What Causes a Stuffy Nose?

Bacterial and viral infections and low body-oxygen content are the main superficial causes of stuffy nose or nasal congestion. However, it is one of the most commonly occurring problems and is more annoying rather than serious. In this condition, nasal passages are blocked or congested due to excess mucus buildup. Inflamed blood vessels and swelling of the mucosa lining of the nostrils are the other root causes. It should be treated as it brings along a set of medical symptoms, such as pressure in ears, reduced hearing, mild facial pain, headache, snoring, sleep problems, and change in voice.

Various other causes responsible for the problem,

  • Allergies or Allergic Reactions
  • Structural Abnormalities
  • Vasomotor or non-allergic Rhinitis
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Cold and Flu
  • Deviated Septum
  • Medication Side Effect

Virus Infections

Virus infections are mainly responsible for stuffy nose. Viral infections occur more often because of less immunity strength that’s why toddlers are always in danger of viral infected baby stuffy nose. Some of the viruses are airborne, but most are transmitted by hand-to-nose contact. Viruses causes the body to release histamine that increases blood flow to the nose and causes nasal tissue to swell and nose becomes congested with blood and produce excessive amounts of mucus that “stuffs up” the nasal airway. Nasal congestion also leads to thick discharge of mucous.

Allergies or Allergic Reactions

Allergy is an exaggerated inflammatory response to substances such as pollen, dust mites, house dust, animal dander and tobacco smoke. These responses release histamine that causes congestion and excess production of watery nasal mucous. Sometimes sudden changes of environmental condition like hot to cold or vice versa can cause stuffy nose.

Structural Abnormalities

Structural abnormalities including deviated nasal septum, large inferior turbinate’s, polyps in the nose, external valve collapse, bent or twisted nose, and large adenoids also cause stuffy nose. These deformities are usually the result of an injury or may be present the time of birth. Such abnormalities should be diagnosed and proper actions should be taken.

Vasomotor Rhinitis

It is a non allergic condition that causes inflammation of mucous membrane in the nose and nasal membranes. Factors that expand these membranes are irritants such as perfume, tobacco smoke, and psychological stress. The condition becomes recurring or the symptoms do not get better with time.

Chronic Sinusitis

Nasal congestion may also be caused by a chronic sinus infection or bacterial infection of the paranasal sinuses. It may mimic the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and symptoms like sinus headache, sinus pressure and mucus. It is usually followed by a common cold.

Cold and Flu

A cold or flu most of the times end up with sore throat and nasal obstruction due to a viral infection of upper respiratory tract — nose and throat. Immune system responds to the infection by secreting histamines, causing dilation of blood vessels and inflammation of nasal membranes.

Deviated Septum

Deviated septum is a nasal structural problem that occurs when the thin wall between nostrils is displaced to one side and makes one nasal passage smaller. It can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow and cause stuffy nose.

Medication Side Effect

Stuffy nose sometimes causes due to adverse effects of treatment medications. Some of the drugs affect blood circulation, and may bring about increased flow in the blood vessels and causes swelling of the mucous membrane in the nose, ultimately, leading to increased mucus secretion and blocked nose.

Whatever the cause is, immediate action should be taking against it. Various remedies for stuffy nose are available. You could try anyone of them.

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