Body Language Snuffling and Snorting

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April 07, 2010

What it means: You're congested. The noises are typically the result of mucus in your nose that's blocking the flow of air.

What to do: Flushing with a saline rinse can clear excess mucus that comes with a common cold or seasonal allergies. Several brands of saline rinse are available at drugstores, or mix up your own with 8 ounces warm water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Put half of the solution in each nostril using a syringe or nasal-spray bottle; it will flow out the opposite nostril. Repeat on the other side, then blow your nose.

When to seek help: See a doctor if your snuffling is accompanied by bleeding or you notice yellow-green drainage on your tissue, or if the congestion gets worse rather than better after five days, lasts more than 10 days or is accompanied by headache or facial pain. You could have a sinus infection, which is typically is treated with an antibiotic.

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