Ear, Nose and Throat
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Know Your Nose

Do you know why your nose runs in the winter, or why you sneeze when you look at the sun? Take this quiz and test your nose IQ.

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Know Your Nose
Know Your Nose
Question 1 of 20 Correct

Why does your nose run in the winter?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Your nose runs because cold weather paralyzes the small hairs inside it, called cilia. When the cilia can't beat fast enough, sinus secretions drain down with gravity, causing your nose to run.

Know Your Nose
Question 2 of 20 Correct

What percentage of the population sneezes when looking at the sun?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Approximately 10 to 25 percent of the population has the photic sneeze reflex, which causes you to sneeze when you look at the sun. This genetic trait is thought to occur due to an accidental crossing of the third-nerve signals in your brain. If you have a parent who's a sun sneezer, you have a 50 percent chance of being one as well.

Know Your Nose
Question 3 of 20 Correct

True or false: Some people sneeze when they pluck their eyebrows.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Plucking hair from your eyebrows stimulates a nearby branch of the nerve that services your nasal passages. This can trigger the process that causes you to sneeze.

Know Your Nose
Question 4 of 20 Correct

True or false: It's safe to hold in a sneeze.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. The air expelled by sneezes travels up to 100 miles per hour, so holding in a sneeze could potentially cause fractures in the nasal cartilage, nosebleeds, burst eardrums, hearing loss and vertigo.

Know Your Nose
Question 5 of 20 Correct

Why should you never yank out nose hairs?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: It may be tempting to pull nose hairs, but doing so can lead to infections from traumatized hair follicles in the nose. Worse, the area from the bridge of the nose to the corner of the mouth is called the "triangle of death" because infections here drain into the brain and can cause a clot in the cavernous sinus. If you need to remove nasal hair, use a specialized nose-hair clipper or consider laser hair removal.

Know Your Nose
Question 6 of 20 Correct

When are nosebleeds particularly a cause for concern?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Nosebleeds from the back of the nose present the most cause for concern. That's because you can't compress this kind of nosebleed. If you're bleeding from the front of the nose you can simply squeeze your nose and lean your head back. You'll actually be able to cut off the blood supply to the nose so it doesn't bleed much.

Know Your Nose
Question 7 of 20 Correct

What is the most common cause of a bloody nose?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Nosepicking is the most common cause of a bloody nose.

Know Your Nose
Question 8 of 20 Correct

True or false: It's harmless (if unsightly) to pick your nose.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Picking your nose can traumatize the opening of the airway that allows viruses and bacteria to enter, making infection more likely.

Know Your Nose
Question 9 of 20 Correct

How can you tell if a runny nose is caused by a cold?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: The mucus produced by a cold-induced runny nose is typically thick and may turn yellow or green.

Know Your Nose
Question 10 of 20 Correct

Smoking can trigger which of the following nose-related issues?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. While cigarette smoking may not directly cause a specific nose disorder, it irritates the lining of the nasal passages, which can increase the likelihood and severity of congestion, runny nose and sinusitis, and may also trigger asthma.

Know Your Nose
Question 11 of 20 Correct

Which of the following is a symptom of a sinus infection (sinusitis)?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above are symptoms of a sinus infection. Your sinuses are located on both sides of your nose and around your eyes. They are hollow cavities lined with cilia and mucous membranes, much like your nose. Narrow passageways connect your sinuses to your nose so that mucus can drain out freely. But if those passages become blocked, usually a result of swelling from allergies or a virus, bacteria can become trapped and develop into an infection.

Know Your Nose
Question 12 of 20 Correct

True or false: It's typically better to breathe through your nose.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. In general, it's far better to breathe through your nose. Not only does the nose warm and moisturize the incoming air, but it directs and pulls more oxygen into the lower lobes of the lungs where there's greater potential for oxygen exchange. There is also evidence that breathing through your nose can help prevent infections and colds.

Know Your Nose
Question 13 of 20 Correct

True or false: Your sense of taste is not connected to how well your nose is functioning.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Whereas taste is dependent on your taste buds, not your nose, your ability to distinguish flavors comes from your sense of smell. Nasal polyps, tumors, congestion and allergies can all affect how well you smell, and therefore, how well you taste.

Know Your Nose
Question 14 of 20 Correct

How can you tell if a runny nose is caused by allergies?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Allergies can cause a stuffy or a runny nose, often accompanied by itchy, watery eyes. A runny nose caused by allergies generally produces a thin, clear discharge, and lots of it.

Know Your Nose
Question 15 of 20 Correct

True or false: Sneezing can cause a urine leak.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. That's because the intense force of a sneeze puts pressure on the bladder. If the muscles that control the bladder have weakened, that force may cause a person to leak urine.

Know Your Nose
Question 16 of 20 Correct

Which of the following can cause postnasal drip?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above can cause postnasal drip. This occurs if thick mucus accumulates in the back of the nose. One way to treat postnasal drip is to use a saline nose spray to loosen the mucus. Another option is to fill a basin with hot water and inhale the air just above the surface.

Know Your Nose
Question 17 of 20 Correct

What is the best way to cover a sneeze?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: The best way to cover a sneeze is to sneeze into the crook of your elbow. This is the most effective way to decrease the transmission of germs due to sneezing.

Know Your Nose
Question 18 of 20 Correct

What type of tea works best to combat a runny nose?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: If you have a runny nose, try sipping tea with ginger in it. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it works well to help prevent the buildup of mucus.

Know Your Nose
Question 19 of 20 Correct

Which of the following medications can cause congestion?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. Some medications contribute to nasal congestion because they either dry out the nose or increase blood flow to the mucous membrane, causing it to swell up. Other medications that can cause congestion are beta blockers, antianxiety medications and erectile dysfunction medications.

Know Your Nose
Question 20 of 20 Correct

Which of the following should you consider avoiding if you suffer from nasal allergies?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Allergy sufferers may feel a little better if they choose the virgin daiquiri instead of the one with alcohol. In an eight-year study, women who drank 14 or more alcoholic beverages per week were much more likely to develop year-round nasal allergies than women who had less than one drink per week. The theory is that alcohol may make allergy symptoms worse.

Know Your Nose
Congratulations!

You got out of 20 correct. You're a health wiz!

Know Your Nose
Good try!

You got out of 20 correct. Learn more about Ear, Nose and Throat to improve your score.

Know Your Nose
Better luck next time!

You got out of 20 correct. Learn more about Ear, Nose and Throat to improve your score.

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