Jun 24, 2015

Cleaning Your Air Filter

A few days ago I was sitting in my car and I happen to notice that on the drivers side in the area between the seat and the door on the carpet there seemed to be a lot of green flakes of something. It took me only a second to realize that these are probably the dried out remnants of all the times that I have been in my car and picked my nose and wiped it on the side of the seat. Then later after it was dried out and I would scratch it off of the fabric of the seat so that the seat was clean of any evidence. And the seat does look totally normal. If you looked at the things on the floor of the car there they look like flakes of semi-transparent green paper or something. You probably would never have guessed what they were. So I should clean this up for sure, but it got me thinking about this habit of mine that I have had for a long time.

I can remember picking my nose as far back as the 4th grade. In elementary school we had those hard wooden chairs and when I felt the need to clear my nasal passages I would--after making sure no one saw--wipe the blob of green semi solid material on the underside of my chair. So I have had this habit for a while and I am now thinking about why I continue to do it. Certainly as kids we are always told not to pick our nose. I tell my kids this too. I think probably it is more about how it looks and the perception--probably not incorrect--of being dirty. Of course some would say you should just simply use a tissue and blow your nose instead. This works when you actually have a cold and your sinuses are filled with mucus, but many times I find that the finger is a much better tool for getting the job done. Especially when the nail is just the right length so that you can scrape the walls of the nasal passages.

The thing that I think has kept me doing it over the years is that despite the seeming dirtiness of it, I find that it really does help me to breath better. Maybe it is just a perception and not really happening because it doesn't seem that such small things could make a large difference, but I often feel after removing an average sized bit of material from my nose that my next few breaths are noticeably better. The airflow through the nose is increased and perhaps cleaner. I am able to get a deeper, fuller lung full of air. The nose as a filter has been cleaned and now it can do its job. I also justify my continuance in this habit by telling myself that by cleaning the filter of my nose I am helping to keep it in higher operating efficiency which further promotes overall health.

You will be sick less often and breathe better if you learn to clean your nose at least once a day.

Maybe I should try to end this habit. Maybe I should consider what steps would be needed to reach that goal.

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