Cocaine has been used by people around the world since the 1800s. The indigenous people of the Andes Mountains in South America chewed coca leaves for a boost of energy. This was similar to drinking a cup of coffee. Being derived from the coca leaf, today’s cocaine is chemically produced and is many times more powerful, and much more dangerous, than the coca leaf.
The most common way of ingesting cocaine is intranasal. This means that it’s done through the nasal passages. This method is also known as snorting because of the sound it makes when someone ingests it this way. Doing it this way, there might be problems you might experience with your nose health such as nose bleeding due to cocaine.
What may seem like a harmless drug can actually have some adverse and potentially irreversible effects for your nasal health.
Here are some ways that cocaine affects your nose.
1. Irritated mucous membranes
When cocaine is snorted, the drug is absorbed through the tissues, or mucous membrane, inside of the nose. From here, it enters the bloodstream and begins to affect the user.
In the short term, this can cause inflammation, tenderness, or general irritation of the nose.
2. Problems with nasal function
Snorting cocaine will affect how the nose functions. In the short term, it can cause a bloody nose, post nasal drip, a runny nose, a stuffy nose, and/or a loss of smell.
While these side effects may dissipate when users stop doing cocaine, habitual use can lead to chronic conditions.
3. Nasal deformities
A perforated septum is a hole that develops in the cartilage that separates your nostrils. This can come about after prolonged cocaine use on a habitual basis.
Severe use can even cause the structure of the nose to break down. This condition is commonly referred to as “saddle nose.”
Once this damage has been caused, it can become increasingly difficult to reverse. While a corrective form of cosmetic surgery may help the nose appear to be healthy, the nose will not function the same way as it once did.