Monday, March 13, 2006

Don't get all feministical on me.

Q: Why do men get so damned noisy sinusistically speaking when they reach middle age? My husband clears his throat and manipulates his snot in the noisiest manner, and he's a deep-voiced, big guy, so it is loud!!! I don't know any women who do this. He manages to keep it at bay when in public. He has had his sinuses done successfully (with that headpiece and software-directed surgery) and does not have any allergies that i know of. Can you suggest any causes or whom to go see for this? I am seriously ready to clock him! Or should I call a lawyer?

A: Sinusistically. As a writer, I love that word, love it to death.

First off, let's dispense with the sexism right away. Women get this too. The fact that they don't hawk and snort only means they don't do that around YOU. As you mentioned, he only does it around you, which is a testimony to how comfortable he is in your presence. The big galoot must really love you.

Good. Now that you're feeling better about the hubs, what are we going to do about the snorting? My hunch -- and this could easily be confirmed by having his ENT scope his nasal passages at an early morning appointment (make sure your hubs doesn't clear everything out before going in!) -- is that this is a mucus problem. Even if he's had sinus surgery, his sinus cavities and nasal cavities will continue to produce lots and lots of mucus. Perhaps this stuff is hanging up in his nasopharynx (the top part of the throat).

If the ENT confirms this and rules out the somewhat more serious possibility of recurrent sinus infection, then your husband has a few good options. The best, in my opinion, would be to adopt a routine of nasal irrigation as part of his morning ritual. Nasal douching does wonders for clingy mucus. The solution may be even simpler than that; some folks improve markedly if they increase their intake of noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic fluids.

In summary, I would go to an ENT first, and hold off on the lawyer.



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