Why does my nose run in cold weather?

Thursday 10th March 2011
Submitted by Leahnedahl
GLYN WOGANL, SOUTH WALES

Cold air, especially in windy weather, irritates the eyes. This stimulates your tear glands to produce more tears. The natural drainage point for these tears is through the little hole, called the punctum, in the corner of each eye next to your nose. The puncti drain into the sinuses and trickle down from there to your nostrils. 

GOT A QUESTION?

Scratching your head over a burning scientific conundrum? submit your question and we'll get our esteemed panel of experts to answer it for you.

 

What will happen to the Space Shuttles when they are retired?
previous qanda Article
Is there a pill that protects against HIV infection?
next qanda Article
Q&A Tabs

Toxicity is usually measured by the LD50: the amount needed to kill half the creatures (usually mice) to whom a poison is given. Amusingly, the worst found so far is the bacterial protein botulin...

Vomiting is a deliberate response by the body that evolved as a purging mechanism to remove toxins or foreign bodies from the stomach and oesophagus. Since stomach contents are highly acidic,...

Phlegm is the mucous secretion of the respiratory passages. The cilia cells that line these passages are continually driving the phlegm upward to the throat, where it triggers the swallow reflex...

Astronomer Fred Hoyle was the first to point out that if you could drive a car upwards at 95km/h (60mph), it would only take about an hour to get into space. To get to the Moon would take a little...

Biodegradable plastics take three to six months to decompose fully. That’s much quicker than synthetic counterparts that take several hundred years. Exactly how long a biodegradable bag...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

To create a sound, we have to set matter - whether it's a gas like air, a liquid or even a solid material - in regular motion, creating a wave of specific frequencies, which we hear as a sound of...

Mirrors don’t reverse left and right either – that’s just our interpretation of what happens. Your reflection in the mirror is actually reversed front to back – if you have...

Discovered by an American student named Gary Flandro in the mid-1960s, the slingshot manoeuvre usually involves spacecraft briefly 'coat-tailing' a planet orbiting the Sun, extracting some of the...

The ice disappears because the wind blows away water molecules that have evaporated or 'sublimed' from the ice, so the ice slowly shrinks in size. The molecules that escape are those with the...