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Dr. John: Skier's nose, snoring

10:54 AM, Nov 27, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to mornings@9news.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.

Question #1
Dear Dr. John, My husband told me about a segment on today's news about a condition called "skier's nose," and an otc treatment for it. I have not been able to find any information on the 9news website about this and wondered if you could tell me the product that is used to treat it. My understanding is that "skier's nose" is, basically, nosebleeds caused by the dry climate of Colorado. Thank you for any information you can share or that would point me in the right direction. Helen

Answer
It's not something any of us enjoy but skier's nose is that condition where our nose starts running like a faucet once we hit the slopes. Sneezing and itchiness can also start kicking in. It happens even more often in people from out of town. If these sound like allergy symptoms it's because they are. The condition is called cold induced rhinorrhea which means allergic symptoms related to the cold weather. Although it's not an allergy like most of us think of, it's symptoms are very similar. Mix that in with exercise induced rhinorrhea, or allergy symptoms due to exerting ourselves, and you have a day of nose blowing and sneezing. So the treatment is basically the same we'd use in the middle of summer. Over the counter allergy medications can help but need to be taken before hitting the slopes. If conditions are really bad prescription nasal sprays might be needed. As for the nose bleed part of visiting Colorado, this is mainly due to our dry climate. Nasal saline rinse during the day and humidifiers at night can help keep that from happening.

Question #2
Hi Doctor John, I have a question for you and here it is: What causes you to snore and what is really happening when you snore? Brendan

Answer
If you notice that your favorite family member, who's visiting for the holidays, is snoring their head off it's because of the way the air is flowing, or more precisely not flowing , though their upper airway. Snoring happens when that airflow get's disrupted, usually because the tongue, palate and soft tissue in the back of the throat temporarily collapse. The loud classic snoring sounds come from that soft tissue vibrating back and forth letting air in or out. Snoring happens more often if someone is overweight, has nose problems to begin with or has consumed too much alcohol. Snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious health problem. If snoring is an issue you should get it checked out to see if it is sleep apnea and to find out what can be done to help everyone in the house sleep better.

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