How to Treat Stuffy Nose

Nasal congestion, popularly called stuffy nose or a cold nose, is a very common symptom of various diseases of the upper respiratory system. The stuffy nose itself is not a disease but a clinical manifestation of a disease, usually rhinitis and / or sinusitis.

Stuffy nose
Stuffy nose

What is nasal congestion

The feeling stuffy nose arises whenever the passage of air through the nasal cavity is partially or totally obstructed.

As nasal congestion is often accompanied by a runny nose, many people find that the cause of nose blockage is an excess of mucus produced in the nasal cavity. It is not. Mucus actually harmful, so much that when blew his nose, there is a sense of temporary improvement of congestion. However, decreasing the space for the passage of air in the nasal cavity is edema (swelling) of the mucosa caused by inflammation and engorgement of the blood vessels of the region.

It is important to note that the runny nose is common, but is not always present in cases of nasal congestion.

Nasal constipation in most cases is not a serious problem, but often very uncomfortable. The act of breathing is, for most of the time, involuntary and unconscious. When the nose is clogged, the air difficult to pass through the nasal cavity causes breathing miss these two features, leaving enough troubled patient. No one is at ease having to breathe consciously. Outside the symptoms may be accompanied by nasal congestion, especially in cases of respiratory viruses, such as sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, coughing, fatigue, body pain, etc.

Nasal congestion is usually a defense mechanism of the airways. The congestion is to reduce the space for air flow, reducing the passage of noxious stimuli to the rest of the airways. The dilation of blood vessels of the nasal mucosa also serves to increase the blood flow and hence of antibodies and immune cells to the region, helping to combat the invading germs airway. The increased mucus production, characterized by the presence of the coryza, also acts as a defense, serving to 'wash' and moisten the nasal cavity.

Causes of clogged nose

There are dozens of causes for nasal congestion. In general, the common end being derived from allergic or infectious processes. Respiratory viruses, such as colds and flu, and allergic rhinitis are the most common causes.

Among the causes and stimuli that can irritate the lining of the nasal cavity and cause nasal congestion, runny nose with or without associated, include:
  • Sinusitis
  • Mites
  • Air pollutants (such as cigarette smoke)
  • Food allergy
  • Intense odors
  • Dry weather
  • Spicy foods
  • Septal deviation
  • Inhaled cocaine use
  • Presence of a foreign body in the nasal cavity (as in the cases of children who put grains of rice or beans inside the nose)
  • Abusive use of nasal decongestants
  • Very large adenoids
  • Nasal polyps
  • Wegener's granulomatosis
  • Stress

Treatment of stuffy nose in adults and older children

To properly treat nasal congestion, understand what the cause is important. Sometimes treat only the symptoms is not enough, it is necessary to tackle the cause directly. In other cases, there is nothing to do in relation to the cause, and symptomatic treatment the most important conduct.

For example, if your nasal constipation is being caused by fumes, strong odors, dust allergy, spicy foods, nasal polyps, foreign bodies, etc., it takes away the patient of these stimuli to achieve unclog your nose. It is no use filling it with remedies for nasal congestion or try dozens of home treatments is the stimulus that is causing your symptoms remains acting on the nasal mucosa. To be achieved at most is temporary relief of nasal stuffiness.

On the other hand, when the nasal congestion being caused by a respiratory virus, there is nothing to do directly with the infection. Ideally in such cases is to try to alleviate the symptoms while we wait a few days until the virus is completely controlled by our immune system.

a. Home treatment for a stuffy nose

In many cases, the treatment of nasal congestion does not require medication. Some simple steps can help improve symptoms. Overall, home treatment is based on three pillars: moisten, rinse and dilute.

To obtain results suggest frequent washing of the nasal cavity with saline, the generous intake of water to help dilute the mucus and use of humidifiers and nebulizers to prevent exhaled air from drying. consuming hot baths are an option for those who do not have a nebulizer at home. Avoid getting in places with heating or air conditioning, as they very dry out the air and mucous membranes, causing irritation of the same and worse nasal congestion. We do not indicate the use of Vicks VapoRub or any other solution containing strong odors.

If secretion is thick or yellowish, it is important to wash the wells with serum more than once per day. Serum should be administered by one nostril until it comes out the other nostril. At least 10 to 20 mL serum should be used. There are products in pharmacies specifically developed to facilitate that washing the nasal cavities.

Avoid swimming baths during the crisis, because the chlorine content in water can irritate the nasal mucosa and perpetuate symptoms.

At night, use two pillows or any other method to keep your head a little higher, making breathing easier. Be careful not to just force the neck and wake up the next day with a big stiff neck.

b. Treatment with remedies for stuffy nose

When symptoms are very intense, disrupting daily activities and / or sleep of the patient, some drugs can be used. Antihistamines help enough, it also attack other symptoms of viral disease, and as cause drowsiness, help the patient to sleep better at night.

Nasal decongestants can help in selected cases. However, it is important to note that they should not be used on their own or for more than 3 days in a row because usually cause a rebound effect when its time for action ends, causing the patient who felt better, again have a stuffy nose again. Some people who abuse decongestants become dependent on them, developing chronic rhinitis only relieved by the constant use of these drugs.

In patients with frequent rhinitis or sinusitis, the use of corticosteroid nasal spray, such as fluticasone, can help prevent new future episodes. If you constantly suffer from a stuffy nose, talk to your doctor about this option.

How to treat a stuffy nose in babies

Nasal congestion is usually more bothersome in infants than in adults because of them prefer to breathe through the nose, while we adults could breathe through the mouth without major problems. Another problem is that the nasal passages of babies having a very small caliber, getting clogged easily. To complete the picture, babies do not know to blow, and therefore, in addition to not understand what is happening, they do not get the temporary relief that the act of blowing can provide.

To improve the symptoms of the baby, the home treatments described above can be used, especially washing of the nasal cavities. If you are unsure (a) as to the proper way to wash the nostrils with saline, ask your pediatrician show you how. Avoid dry environments and use nebulizers only with saline to humidify the air breathed are of great help. When using room humidifiers, careful not to leave the room excessively wet baby.

There are market some nasal vacuum rubber that help remove the mucus. However, it is not always easy to use them, because many babies just do not leave something to be entered, even superficially, in his nostrils. If your baby allows, they are of great help.

Keep the baby well hydrated by offering the breast more often. The movement of sugar can help mobilize secretions in the upper airway.

At bedtime, try to keep a little higher headboard, as if the baby be totally lying to zero degree, he will have trouble sleeping.

Not indicated drugs to unclog your nose in young children.

Stuffy nose in pregnancy

Incredible as it seems, pregnancy is a common cause of nasal congestion. One in three pregnant women becomes pregnant having to deal with the constantly stuffy nose. It is believed that the hemodynamic and hormonal changes that the body of the pregnant woman suffering be the cause of increased blood circulation in the nasal mucosa, making it more turgid and prone to cause clogging. This problem is called rhinitis pregnancy.

Unlike the rhinitis caused by allergies and viral infections, rhinitis of pregnancy has no other symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy face, tiredness, etc.

The nose stuffy treatment in pregnant is the same as the general population, except for drug treatment, which should be avoided to the maximum in pregnancy.

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