During colds and flu, often the nose feels uncomfortable and stuffy like being blocked. It interferes with breathing and makes the person talk while making it difficult to sleep at night. What exactly causes nasal congestion?
Causes of nasal congestion
Nasal congestion is a term that refers to the blockage of airflow in and out of the nose. Generally, people think that the main cause of nasal congestion is due to excess snot. Nasal congestion is common due to swelling of the nasal lining.
Nasal congestion is a symptom of inflammation of the lining of the nasal cavity. This causes swelling that can reduce or even obstruct the flow of air entering through the nostrils. The cause of inflammation of the nose can be due to colds, flu, or allergies.
If due to viruses or bacteria such as colds and flu, it is likely the nose will be blocked between 5-10 days until completely healed. If your nose is blocked due to allergies, it may last longer.
In addition to inflammation, the cause of nasal congestion is also due to dilation (enlargement) of large blood vessels in the nose. This enlargement will reduce the nostrils and reduce airflow.
There are also other causes of nasal congestion as follows.
Bronchiolitis; respiratory tract infections that cause inflammation and blockage in the small respiratory tract in the lungs
- Adenoid enlargement, a gland behind the nose on the roof of the mouth that can be enlarged due to infection or enlargement from birth
- Nasal Polyps or nasal polyps; the network growing in nostrils or in the form of meat that developed in the nostril
- Injury or trauma to the nose or sinuses
- Medicines ( often using decongestant drugs, both spray, and drops)
- The presence of foreign matter which obstructs the nose
- The presence of tumors in the nose
- Environmental irritation
- Other viral infections
Overcoming nasal congestion
The cause of nasal congestion due to colds and flu can be prevented by practicing a clean lifestyle. In addition, it can also be prevented by avoiding the cause.
If the cause is due to colds and flu, prevent it by getting used to a clean and healthy life. Wash your hands often, avoid sharing glasses or cutlery, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and avoid close contact with sick people.
If your nose is blocked due to allergies, prevent by avoiding allergens or allergens (such as dust, pollen, smoke). Allergy to the nose can be relieved by using a moisturizer or nasal salt spray. Can also wash it.
In some conditions, nasal congestion will disappear by itself. It’s just that, on some may need treatment.
After knowing the cause, here’s how to deal with nasal congestion. For the record, this method tends to work only for a short time and needs to be repeated until the main cause of the nasal congestion is gone.
- Breathe warm steam. Place boiling water in a container such as a large bowl or basin then places it on the table. Sit in a chair and place your face on a bowl, then breathe normally, inhale the steam from the hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- Saltwater solution. Saltwater can help clear a blocked nose for a short time. You can buy a nasal spray from a pharmacy or by prescription. There is also a salt spray that aims to clean the nasal passageways.
- Eucalyptus oil or balm. Many products contain ingredients such as menthol or eucalyptus oil. These products can help relieve nasal congestion and can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.