A stuffy nose is a common nuisance that adversely affects your ability to smell, taste, and breathe. It is most commonly the result of inflammation and swelling of the lining tissues of the nasal passages and sinuses. Less commonly, anatomical obstructions (for example, a deviated nasal septum, and foreign bodies) may lead to nasal congestion.
Stuffy Nose Causes & Treatment
A stuffy nose occurs when the tissues and blood vessels in the nasal lining become swollen and inflamed, leading to obstructed breathing.
Causes of nasal congestion vary widely; basically, anything that irritates the nasal passages can result in a stuffy nose. This includes colds, flu, allergies, sinusitis, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, nasal polyps, tumors, non-allergic rhinitis, dry air, cold temperatures, bright lights, thyroid conditions, hormonal changes, stress, and cigarette smoke.
A stuffy nose is usually treatable with home remedies. Decongestants and antihistamines provide instant relief, but their effectiveness decreases after a few days – prolonged use can actually cause symptoms to worsen. Try saline nasal sprays to keep the nasal passages from drying out, and run a humidifier to moisten the air. Drink plenty of liquids.
As always, you can contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our Otolaryngologists.