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Stuffy Nose - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Nasal congestion is not really a condition per say, but is primarily a symptom that some other, more serious underlying medical condition has affected the body. In medical terms, nasal congestion is primarily the blockage of the nasal passages, usually as a result of excessive secretion of the mucous glands. This increase in production is triggered by some kind of viral infection and is more often than not, a temporary illness that should ideally resolve itself within a week’s time. There are a number of causes of nasal congestion including the viruses that cause respiratory conditions such as a common cold, a sinus infection as well as the flu. Other medical conditions that are also some of the more common runny nose causes include pregnancy, nasal polyps, hay fever and vasomotor rhinitis.
Simply because the various causes of runny nose are very common in our everyday life, it is important to avoid underestimating the condition when it starts to develop in your system. As mentioned previously, the nasal congestion is likely to dissipate within a few days, however, because nasal congestion can potentially cause serious airway blockage – especially while the patient is asleep, it is important to treat it as fast as possible. Another aspect to consider is the fact that nasal congestion can affect any individual – irrespective of age, which means that a child suffering from a runny nose could face substantial problems during breastfeeding as well as a number of respiratory issues carrying on into adult life. Nasal congestion in its milder forms can lead to problems such as snoring as well as sleep apnea. Some children are known to suffer from nasal congestion as a result of enlarged adenoids – leading to insufficient oxygen intake that could possibly result in right sided heart failure. There are a number of biomechanical complications in the structure of certain parts of the respiratory system that can also be the root cause of a stuffy nose, such as a deviated nasal septum, injury or trauma affecting the sinuses as well as bronchiolitis. 

Stuffy Nose Symptoms

The stuffy nose symptoms to look out for when it comes to diagnosis will depend largely on the root cause of the problem. Experiencing stuffy nose during pregnancy is not uncommon. However, the most common symptoms that tend to span a number of the conditions include mild to substantial difficulty in breathing, post nasal drip, the development of a sore throat as well as red eyes. In the event that the primary cause of the stuffy nose is an allergy that has led to the inflammation of the sinuses, you are also likely to see the patient develop some other kinds of rashes or inflammation of skin cells in other parts of the body. In the event that you are faced with a newborns stuffy nose, it is important to double check and ensure that he or she hasn’t shoved some object up the nose. One symptom that will almost surely identify this as being the problem is if the blockage appears to be only in a single nostril. Suffering from a stuffy nose at night is likely to see you develop a habit of snoring as your body attempts to find a different source of oxygen when the normal respiratory path has been blocked off. In addition to the stuffy nose and sore throat, a person suffering from nasal congestion is also likely to experience some mild to severe headaches and even migraines. Some people may even develop symptoms such as pain in the jaws and teeth as well as an inability to taste or smell properly as well as the development of a fever. If a newborn is affected by stuffy nose it would be necessary to get immediate medical treatment. 

Stuffy Nose Treatment

Because of the fact that the condition is a rather common one, there are a number of different stuffy nose remedies that have been developed and tested all over the world. Since nasal congestion is often caused by dryness in the nasal cavity, increasing the intake of water is widely known to be one of the most effective runny nose treatments while rest is also very essential, especially when it comes to infant stuffy nose treatment options. Avoiding the development of dry nasal passages is very important and steering clear of alcohol and caffeine heavy beverages is a very important part of hastening the recovery timeline. The use of a saline nose spray as well as a humidifier contribute heavily to stuffy nose relief and are a major player in most stuffy nose cures. Some other highly recommended home remedies for stuffy nose and other stuffy nose remedy options include applying a warm compress on your face in order to relieve the pain while also moistening the nasal passages. Another very helpful tip when it comes to how to get rid of a stuffy nose is inhalation treatment while sleeping with your head elevated is a very good way of relieving any pressure and allowing you to breathe easier.
One of the highly recommended methods for stuffy nose relief is based on an ancient Chinese acupressure technique that requires an individual to press the cavity of the nostrils with the fingers in such a way that you are able to press and open the nostrils when you require. Apply pressure on this point ten times and then proceed to press the corners of the eyes near the nose for another 10 times. The next step is to press the cavity below the ear, just behind the earlobe for another 10 times in a round movement.

Exercise is another very effective method of relieving a stuffy nose because it causes the body to secrete sweat and moisten the nostril passage. Regular exercise also helps significantly clear the nostrils and clears the body of toxins – making it an all-round benefit. Inhalers are quick and easy over the counter medications available that help significantly when it comes to clearing up a blocked nose. With regards to the diet consumed, fairly spicy foods and warmed foods make the best nostril clearers as they promote sweating in the body as well.
Submitted on January 16, 2014