Nasal Congestion Causes, Symptoms and Treatment: Nasal Congestion or Stuffy Nose is a common symptom associated with common cold or allergies. The mucus which covers the nasal lining starts accumulating in the nose and causes the feeling of stuffiness or heaviness. This makes it difficult for the patient to breathe and interferes with their day to day life.
A stuffy nose can also occur due to the inflammation of the blood vessels in the sinuses. This inflammation can occur as a result of cold, flu, allergies or due to a sinus infection. It can occur in anyone and generally resolves in about 7 to 12 days on its own. There are some medications which can relieve a stuffy nose but home remedies are found to be more effective in the clearing of the mucus from the nose.
Nasal congestion can develop in anyone in any age group but it can occur more frequently in some people. Nasal congestion is a very common problem and it affects almost everyone every year. Children are more susceptible to nasal congestion as they tend to have weaker immunities as compared to adults.
Nasal congestion is a condition in which the nose of the patient gets clogged due to an accumulation of mucus. It is often a symptom of sinus infection or a common cold. Nasal congestion is an annoying symptom as it makes it difficult for the patient to breathe normally and talk properly. It also affects their ability to taste and smell properly.
Nasal congestion makes it difficult for the patient to complete their daily living activities normally as breathlessness interferes with it. Most patients usually recover from nasal congestion on their own in 7 to 12 days but some patients may take medications to relieve their symptoms. But severe nasal congestion can lead to disturbances in sleep of the children and adults.
This can cause irritability and aggressiveness in children. You use many home remedies for the treatment of nasal congestion in children. The article given below covers all the details of nasal congestion including its causes, symptoms, treatment and effective home remedies.
Causes of Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion can occur as a symptom of inflammation in the nose. There are two types of inflammation of the nose- allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.
- Allergic Rhinitis- This occurs when an allergen leads to inflammation of the nasal lining. These allergens are listed below.
- Pollen- pollen grains can enter the air in order to travel to new locations. These pollen grains can enter the airways when a person breathes and can irritate the nasal airways and passages. These are most commonly seen in spring and summer.
- Dust mites- Dust mites can occur in clean areas as well. They can enter the respiratory tract of the person through their nose and lead to the inflammation of the respiratory passages. This can lead to an accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract.
- Pet dander- Pet dander refers to the dead skin shed by furry animals. This is more commonly seen in dogs and cats. This can also lead to an inflammation of the respiratory tracts of the person.
- Non-Allergic Rhinitis- This type of inflammation occurs when there is buildup of fluid in your nasal lining. This can lead to their swelling and this type of inflammation can be triggered by the following factors.
- Environmental triggers- Many environmental factors such as stress, smoke, paint fumes and spicy food can also lead to Nasal congestion.
- Medications- Many medications can cause Nasal congestion as a side effect. Long term use of medications for pain and high blood pressure can also lead to Nasal congestion.
- Hormonal- Hormonal changes during pregnancy and puberty can also trigger Nasal congestion in some people.
- Infection- Many infections such as Sinusitis and common cold can also lead to Nasal congestion.
- Enlarged Adenoids- Adenoids are small glands located behind your nasal passage. These glands can swell due to the presence of microbes which can cause Nasal congestion.
Symptoms of Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion has a main symptom of a clogged nose. It can also present the following symptoms depending on its cause.
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Pain or pressure in the sinuses
- Mucus buildup in nose
- Swelling in the nasal tissue
- Body ache
- General feeling of weakness
Treatment of Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion can resolve on its own in a few days however if someone is experiencing disturbances in their sleep and daily life then they can seek medical help. There are many medications available which can be prescribed to treat Nasal congestion.
- Antihistamines- These medications are prescribed when Nasal congestion is caused due to allergies. These medications suppress allergic reactions elicited due to the allergens.
- Nasal sprays- Nasal sprays are available which include antihistamines and decongestants. These can help in the removal of mucus from the nasal passage.
- Decongestants- Decongestants work by loosening the mucus which is stuck in the nasal passages. These medications are available over-the-counter or under prescription.
- Antibiotics- These medications are prescribed to patients who are suffering from a bacterial or viral disease which is causing Nasal congestion.
- Nasal steroids- These medications are applied in the nose and can provide relief from Nasal congestion and headache. These medications include Budesonide, Fluticasone and Triamcinolone.
Home Remedies of Nasal Congestion
There are many home remedies which are effective to clear Nasal congestion. These remedies can be used in children and in adults who do not have severe Nasal congestion.
- Neti Pot- A Neti pot is a device used to insert saline water in one nostril and which comes out from the other nostril along with the mucus clogging the nose. This method is highly effective in clearing the nose however it can feel uncomfortable to small children.
- Steam inhalation- You can inhale steam infused with decongestants. This can relieve Nasal congestion by loosening the mucus stuck in the nose and upper respiratory passages.
- Saline spray- Saline sprays can be used to decrease the inflammation and stuffiness in the nose. They contain small amounts of decongestants which can relieve the symptoms in patients of chronic sinusitis.
- Warm compress- You can also apply a warm compress over your face for 10 to 15 minutes. This will provide you relief from headache and also loosen the mucus in your nose. This will allow the mucus to come out of your nose slowly.
- Humidifier- You can also use a humidifier to add moisture in the air that you breathe. This will allow the mucus to move out of your nose and pass in your throat after which it can be expelled by coughing.
- Stay Hydrated- You should drink plenty of warm fluids such as soups in order to increase the amount of water in your mucus. This can also make it easy for you to expel the mucus from your nose by blowing.
- Supplements to build immunity- You can take many supplements to boost your immunity in order to fight the infection which is causing your Nasal congestion. These supplements can be of Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea or Geranium extract.
FAQs Related to Nasal Congestion
Nasal Congestion or Stuffy Nose is a common symptom associated with common cold or allergies. The mucus which covers the nasal lining starts accumulating in the nose and causes the feeling of stuffiness or heaviness. This can occur as a result of cold, flu, allergies or due to a sinus infection.
Most patients usually recover from nasal congestion on their own in 7 to 12 days but it can last for longer duration in some patients.
Nasal congestion can be relieved by many medications and home remedies. The most commonly used home remedies are Neti pot, saline spray, humidifier and steam inhalation. Other methods to relieve Nasal congestion are mentioned above.