Nasal congestion is a medical symptom that can develop due to many different factors. These factors can be considered in two main groups as disorders in the anatomical structure of the nose and inflammations related to them.
Deviation of the nasal septum, swelling of the nasal concha and adenoid, which is one of the structural elements in the nose, are the most common causes of anatomical nasal obstruction. The causes of congestion due to inflammatory processes in the nose consist of medical conditions such as colds, flu infections, sinusitis and hay fever.
What is Nasal Congestion?
The situation where breathing, which is one of the most important tasks of the nose, cannot be fulfilled based on the mentioned factors is called nasal congestion.
Nasal congestion, also referred to as nasal congestion, is a symptom that usually occurs after inflammation of the sinus structures located in the inner parts of the face area.
What Causes Nasal Congestion?
Nasal congestion mostly occurs due to simple infectious diseases such as flu and cold. The complaints of nasal congestion due to such diseases usually regress within 1 week.
Prolongation of this period may indicate another underlying health problem. There are many different conditions that can cause long-term nasal congestion:
- Hay fever
- Intranasal non-cancerous growths or tumoral formations called nasal polyps
- Exposure to various chemicals
- Exposure to environmental irritants of intranasal structures
- Chronic sinusitis
The wall-like structure in the middle consisting of cartilage and bone that divides the nose into two is called the nasal septum in the medical literature. The curvature of this nasal septum is called nasal septum deviation. Nasal septum deviation is one of the most common causes of nasal obstruction. Treatment includes surgical correction of the nasal septum.
Septum deviation is a problem that can occur congenitally (from birth) or acquired as a result of trauma to the nose area. Septum deviation is a health problem that can progress with aging. In individuals with mild deviation, this may not cause any symptoms, but various complaints occur in more severe curvatures. Difficulty in breathing through the nose, nasal congestion, nose bleeding, sinus infections, unilateral nasal dryness and snoring are among the symptoms of septum deviation.
Swelling in the structures called concha, known as the concha, which has three in each nasal cavity, causes congestion in the holes where the sinuses are opened, as well as nasal congestion. Since the sinuses are opened to the middle turbinate, when there is swelling in the middle ones, sinus aeration is disrupted, and therefore the sinuses become inflamed, resulting in sinusitis. Sinusitis also causes headaches and impairs quality of life. In other words, nasal congestion, which we see as simple, can open the door to many negative situations with a domino effect.
The curvature of the septum, which forms the anatomical structure of the nose, or swelling in the turbinates, compresses the trigeminal nerve on the face and is a cause of nasal-origin headache that spreads along the nerve. Since it can be confused with migraine, it is important to take a detailed history from the patient in order to distinguish the two.
Nasal polyps can be defined as benign growths of tissues located on the inner surface (mucosa) of the nose. The mucosal layer is the wet layer of the nose, and by humidifying the inhaled air, it has a protective effect on both the intranasal structures and the sinuses. In short-term infection or allergy-related irritations, the mucosa becomes edematous, red and usually manifests as a runny nose. In prolonged irritations, small cystic polyp structures may occur and cause obstruction of the air passages in the nose.
What are the causes of a runny nose?
Inside the nose are glands that produce a liquid called mucus to moisten the air we breathe. If the functioning of the glands is affected by various medical conditions, there will be more fluid secretion than normal, resulting in a runny nose or post-nasal drip.
Due to upper respiratory tract infections such as flu and cold in winter, runny nose and postnasal drip are frequently encountered. In summer, there is a runny nose due to allergic factors rather than infection.
Runny nose can be seen all year due to allergies and it is an extremely uncomfortable symptom that impairs the quality of life of people.
For nasal congestion, doctors prescribe oral tablets or nasal sprays. However, these drugs are difficult to use continuously due to other side effects. The best way to get rid of allergy symptoms is to eliminate the causes. If possible, not going out and not opening the windows in the morning hours when pollen is intense in the spring months reduce allergic reactions. Cleaning and removing house dust, which is the most important trigger of allergies, is of great importance.