Nasal congestion is caused by the dilation of the blood vessels and the consequent increase in the irrigation of the lining of the nose, causing its inflammation. In this way, the nasal passages narrow, making it difficult for air to pass through.
The most common causes are infections (e.g., cold, flu, or sinusitis) and allergies. However, it can also be caused by irritating agents (e.g., tobacco smoke), sudden changes in temperature and humidity, sleep apnea, abnormalities of the thyroid gland, enlargement of the adenoid glands, hormonal changes, some medications (e.g., certain antihypertensives and antidepressants) or abuse of topical nasal decongestants.
Normally, nasal congestion is accompanied by other symptoms, such as the runny nose or runny nose, itchy nose (especially when the congestion is allergic), and sneezing. In general, for adults and older children, a stuffy nose is just a nuisance. However, it can be more serious in young children, since it can cause sleep disturbance, and in babies, because it can interfere with breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
Measures To Relieve Stuffy Nose And Runny Nose
Recommendations to help reduce congestion and runny nose include the following:
Avoid sudden changes in temperature (eg, do not set the heater to a very high temperature in winter).
.Control ambient humidity (eg, using a humidifier). Avoid alcohol consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Drink liquids (water, infusions, juices …) abundantly. In this way, the dilution of mucus from the nose is favored, and it will be more easily expelled.
• If the congestion is of allergic origin, limit exposure to allergens (substances that cause the allergic reaction) as much as possible. Some of the most common are dust mites, pollen, or the epithelium of some animals.
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Carry out nasal washes with solutions of saline solution or seawater. These help remove mucus and hydrate the nasal mucosa. Furthermore, they have no side effects. For infants and toddlers who do not yet know how to blow their nose, a suction pear or nasal aspirator should be used to gently remove mucus.
Take steam inhalations. To do this, you must heat water and inhale the steam, covering the head with a towel. However, it is important to see a doctor if the duration of symptoms exceeds ten days, if there is a high fever or if the congestion is accompanied by yellow, green, or blood-colored mucus. It is also advisable to see a doctor when congestion results in sleep disturbances in children and, in babies, when it interferes with their diet or causes difficulties in breathing normally.