WHAT IS NASAL CONGESTION OR “STUFFY NOSE”?
Definition of Nasal Congestion or “stuffy nose” is when nasal tissues, adjacent tissues, and blood vessels are swollen with excess fluid, causing a “stuffy” plugged feeling. Nasal congestion or “stuffy nose” is also called “rhinitis” by healthcare providers. In the Greek Language “Rhino” means “the nose”, and the meaning of “–itis” is inflammation. Hence, rhinitis is the inflammation of the nasal cavity. If nasal congestion lasts longer than 10-12 days, it’s often a symptom of an underlying health issue
Nasal congestion is an annoyance for adults, older people, and children. Nasal congestion is serious for children and infants whose sleep is disturbed.
If anyone has a common cold or flu, the agonizing stuffed-up feeling experiencing is called “nasal congestion” or “stuffy nose”. When one is stuffed up, breathing becomes difficult.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NASAL CONGESTION?
- Reduced sense of smell or taste.
- Runny nose.
- Sore throat.
- An upper jaw or tooth pain.
- Watery eyes.
- On top of that, one might feel tired and sad.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSES OF NASAL CONGESTION?
- Nasal congestion is caused by things that irritate or inflame the nasal tissues. Nasal congestion is a result of inflammation. When anyone is sick, the blood vessels lining the nasal cavity become swollen and inflamed. This can cause nasal congestion. Nasal inflammation is even caused by a foreign agent.
- Infections such as colds, flu, sinusitis, and allergies are frequent causes of nasal congestion and a stuffy nose.
- Car exhaust and tobacco smoke also cause nasal congestion. This is known as non-allergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis.
- Nasal congestion is also caused by a tumor.
- More intake of spicy foods also causes nasal congestion.
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or any other reason cause nasal congestion.
- Medications are used for high blood pressure, depression, and other conditions that cause nasal congestion.
- Occupational Asthma, Sleep Apnea, and Stress may also be the reason for nasal congestion.
HOW SHOULD SLEEP WITH NASAL CONGESTION?
Nasal congestion is worse at night because the effect of gravity makes mucus pool at the back of your throat when you lie down. Studies have shown that our immune system is more active at night. So, try to sleep with your head propped up, or on an extra pillow. Steam inhalations just before sleep are beneficial for nasal congestion. Keep the bedroom cool. Some people are affected by dry air; using a humidifier or vaporizer in the bedroom can help.
HOME REMEDIES FOR NASAL CONGESTION
Home remedies can help when anyone experiencing nasal congestion.
- Humidifiers are devices for keeping the atmosphere in a room moist and they help to break up mucus and soothe inflamed nasal passageways.
- Propping your head up on pillows encourages mucus to flow out.
- Saline spray is safe for all ages, but for babies, you might choose to use an aspirator, or nasal bulb, afterward, depending on how well the saline flushes out the nasal passages.
- When anyone is stuffed up, focus on keeping one’s nasal passages moist. As drying out the membranes will irritate further.
- Take long showers or breathe the steam.
- Drink lots of fluids. It will thin out the mucus.
- Use a micro-current wave device. The device is placed on the face and emits painless vibrations that will give relief.
- Place a warm, wet towel on your face. It relaxes and opens the nasal passages.
- Avoid chlorinated pools. It can irritate the nasal passages.
WHEN SHOULD ONE SEE A DOCTOR FOR NASAL CONGESTION?
- Nasal congestion is not getting better after a week or two despite trying the remedies suggested above in the home remedies section.
- If one is not sure about the cause of nasal congestion.
- In case of blood discharge from the nose, immediately contact the doctor.
- One is unwell with a high temperature or fever as well as having nasal congestion.
- A baby has nasal congestion and is having difficulties breathing or feeding.
WHAT ARE THE MEDICATIONS USED TO TREAT NASAL CONGESTION?
Medications used to treat nasal congestion includes: .
- Oral antihistamines to treat allergies.
- Nasal sprays that are recommended by the Doctor.
- Decongestant drops are very effective for nasal congestion and they will help to unblock your nose quickly. These can be used for a maximum of 4-6 days.
- Decongestant tablets and syrups. Decongestants in the form of tablets or syrups are thought to be safer to take for a longer time if need be.
- Steroid preparations for the nose. Steroid sprays are directly applied inside the nose to reduce the swelling. These are used when congestion is caused by allergies.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine, as medicines are not suitable for everyone. Or connect to Specialty Care Clinics for best effective methods to treat nasal congestion effectively at 469-545-9983.