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Avoiding Dryer Sheets Can Help Dry Nose

Fragrances in dryer sheets might trigger allergies and dry nose; avoiding them offers a simple solution to the dry nose problem.

We are always delighted when a reader finds a simple solution to a vexing problem. Many people have had great difficulty with dry nasal passages making breathing uncomfortable during the night. Perhaps this reader’s approach will work for you.

Q. You recently answered a question from a person who had dry nose at night and wondered whether to use Vaseline or saline spray.

About 34 years ago I was having trouble breathing at night. I kept a glass of water by my bed that I would dip my finger into and moisten my nostril so that I could breathe.

One morning I woke up and realized that I hadn’t woken to do that even once! I searched my mind through the previous day to see what was different.

I realized I had washed our sheets and forgotten to bring dryer sheets with me to the Laundromat. That was the last time I used dryer sheets.

I have not had a problem with dry nose since. I also started using fragrance-free laundry detergent and my husband’s “athlete’s foot” and “jock itch” cleared up.

A. Thank you for the reminder that simple things sometimes have an unexpected impact. Fragrances and other chemicals in dryer sheets may trigger allergic symptoms including nasal congestion.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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