I’ve been having difficulty with my nose/sinuses for some time now, and it gets much worse in the dry winter months. So after some prodding from friends, i finally went this morning to consult with an Ear, Nose, and Throatdoctor.
He examined all of those areas with various implements, the craziest being an fiber optic camera he shoved up into my nostrils. He determined that my septum was slightly deviated, but did not require surgery. This slight deviation was responsible for the discomfort I was feeling though… Apparently, the deviation is causing turbulence in my nose (disrupting the laminar flow of air). In the dry months, this is causing my nose to dry out, and much like dry hands, the walls along my septum eventually crack and bleed. This causes scabs to form, mucus attaches to the scabs, and it starts a kind of feedback loop. Blow out the mucus, it takes some of the scabs with it, you bleed, rinse, repeat.
He said that I have nickel-to-quarter sized patches of dryness and scabs in each nostril along the septum. I had been using a Neti Pot to treat the dryness, and he said that provides immediate relief, but the water is absorbed and evaporates so quickly that after a few hours things are back to the same, never giving the damaged patches time to heal. So he told me to apply "gobs" of bacitracin each night before bed for a month. I should feel relief within 3-4 days, but I have to keep at it for a whole month so things heal properly. Then I will cut back to weekly or so maintenance, depending on the time of year and how dry it is. The whole thing sounds pretty gross, but much less so than surgery, so I guess I should be relieved.