy or thickened skin. Rosacea can be treated with medication or lasers, or it could require surgery if the skin becomes thick and uncomfortable.

Loss of smell

If you’ve had a cold before, you have probably experienced a temporary loss of your sense of smell. Temporary loss of smell is pretty common, and losing some smell can occur with age. Rarely, losing some or all of the ability to smell could be a sign of another problem. Talk to your doctor to rule out nasal polyps or any diseases that can affect smell, such as Parkinson’s, dementia or other conditions.

Funny smells

If you start smelling strange odors that aren’t there, you might wish you were losing your sense of smell altogether. Although there is no good treatment available for people who smell phantom odors, they should still address the problem with their doctor. In some cases, the condition could be a sign of head trauma, seizures and other disorders.

Colorful boogers

Antibiotics won’t do anything for you if you are suffering from a cold. But if your cold progresses to the point that your snot is extra gross and green, you might have developed a sinus infection. Visit your doctor if you have yellow or green mucus for more than a week.

Most of the time, issues with your nose are minor. You shouldn’t worry every time your nose bleeds or you have more than your fair share of boogers. But your nose can give you important clues if something is going on in the rest of your body, so pay attention to your symptoms and talk to your doctor about any concerns.

Dr. Amy Osmond Cook is a health care technology consultant and VP of marketing at Simplus, a Platinum Salesforce Partner.