Popping noise in nose
February 22, 2005 1:37 PM   Subscribe

For the past two days, I've heard and felt repeated popping noises/sensations in my nose, sort of like I shoved some pop rocks up there (I didn't) . Yesterday, they were distracting; today, they are slightly painful and coupled with a miserable sinus headache. What the hell's going on up there?

My apologies if Google has the answer, but "popping sensation nose" was turning up some scary results.
posted by bibliowench to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try a sinus rinse. Warm salt water will work. Or try the NeilMed solutions. My wife swears by the NeilMeds. She used to get a few sinus infections a year, until she started using the rinses regularly. Good luck.
posted by terrapin at 1:52 PM on February 22, 2005

That's fascinating, and I have no firsthand experience with that, but this claims that popping and clicking noises in your noise and ears are common when dealing with allergies.
posted by occhiblu at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2005

Best answer: I have this problem on a sort of ongoing basis. I've always assumed it had to do with air bubbles working their way through the mucus in my sinuses either to get out my nose or into my air passages the back way. It feels like little air bubbles squicking around there or something sticking and unsticking itself over and over.

When I complained to my doc about this he said 1) use a nasal rinse. I think I use one called Ocean or something. There's no medicine in it, it's just shooting saline solution into your nose to keep all the gunk moist and flowing and 2) use Flonase if you're having trouble sleeping at night.

The Flonase is fine [but expensive] if the noises are keeping me up, which happens rarely, but the rest of the time I just use the nasal spray religiously. You can make your own nasal spray if you want, some people go all out and use a Neti pot, some just use the sprayers you can get at the drug store.
posted by jessamyn at 2:13 PM on February 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

I'm a fan of the neti pot, mentioned above. I used to use it every day, which helped relieve a lot of sinus headaches, ear infections, and allergies. Lately I only use it when I'm feeling stuffy. The concept of pouring warm salt water through the sinus cavity sounds weird and feels odd at first, but once you relax and get used to it, it can be very soothing.

Some tips, if you should try a neti pot:

- breathe only through your mouth. Sounds obvious, but needs to be said because it can be an involuntary reaction.

- use only sea salt, not table salt. Iodine up the nose won't help your sinuses.

- I use a little bit of baking powder in the mix when my allergies are bad, as recommended by my cousin's doctor.

- the idea is to get the mixture the temperature and salinity of blood, that way you won't feel it as much. It helps to play around with ratios till you find what works for you.
posted by j3s at 2:42 PM on February 22, 2005

My ongoing problem as described was solved (at least for now) through sinus surgery. It was awful -- he removed a bunch of tissue (in the form of polyps) from my sinuses and the recovery was hell. For the first two weeks I thought it was very much *not* worth the pain. Now, six months later, it's wonderful. I'd honestly forgotten how pleasant it can be to breathe effortlessly through my nose.

Which still goes away if I don't take my nasal steroid (like Flonase, I believe. I personally use Nasacort) every day. Sadly, my doctor informed me that in serious cases like mine, I'll likely be back within seven years for another equally unpleasant surgery. The best answer (according to my doc) is the steroid. Every day. So I take it, every day. A neti pot might be fine, but I'm banking on the wonders of modern medicine to keep me away from the knife as long as possible.
posted by terceiro at 8:26 PM on February 22, 2005

Holy shit! My nasal cavity makes that noise, too. I opened my mouth and looked in the mirror when it was happening once, and the whole top of my mouth was moving up and down involuntarily because of pressure. My doctor was like, "Weird. Get tested for allergies." I can't convince people that I am not doing it on purpose. I did notice, however, if I can keep my mouth closed, the frequency slows down and the volume decreases. Sometimes that's impossible, though, because it's usually accompanied by a stuffy nose. It's also accompanied by a mounting pressure in my face and the sensation that my face might actually pop off and fly across the room leaving a trail of hot, glowing mucus.

I can't wait to pour salt water up my nose- it's gonna be awesome!

What? Your mucus doesn't glow?
posted by jessicool at 11:19 PM on February 22, 2005

I have awful allergies and have found the only thing that helps with the pain and the popping is the nasal spray - I can not take my allergy medication for over a week and be fine, as long as I use the spray. The steriod keeps the inflammation down in the sinus passages, so the mucus can actually flow, releasing the pressure that is causing the pain. I use it twice a day when I am really stuffed up. The spray has to be used daily for it to work correctly, though. You can't use it a couple of days here and there and expect to feel better, it has to build up in your system and stay that way. If you have prescription coverage, this is the way to go...
posted by blackkar at 7:58 AM on February 23, 2005

I use a little bit of baking powder in the mix when my allergies are bad

Oops, meant to say baking soda, not powder.
posted by j3s at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2005

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