Julie Rehmeyer's 'Through the Shadowlands'
Writer Never Give Up talks about Julie Rehmeyer's new book "Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand" and shares an interview with Julie ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Is anyone knowledgable about the nose/mucus? My OCD issue....

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by CAcfs, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    So, I have an issue, and I know it is OCD-related. But honestly, I don't know the facts either, and I'm hoping if anyone can answer these questions then it would help me reason through this (though I'm going to look online too, so far it's a little tough to find the info I'm looking for). So if you want to humor me, great. :) And I just need to "work through this"...

    So, everynight, after I brush my teeth, I bring the water up to my nose with my hands (cupped) and kind of halfway suck it up my nose, then exhale, and I do this repeatedly. If you do this to each side, repeatedly, it eventually loosens whatever mucus is in the nose, then you can blow it out with a tissue. I started doing it just as a way to unclog my nose, or maybe I started doing it on accident (accidentally getting water up my nose while washing my face, then realizing it unclogged my nose of all mucus and that felt good).

    At any rate, now I do it every night, and it has turned into this loooonnng process (splash each nostril about 20 times?) that I want to stop, because hunching over the sink is painful on my back, and it does take time that I could be sleeping. I splash my face over and over until I feel both nostrils are perfect, then I blow my nose. But the problem is, I am sooo used to doing this, that now I am afraid to go to bed without my nostrils free of every speck of mucus...it feels weird to me now, and I feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen. Is that strange? :(

    So tonight, I decided not to do it at all (but I hate it, read on...). Honestly, I do think the process of brushing my teeth forms some mucus in the nasal area-just having the mouth open like that, or maybe its the toothpaste and the drooling? I dunno. :( So of course my nose does feel more clogged than normal, though I can breathe through it fine without opening my mouth. However, I feel it's only getting about 50% of the air through that I'd be getting if the nose was perfectly clear.

    So I'm wondering.....do most people go to bed with noses partially mucus-y (not loose mucus that blows out, but just some mucus way up there)? The feeling of clear nasal passages is just that.....VERY clear-feeling. I miss that feeling. If I try to blow my nose, nothing would come out, because what is in there is pretty far up there and not really "loose" or "runny." But it is blocking my breathing vs a totally clear nose. However, is that a bad thing? That is my main question.

    I am not sure if I worry/worried about this (especially in the beginning; now its habit) because my body feels intuitively that I'm not getting good oxygen and something doesn't feel right? Or if everyone feels like this, and I have just taught myself that that is not normal? Thoughts?

    Do you all normally feel more clogged or mucus-y after brushing your teeth? Also, I've stopped brushing in the morning, especially a deep brush that goes to the back molars, to avoid this drama, but also to save energy. If I do a light brush, I don't get more mucus. So sometimes I wonder if it is actually a gag reflex kicking in? Because more mucus starts to form, the further back in my mouth I brush. Then the feeling of fullness goes up to my nose. I don't know if THAT is normal? Maybe I do have something unusual going on?

    And I'm afraid to ask my ENT doctor, because I don't need them to think I"m crazy....they are helping me out with my apnea surgery!
  2. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    So, I have thought more about this, since typing.

    I think part of the problem is that the act of brushing my teeth causes more mucus to form. Anyone else have this???

    And I think I am responding to that with extreme measures (or maybe just doing what a person would do, when confronted with a lot of extra mucus). Maybe I should just let it drip down the back of my throat. But I do still get the sense that my nose isn't quite clear. Is a clear nose something that regulates itself? Maybe brushing my teeth is inflamming the nose?
  3. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    Okay, I am reading online this might not be just me. I am going to try brushing with only water for awhile and see what happens. Because the curious thing is, if I don't brush my teeth before bed, I don't feel the need to get rid of extra mucus. And the only time I can brush my teeth and not clear my nose is when I use only water with a toothbrush. I really think brushing my teeth is causing this. Look at two posts I found. I have both problems, exactly as described:

    I thought I was going crazy! I would get instant mucous to the point of gagging from any toothpaste I tried. It would cover my tongue and I couldn't get it off... I know really gross! I finally decided that it had to be some ingredient in the paste but couldn't find a toothpaste (even Toms and baking soda) that didn't create the same response. I am relegated to brushing with water and once every couple of days I will brush with a mouth rinse, but even that causes the same response. Unlike other posters I have no dermal rash, etc. Tonight I was snuggling my son as he went to sleep, he apologized for the mucous he was trying to clear from his throat... I had asked what he had eaten recently- he replied nothing. So I now realize my son has the same problem just not to the degree I have. I am grateful to this site, even though there are no others with the same problem, because at least I am not alone.
    September 29, 2008 6:33 AM
    Anonymous said...
    I have been experiencing flaking on by bottom lip and the lower part of my top lip for quite some time now. I figured out it was my toothpaste a while ago, but didn't know what to do about it because I grew up with this brand and don't like any of the other brands. I resorted to brushing with my head hanging back, but that was short lived. Brushing without toothpaste never even crossed my mind, I thought it would be very unhealthy for your teeth, but this site has made me think twice and I'm excited to try it. I'm hoping to get my old lips back.
  4. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    Still though, I am wondering if some mucus in the nose is "safe"? because I do wanna ignore it and move on....I can't be in the bathroom splashing over and over every night..... :( Sigh. I will update if getting rid of toothpaste in all forms helps. Honestly, even when I brush with baking soda i get this. It's like my throat/nose hate having something rubbed back there.
  5. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

    australia (brisbane)
    My eyes starting watering when i started reading how u rinse your nose. Reminded me of when i was a kid and doing somersaults in the pool and get water up my nose, felt yuk.

    We are basically immune suppressed so i think many of us have a certain degree on constant sinus infections going on. Staph infections are common cause of sinusitis especially in cfs because everyone has a certain amount of staph bacteria up there but healthy immune systems keep it under control. Maybe what your doing is helping keep these staph bacteria down?? I will say that normal tap water isnt really good for your nose, probably should be flushing it with a .9% saline, straight water can irritate the sinuses too. The urge to clear your throat can be post nasal drip, which is basically snot dripping out of the sinuses down the back of the throat and is another sign of a sinus infection. headaches and waking up with headaches is also a classic sign of sinus problems, many people get severe pain in the forehead which is from the fronntal sinuses, other sinuses can cause facial pain and even toothaches.

    It might be worth getting your doc to look into it further.

  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    Its funny but this topic is like when someone talks of itching... many of those who read those then start itching too. Your post reading it made me feel like my nose was blocked. (my nose thou is actually how it usually is.. its nearly clear but your post brought my mind to it and hence suddenly then it was more of an issue to me.. I started attempting to sniff etc).

    I suggest to sprinkle some salt onto your tooth brush and try brushing with that... (if its too tough use a prestle and mortar to ground it more). A drop or two of peppermint oil can be added to it too (this can be all stored and used when needed).

    Your OCD is probably making your nose seem to be more of an issue then it is.. (its like that itch example.. the more you think of it.. the more annoying it can be).
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Have you ever tried neti — a technique from yoga in which you clean out your nasal cavity and sinus cavities using slightly salty warm water? If not, search YouTube for neti, and you will see the technique demonstrated.
  8. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

    New Mexico
    To keep things simple and answer your question ......Yes it is safe that you have some mucus in your nose............it might not feel comfortable to you anymore.....but it is safe.
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

    I have some mucous in my nose every night. I think it's certainly possible that a bit more air would get through with fully clear nasal passages, but it's definitely not a serious concern even if you were a little bit stuffed up. You would be okay, and don't need to worry (though I acknowledge that OCD involvement would make that very hard to let go of).

    I was wondering if you'd tried a neti pot too. Might be easier/faster for you if you wanted to continue cleaning them.

    It sounds like one of those things were once you get used to having them one way, anything else begins to feel uncomfortable until you adjust to the change. Like when you suddenly pay attention to your bra strap, or your socks confining your feet, etc.
  10. alice

    alice Senior Member

    No. CA, USA
    I have had a stuffy nose as well for a long time- mostly all the time and especially during the night. I was diagnosed with an infection high in my nasal cavity and doctor said to use NeilMed Sinus Rinse available in drug store. Instead of the Neti Pot I used the bottle which can be bought with the set. I used it for quite awhile and although it did not clear up the stuffiness/infection, I do think it is a good idea to do this every night..

    A word of caution though in using tap water. This article appeared in several news articles recently. So best to use distilled or boiled water for nasal irrigation.


    Neti pot danger? Two die from amoeba infection
    December 20, 2011|By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots

    " Two people in Louisiana became sick and died after using
    amoeba-infested tap water to irrigate their nasal passages, officials said.
    Generally, using a neti pot or other nasal wash devices is safe, physicians

    Last week, Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals issued a warning
    to residents: Don't use tap water to rinse your nasal passages.

    The warning came after a 51-year-old woman in the state died after she was
    infected with the "brain-eating" amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which enters the
    body through the nose and sometimes causes devastating meningitis.
    Apparently, the amoeba lurked in tap water the woman used in her neti pot, a
    pitcher-like device used to rinse nasal passages.
    "Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose,"
    Louisiana's state epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard, said in a statement.
    He urged those who want to rinse their sinuses to use distilled, sterile or
    previously boiled water, and to rinse their neti pot (or other irrigation
    device) after each use and allow it to air dry.

    If you're anything like me and have always used tap water to rinse your
    sinuses, the warning is a bit scary. Naegleria fowleri infection is very
    rare -- only 32 people in the U.S. were affected between 2000 and 2010, the
    Louisiana warning noted -- but it's also very deadly, causing the
    destruction of brain tissue and usually death within a couple of weeks.
    (Earlier this year, Booster Shots reported on a young woman in Florida who
    contracted the amoeba infection after swimming in a river.)

    We spoke to Dr. Otto Yang, associate chief of the division of infectious
    diseases at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, for more information on the

    People can get meningitis from Naegleria -- which lives in freshwater in
    warm places, such as the southern U.S. -- when the organism manages to get
    past a thin part of the skull behind the nose called the cribiform plate,
    and thus is able to enter the fluid behind the brain. Most of the time, this
    happens when people go swimming in lakes and ponds and get water up their

    Naegleria "is generally harmless when ingested by mouth, so [the
    Louisianans] got it because it was pushed directly into the area behind the
    nose close to the brain," Yang said of the woman and a 20-year-old man who
    apparently died the same way in June. Yang said he believed that these to
    be the first reported cases of transmission through tap water.

    Like the Louisiana health officials, Yang said it's probably "best to use
    distilled or boiled water to play it safe," when rinsing the sinuses. But,
    he emphasized, Naegleria fowleri "is generally a very rare infection."

    Be sure to always used distilled or boiled water for the neti pot or nasal


See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page