It’s not just allergies and a cold: what else can cause nasal congestion? – 06/08/2022

Who hasn’t had a stuffy nose? Although not considered a disease, nasal congestion is a typical symptom of many adverse conditions, which occurs when the blood vessels in the nose become inflamed or when there is excess mucus production, causing the region to become congested and make breathing difficult. .

There are several situations that can cause the problem – which is really uncomfortable -, such as colds, rhinitis and deviated septum. Below, see the main causes of nasal congestion.

1. Allergic condition

When we talk about nasal congestion, regardless of the cause, we need to understand that the nasal mucous membranes have many blood capillaries, as the air needs to be heated before entering the body.

This makes this region very reactive and generates an inflammatory process in response to any external aggressive agent. Which explains the stuffy and irritated nose of people with allergies. Therefore, when diseases are of allergic origin such as asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis, nasal congestion is a very common symptom.

2. Colds

As in allergic cases, in colds and nasal congestion it is a reaction of the body to the presence of external agents, that is, to viruses. It is very common for a person to have a stuffy and runny nose when they have a cold. That’s because inflammation stimulates the production of excess mucus and fluid as a form of protection.

3. Deviated septum

In the case of deviated septum, nasal congestion is the result of an anatomical misalignment of the bones and cartilages that make up the nose, preventing or hindering the passage of air through both cavities.

This condition can be accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, snoring, headaches, tiredness, loss of smell and even bleeding.

4. Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are inflammatory formations that arise in the nasal mucosa, which may be a consequence of allergic processes and can interfere with breathing, causing nasal congestion and obstruction.

“People with an allergic history should pay extra attention to the health of the nose, always washing the nasal cavities with saline solution, humidifying the ambient air on dry days and avoiding the agents that cause allergies, such as dust, mold, chemicals and strong smells. The lower the number of allergic crises, the lower the chances of developing polyps”, explains Ricardo Dolci, otorhinolaryngologist at Clínica Dolci (SP) and professor at the Santa Casa de Misericórdia de São Paulo.

5. Too much decongestant

What seems to be a helper when it comes to stuffy nose can become a great villain, according to doctors. Overdosage of nasal decongestants can lead to palpitations, throat irritation (coughing or burning), and a dry nose with crusting within the respiratory tract.

“If it is a recurring complaint, you cannot just buy it at the pharmacy and self-medicate, which can even mask something more serious. Paul.

How to improve?

To ensure good breathing and better quality of life, one of the most important care is to wash the nose with saline daily or whenever you feel the dry weather, this not only keeps the mucosa hydrated and healthy but also prevents pathological agents from remaining in the body causing illnesses.

In addition, maintaining personal and environmental hygiene, avoiding places with many people and without ventilation, and having a healthy diet are other habits that help to avoid congestion.