What is Chronic Nasal Congestion?
Chronic Nasal Congestion, more casually known as a stuffy nose, occurs when excess fluid appears and the tissue inside the nose becomes swollen. This is what leads to you having the “stuffy” sensation in your nose. Really anything that irritates the tissue inside the nose can be the source of Chronic Nasal Congestion, although below is a list of common causes.
Causes of Chronic Nasal Congestion
Potential causes of nasal congestion include:
- Acute sinusitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
- Common cold
- Decongestant nasal spray overuse
- Deviated septum
- Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
- Dry air
- Enlarged adenoids
- Foreign body in the nose
- Hormonal changes
- Influenza (flu)
- Medications, such as high blood pressure drugs
- Nasal polyps
- Nonallergic rhinitis
- Occupational asthma
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Thyroid disorders
- Tobacco smoke
- Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s Granulomatosis)
Treatments for Chronic Nasal Congestion
Even with some many causes of Chronic Nasal Congestion, there are ways to get relief. Most remedies are relatively short-term, depending on the strength of the irritation for the condition.
A good place to start may be using a humidifier. A hot bath or shower, nasal saline sprays or rinses, and constant hydration is also recommended, as it helps thin the mucus in the nasal passage. If these at home remedies don’t help alleviate the symptoms or you experience a fever, going to visit your doctor may be the next step.
Your doctor may prescribe you a decongestant if the symptoms aren’t subsiding or are getting worse. Decongestants will reduce the swelling inside the nasal cavity, as well as the pressure in the sinuses and ears. It’s particularly important for infants to see a doctor shortly after the symptoms arise. A stuffy nose and a fever can be dangerous for young children.