What Does It Feel Like To Constantly Have A Blocked Nose
Although most of us will have experienced a blocked nose at some point in our lives, there are many different causes, each with their own set of symptoms. It can be worthwhile, therefore, to spend a bit of time pinpointing exactly how you feel, as this can help you to identify the cause of your nose trouble and find an effective solution.
One important point to consider is if you are producing a lot of mucus. This is most likely to be caused by a virus, allergy or intolerance, as it is your bodys mechanism of trying to trap and expel the infection or irritant from your body.
If you feel that you are blocked up but are not really producing mucus, then this is more indicative of a physical abnormality, such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum.
It is quite common for people to complain of having a blocked nose on one side. If this is caused by an infection or allergies, then it is quite common for the blocked nostril to switch sides. If caused by a deviated septum or obstruction, then the same nostril will always be affected.
Causes And Treatment Of Stuffy Nose On One Side
The nose alternates typically where the air enters, but this is invisible to us when everything is normal. However, when we notice that the nose is blocked on one side, we realize the lack of air and how uncomfortable it is not to breathe well. Trauma, a deviation of the septum, allergy, and even a tumor may be responsible for you noticing that the nose is blocked only on one side.
If you wonder why my nose is blocked on one side and you want to know the causes and what to do in those cases, you will be interested in this article that FastlyHealhas prepared for you.
One Side Of Nose Always Blocked
- Posted on: Jul 6 2016
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Patients frequently complain that they have one side of their nose that is always blocked. This is typically due to structural issues in the nose.
The nasal septum is the divider between the right and left side of your nose. It is made of cartilage and bone and it may be deviated into one side of the nose. This may occur following a previous history of trauma but frequently there is no known history of previous injury. This deviation may become progressively worse over time causing increasing symptoms of congestion.
The deviation of the nasal septum will typically also cause turbinate swelling. Turbinates are natural structures inside our nose intended to filter, humidifier, and warm the air we breathe. The mixed airflow signals that occur because of a deviated septum will cause progressive enlargement of the turbinates which will also cause chronic nasal congestion.
Dont live with chronic congestion that doesnt respond to allergy therapy when evaluation and treatment is so easy with modern techniques.
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How To Treat Your Congestion
Theres really nothing you can do to shut off the nasal cycle, says Dr. Roditi. Its likely that one nostril will always feel more stuffed up than the other when youre sick. Still, after about 90 minutes to 4 hours, your nose switches sides. When that occurs, youll probably feel some relief when the swelling in the one nostril goes downbut then the other side will start to feel clogged instead.
Your best bet is to work on easing the congestion overall. Steam from a hot shower or humidifier can help open the floodgates, says Dr. Roditi.
Drinking hot liquids can increase the rate at which the little hairs in your nose sweep mucus out of it. Some experts think that’s the mechanism by which chicken soup could help your congestion clear up.
Saline nasal sprays can help flush out mucus, too. “Saline sprays are a great solution,” explains Lakiea Wright, M.D., an allergist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “You’re essentially helping your body wash out allergens or viruses,” she says. “Two other popular ways to do that are with a neti pot, or with a squeeze bottle kit from the drugstore,” she explains. Both are ways to rinse the nasal passages with saline and distilled water. Most people use the neti pot with their heads tilted over the sink, “and some people like to use the squeeze bottle in the shower,” Dr. Wright says. “Either way, they’re very effective.”
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Be Gentle When You Blow Your Nose
When you feel like theres a blockage in your nose, the temptation is to reach for the tissues and try to clear it quickly, Dr Ramskill says, But blowing too hard or too often could cause bleeding or an infection in the sinuses, which will only make things worse. Blowing your nose too much can also contribute to the swelling that may be making your nose feel blocked in the first place.
The best way to clear any mucus is to blow your nose gently one nostril at a time.
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Why Is My Nose Always Blocked Even When Im Not Sick
Nasal congestion can be induced by a variety of factors, but essentially by anything that inflames or irritates the nasal tissues. Colds, flu, sinusitis, and allergies, for example, are all typical causes. Nasal congestion can be caused by a tumor or polyp in rare situations. Even more rarely, it may be due to damage to the nerve cells that control the muscles of the nose and throat.
When you’re not sick, your body is in a state of equilibrium. Your immune system is strong enough to fight off most infections, but your organs are still able to function properly because they get the oxygen they need. If you were to stop breathing for several minutes, your brain would eventually receive a signal from your body that something was wrong and it would have to work harder to fix the problem.
During an attack of nasal congestion, your body doesn’t know how to handle this stress differently. The symptoms will stay constant until the cause is removed, so even if you feel better after taking medication for a cold or getting some rest, more congestion will soon return if the condition isn’t corrected.
If you’re constantly suffering from nasal congestion, see your doctor to determine the cause of your problems and take appropriate steps to resolve it.
Do Nasal Polyps Hurt Or Bleed
If they are true benign nasal polyps, then you shouldnt experience any pain or bleeding, Dr. Kim says. However, there are other benign and cancerous masses that may grow in sinuses and nasal passages and disguise themselves as nasal polyps, such as an inverted papilloma or sinus cancer . If you are experiencing unexplained pain and bleeding in your nose, dont ignore it, especially if its just on one side of your nose. Your ENT may need to perform a biopsy if the growth looks suspicious.
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Are Nasal Polyps More Common In Children Or Adults
It depends on which type of nasal polyps we are talking about, Dr. Kim says. If the polyps are related to a sinus disease or an allergy to aspirin or ibuprofen, then they are more likely to occur in adults. On the other hand, nasal polyps associated with cystic fibrosis are more common in children.
Ask A Pharmacist About Treatment Options
If your blocked nose is really annoying or stubborn, there are over-the-counter treatments. Although these are readily available, speak to a pharmacist first to decide which one is best for you, says Dr Ramskill.
The following treatments are available as nasal sprays or tablets:
These are for short-term relief only, and usually help colds.
SteroidsThese are most helpful for allergies or relieving an ongoing blocked nose.
AntihistaminesThese can help ease allergy symptoms but some can cause drowsiness.
Its best to try decongestants first, but they can actually make things worse if you use them for more than a week, says Dr Ramskill. Steroid sprays are the next option and are fine for long-term use.
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Reasons Behind A Stuffy Nose At Night
If your nose is stuffy at night, one or both of the following are to blame:
- Excess mucus is blocking your nasal passageways
- Blood vessels inside your nasal passages are swollen and/or inflamed
It’s possible that congestion may feel worse at night because you are too distracted during the day to notice how stuffy you really are. But that’s not the whole story. The following can contribute to excess mucus and nasal swelling that increases nighttime stuffiness:
Why Does Only One Nostril Get Blocked When Youre Sick
Its down to whats known as the nasal cycle. We might not realise it, but our bodies deliberately direct the airflow more through one nostril than the other, switching between nostrils every few hours. A constant airflow can dry out the nostrils, which damages their lining, so giving one nostril a rest helps prevent this from happening.
When we have a cold, the blood vessels in the nose dilate as part of the bodys immune response, and the nose also produces more mucus. Both of these changes cause congestion, but youll feel more blocked in the nostril thats currently off duty. The nostril with the full airflow might feel fine.
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Color Of Nasal Discharge With Colds
- The nasal discharge changes color during different stages of a cold. This is normal.
- It starts as a clear discharge and later becomes cloudy.
- Sometimes it becomes yellow or green colored for a few days. This is still normal.
- Colored discharge is common after sleep, with allergy medicines or with low humidity. Reason: all of these events decrease the amount of normal nasal secretions.
Q: Why Do I Sometimes Get Congested In One Nostril
A: Many people dont realize that every four to six hours, one side of the nose becomes more congested, and the other side decongests. They switch back and forth in a normal cycle.
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If one side is more obstructed to begin with from a deviated septum or swelling of the soft tissue structures, it will be more noticeable when that side decongests.
Here are other reasons for congestion in one nostril:
- Side sleeping. People also experience stuffiness in the nostril that faces down when they sleep on their side.
- Deviated septum. If you have blockage that is continuous, it could be a result of a deviated septum.
- Inflammation and nasal polyps. There are people who have chronic inflammation and nasal polyps. In rare cases, this can be due to a tumor, but these are uncommon. Chronic and persistent obstruction on one side should be evaluated by a doctor, and probably an ENT .
- Foreign objects in the nose. In small children, blockage in one nostril might be due to a foreign body that they put in their nose. If you see thick drainage or pus coming out, its time to call your doctor.
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The Common Cold And Viral Upper Respiratory Infection
Of course, one of the major culprits is the common cold. It can be caused by many different virus strains particularly rhinoviruses that manifest in the classic symptoms of a sore throat, sneezing, coughing, headaches, high temperature, feelings of pressure in the ears and face, and, of course, a runny and/or blocked nose. Colds are rarely serious, although there is no cure or vaccine, and antibiotics are ineffective. The symptoms can be treated with rest, paracetamol, and perhaps a decongestant, and these infections are self-limiting with resolution within 10 days or so being the rule.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nasal Polyps
At the beginning stages, nasal polyps may have no symptoms at all. As they grow bigger, you may experience a stuffy nose, cough, headaches, and sinus pressure. Unfortunately, these symptoms are shared by several other conditions, such as the common cold, flu and allergies. If you do have these symptoms and they wont go away, consult with your primary physician or otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose and throat doctor.
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Why Is My Nose Always Blocked On One Side
A deviated septum might be the cause of your continual obstruction. Nasal polyps and inflammation Some people suffer from persistent inflammation and nasal polyps. This can be caused by a tumor in rare circumstances, however these are uncommon.
These tumors usually develop in the tissues lining the inside of the nose and are most common among young adults who suffer from chronic infections or allergies. The tissue grows into large masses that block off one or both nostrils.
Most often, surgery is required to remove the polyp. In some cases, topical medications may help reduce the severity of symptoms or prevent further growth.
If you are diagnosed with a deviated septum, contact our office for an appointment with one of our board-certified otolaryngologists . We offer free consultations and will help you decide what treatment option is best for you.
How Can I Tell If My Nasal Congestion Is Something More Serious
Nasal blockage is rarely serious, albeit its usually annoying, uncomfortable and intrusive in that it can prevent sleep and reduce quality of life.
It can be more serious if you notice pain, if its worsening and progressive on one-side or when blood is coming from the nose. If any of these apply, then you should seek the advice of a specialist.
If you want to talk to a specialist about your blocked nose, then dont hesitate and book an appointment with Mr Mike OConnell.
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Hold A Warm Flannel To Your Cheeks
Holding a warm compress to your cheeks and face can ease the pressure in your sinuses, explains Dr Ramskill. You can do this as often as you need.
You can make a warm compress at home by soaking a flannel or cloth in warm water and ringing it out. The water should be hot but not scalding, like a bath.
Your Normal Nasal Cycle
According to Dr. Cornetta, the body naturally undergoes something called the “nasal cycle” in which congestion alternates between your two nostrils. This happens when the nasal turbinate, a small structure in the nose that cleans and humidifies the air you breathe, gets clogged.
“The inferior turbinate is the one that causes limited airflow when congested,” Dr. Cornetta says. “The turbinate can also be swollen on one side more than the other from allergies.” To correct the issue, he recommends a nasal steroid or nasal antihistamine spray. If the problem persists and interferes with your quality of life, it’s time to see a doctor.
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Remedies And Treatments For A Stuffy Nose
In general, you want to keep mucus thin, which will help it drain from your nose. Over-the-counter drugs, nasal washes, and positional adjustments may also help.
Breathe in Steam
Steam thins mucus and soothes irritated nasal passages. Taking long showers can also help with muscle aches and mild fatigue, which are symptoms that sometimes accompany a stuffy nose. You can also fill a bowl with hot water and lean over it. Drape a towel over your head to contain the steam and receive maximum benefits.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking lots of water isnât a bad idea when you arenât feeling well, because it will keep you hydrated, but there isnât much scientific evidence that fluids have a real effect on colds and congestion. You can also drink fruit or vegetable juices, which bring their own health benefits, but be careful not to let sugar consumption spike. Hot herbal teas will both contribute to your fluid intake and provide plenty of steam to flush out your sinuses.
Flush Nasal Passages
A neti pot or nasal irrigator will flush your nose out. You can purchase a saline spray at most drug stores or make your own. Use it several times a day to help clear congestion and keep nasal passages moist. If making your own, combine:
- 1 cup warm water
- Â½ teaspoon salt
- A pinch of baking soda
Just be careful to keep your neti pot or irrigator clean. Wash the head and rinse out the body after each use. These devices can easily become contaminated with irritants or bacteria.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider for any of the following:
- A stuffy nose with swelling of the forehead, eyes, side of the nose, or cheek, or that occurs with blurred vision
- More throat pain, or white or yellow spots on the tonsils or other parts of the throat
- Discharge from the nose that has a bad smell, comes from only one side, or is a color other than white or yellow
- Cough that lasts longer than 10 days, or produces yellow-green or gray mucus
- Nasal discharge following a head injury
- Symptoms that last more than 3 weeks
- Nasal discharge with fever
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Other Causes Of Nasal Congestion
Swollen adenoid glands may cause nasal congestion, particularly in children. Adenoid glands are fleshy bits of tissue which hang down from the back of the nose. If they shrink naturally, often nothing needs to be done. However, if they are causing problems they can be removed by an operation. For more details, see the leaflet called What do tonsils do?
If the dividing tissue between your two nostrils is not straight , this can cause nasal congestion. It can be the result of injury or just the shape into which your nose has grown since you were born.
Children may get objects such as beads or peas stuck up their noses. Rarely, a tumour in the airways around the nose or sinuses may cause congestion.