The Nasal congestion occurs to the inflamed membrane lining the inside of the nose, causing a blockage it difficult to breathe. It is the result of a vasodilation of the blood capillaries found in said mucosa in response to an inflammatory phenomenon. It is an unpleasant symptom that always accompanies disorders such as flu , colds , or allergies that affect the respiratory system, bronchitis , sinusitis , pharyngitis …
The snuff , environmental pollution, extreme temperature changes, or inhaled irritants can also cause the nose to plug . In addition, most of us (it is estimated that up to eight out of ten) have a more or less deviated nasal septum, which favors the development of respiratory infections, and is also a common cause of nasal obstruction .
When the nose is blocked it is necessary to breathe through the mouth, which facilitates the entry of pathogenic germs, so people with this problem can get colds or flu more often. In addition, nasal packing makes it difficult to rest since, by not being able to breathe normally through the nose, the affected person is forced to open their mouth while sleeping, which causes dryness in the oral mucosa, and can cause them to wake up coughing.
Sometimes all the mucous accumulation is eliminated in the form of liquid mucus constantly; This profuse runny nose is known as rhinorrhea , and it can cause a cough or sore throat.
Nasal congestion is not a disease in itself, but the symptom of other diseases that must be diagnosed and evaluated to indicate the most appropriate treatment. In the vast majority of cases it is due to a trivial problem that resolves in a short period of time, even without treatment.
Symptoms of nasal congestion
Although nasal congestion itself is a symptom and not a disease, there are a number of clinical manifestations that can accompany it and that we must remember.
The rhinorrhea or elimination of mucus is a common manifestation in this table, requiring a constant drain and dry with tissues that can cause an irritation with erythema of the wings of the nose. This, in turn, occurs together with small bleeds that do not usually represent an alarming problem, since they are the result of the breakage of one of the dilated capillaries.
In another order, when nasal congestion persists over time, it can interfere with night’s rest, since it is common for it to cause some discomfort to breathe , especially in decubitus. In this situation it can be accompanied by snoring and sudden awakenings. The fact of having a nasal obstruction forces you to breathe with your mouth open, generating dryness of this mucosa and bad breath . It also interferes with hearing, and is associated with a change in voice ( nasal voice ).
When the causes are infectious, fever, muscle aches and headaches may occur, while in cases of allergic nasal congestion they will be accompanied by itchy eyes, redness and multiple sneezes.
When to see a doctor for nasal congestion
Although in most situations nasal congestion, plugging or obstruction does not entail any important disease, we must attend to some circumstances that must be evaluated by the doctor. As a general rule, those that do not correspond to a common infectious rhinitis or an allergic process should be evaluated in order to be able to label them more precisely.
In this sense, it is advisable to consult with the following Symptoms of nasal congestion :
- An abnormal duration . That is to say, processes of more than seven days are not usually common colds , and therefore, they must be evaluated.
- Drainage of purulent or foul-smelling mucus . This fact may mean that there is a collection in one of the paranasal sinuses (sinusitis).
- Presence of abnormally bulging nodes in the neck.
- Epistaxis . The emission of blood through the nose can accompany rhinorrhea or the repeated expulsion of mucus, but when it occurs in greater quantity it should be evaluated by your doctor.
- Suspicion of foreign body obstruction . In the case of babies or young children, when the obstruction is unilateral and it is suspected that a foreign body has been introduced, it should be explored by a doctor. It is not recommended to remove it by the parents, as it can be introduced to deeper levels.