November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jani Kikuts
(Enginerd) - M

Locale: Southern California
Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 10:12:44 MDT Print View

Not the most glamorous subject but something that I struggle with every time I go to the mountains. I live 2 miles from the ocean in San Diego, when I get out in the Sierra I really struggle with dry nostrils, often get nose bleeds, and as a result have difficulty breathing through my nose. Not a big deal during the day but at night it's just one more thing that keeps me awake, mouth breathing sucks! I'm planning to be near Rae Lakes in Gardiner and Sixty Lakes Basin for a week at the end of August, thinking about maybe maybe some petroleum jelly in my nostrils, daily saline rinse? Anyone else encounter this problem and could offer some suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Bag Balm on 04/29/2013 10:30:41 MDT Print View

Jani, my location is described exactly as yours and although I don't get bloody noses at altitude/dry, our son does. He uses Bag Balm, which you can buy at CVS in a "cubular" green tin (or at tack n feed if you head east to Poway, Santee or Ramona). We all use it on chapped lips.

He uses a q-tip to line his nose with bag balm when we get to town/trailhead, such as Mammoth, and then again the next morning before we head out. This has been enough for him in moderate weather, but you could bring a glob and a q-tip along on trail, obviously.

If you don't know, Bag Balm is technically for udders, ie cow bags, and is a petroleum jelly/lanolin formula with another ingredient using polysyllabic format (that I'll preserve for someone smart to copy/post)but is used for chapped hands, lips, skin, nether regions, etc... by a lot of people. Good stuff and that green tin will last you a long time.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 10:33:21 MDT Print View

Hi Jani,

I live with the same problem. My Ear, Noise and Throat Doctor recommend a product like "Ayr" Saline Nasal Gel.

I buy mine at my local Walmart.

Edited by bfornshell on 04/29/2013 13:20:20 MDT.

James Cahill

Locale: Suthern Carl
Re: Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 11:19:13 MDT Print View

I'll get nosebleeds 3 or 4 times a week, sometimes every day in the winter. It is extraordinarily inconvenient. It's been fine since I moved to San Diego, but admittedly I haven't made it up to the mountains yet so I don't know if it will come back. I think for me it is more of a snowball effect, and given enough time to heal the problem usually subsides.

I had good results from saline rinses and wadding my nose up with petroleum jelly, but a nose full of goo isn't easy to breath through either.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 12:03:36 MDT Print View

Try oxymetazoline HCL 5% to clear nighttime stuffy noses.

Jani Kikuts
(Enginerd) - M

Locale: Southern California
Thanks for the idea on 04/29/2013 12:37:25 MDT Print View

Thanks a bunch for the ideas, I got some time to figure out what to bring in August, will have to try things out till then.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
dry air on 04/29/2013 13:10:18 MDT Print View

when i go up north my tongue drys out, gets way chapped, and then splits down the center. it's a painful and unattractive mess. i can keep it at bay by sleeping with a silk scarf over my head which retains some of the moisture.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 13:21:53 MDT Print View

I am trying to post a link but can't make it work.

Edited by bfornshell on 04/29/2013 13:27:22 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Bag Balm on 04/29/2013 14:29:24 MDT Print View

+1 On bag balm in the nose.

Something else you can do that helps while sleeping/at night, a simply light weight face mask from Home Depot for dust.

Breathing into one helps moisturize your nose by capturing some of the moisture that you exhale.

If your can zip your your hoodie to cover your mouth & nose while sleeping, this will help too, but a face mask would be better if you are an active sleeper.

Tie a bandana around your face to cover your nose and mouth could work too.

Note: the lightweight, blue medical face mask should be avoided as the elastic bands that they have that hook over your ears are only glued to the fabric of the face mask and easily break off while moving around during sleep.

Hope this helps.


Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Bag balm on 04/29/2013 14:36:36 MDT Print View

My dad was a veterinarian. When we had ailments, we got horse/cow medicine. Its good to see others got to use this stuff as well.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Bag balm on 04/29/2013 16:47:40 MDT Print View

Hey, is that a salt-lick? Mooooove over!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 17:29:15 MDT Print View

Don't put just anything into your nose. Get advice from the pharmacist or your physician, and read the directions on whether it is for mucosal surfaces.

Edited by jshann on 04/29/2013 17:29:53 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 17:39:30 MDT Print View

I live at around 4,000', so I have to deal with it most every weekend, out bping or camping. Only an occasional nose bleed. Not good in the morning when trying to force down some dry cereal bar or such with a dry mouth. Then when it is cool or cold during winter camping/bping, my eyes water the first hour or more. No rest.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Bag Balm on 04/29/2013 17:48:35 MDT Print View

Ace Hardware in Hillcrest stocks Bag Balm. Don't know if it would work for your nose, but it's great on chapped skin. Ace is on University across from Ralph's and Trader Joe's. Park around back; you should find the Bag Balm in the pet section in the basement. Tell Bruce that pitsy says hello!

Gregory Allen
(Gallen1119) - M

Locale: Golden, CO
Re: Dealing with dry air, sinus problems, and bloody nose? on 04/29/2013 21:32:43 MDT Print View

+1 for saline gels, consistency of KY jelly, but saline
Saline nasal rinses also good 1-2 x / day

I am an ENT doc in Colorado...I KNOW dry nose problems very well.

--finally a topic I think I actually know something about!

Edited by Gallen1119 on 04/29/2013 21:37:00 MDT.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: bloody nose? on 05/01/2013 05:41:23 MDT Print View

I used to get REALLY bad nose bleeds do to a deviated septum, to the point, I once lost conciousness and had to be rushed to ER. Luckily I was at the doctors office when that happened. Got cauterized, so not an issue anymore.

Anyways, saline spray once to twice a day will make a HUGE difference! Also, I always carry chapstick, and it works well as a preventative measure as well as after bleed care. And hey, it's dual purpose!

A tip to help stop your bleeds faster, is to fold up a papertowel into a tiny thick square and place between your upper gums and lip, right under your nose. I think there is a blood vesel there or something that you are cutting off, and it really helps make the bleeding stop faster. It should be thick enough that it almost feels like your lip is being ripped from your gums, but not to the point it's uncomfortable. Alternative is to use your finger to put pressure on your upper lip, just below your nose.

Good luck, nose bleeds suck!!!

Jani Kikuts
(Enginerd) - M

Locale: Southern California
Trying out ayr on 05/05/2013 23:27:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I'm on a business trip to Reno this week and decided it would be a good time to try some of your suggestions. The last three times I have been here I have had dry nose and sinus problems. Sitting at the Peppermill hotel now with a nose full of Ayr and a glass of far so good! I think I'm off to a good start with the saline aloe gel :-)

Edited by Enginerd on 05/05/2013 23:30:27 MDT.