Why Do Noses Get Clogged When Crying? - NY Sinus Center

When it all ends in tears…

having a good cry

Having a good cry can make your nose stuffy

Crying can be a reaction to so many things. Weddings, funerals, a good movie…tears can be the all-around, all-purpose emotional response. Now, having a good cry can be a wonderful feeling. But what is not so wonderful? The stuffy, drippy nose that accompanies it. Why do noses get clogged when crying?

Here’s why…

the lateral wall of your nose (that is, the part up against your face), has three turbinates: inferior, middle, and superior. Each turbinate is a long, curling bone shelf shaped like sea-shell (which explains why turbinates are also called nasal concha). The turbinates divide your airway into separate grooves or passages, which allows the air you breathe to flow smoothly, and to become properly humidified before going through your ostia—the entrances to your sinuses.

The inferior turbinate is the largest of the turbinates, and can be as large as an index finger. It runs parallel to the floor of your nose. In between this turbinate and the floor of the nasal cavity is the inferior meatus. When you cry, some of the tears run down your face. But some of them drain from the lacrimal sac, up near your eyes, down the nasolacrimal duct to the inferior meatus. In the inferior meatus, the tears mix with the mucus that your sinuses produce, giving you a runny nose.

If your sinus problems are causing you tears (or vice-versa!) give us a call. We can help relieve your congestion, and maybe even cheer you up a little.

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