Yep – a stuffy nose with no apparent cause.
When you don’t know what’s behind your nasal congestion, you can’t treat it effectively, which is beyond frustrating. The congestion might affect your ability to sleep, breathe, and speak comfortably.
To get to the bottom of the issue and treat it correctly, check out our list of common nasal congestion causes.
What do you think when you hear the word ‘allergies’ in terms of nasal congestion?
Chances are, you think of grass, tree and flower pollen allergies, also known as hayfever.
While hayfever is a common cause of nasal congestion, many people don’t know that food allergies can also be the culprit. That’s right – allergies to foods including milk, tree nuts, and wheat can all cause a blocked nose.
If your nasal congestion comes and goes with no apparent cause, it’s worth keeping a food diary and watching out for any patterns, or arranging allergy tests.
2. Nasal Polyps
They might sound scary, but nasal polyps are actually fairly harmless, soft, painless growths inside the nose.
Polyps form in response to inflammation and can vary in size and frequency. You might not notice smaller polyps, but polyps which are larger or clustered together can contribute to nasal congestion.
You might struggle to breathe properly and lose your sense of smell.
If nasal polyps are causing an issue, talk to your doctor – it’s possible to shrink or remove polyps via medication or surgery.
3. Cold and Flu
If you’ve got a common cold, the flu, or another virus or infection, there’s a good chance that it’s the cause of your nasal congestion.
What if you’re not sure whether or not you’ve got a cold, though?
The following symptoms are clear signs of an infection:
- Sore throat
- Body aches and pains
- Mild headache
- Low-grade fever
There’s not much you can do for a stuffy nose that’s caused by an infection, although drinking plenty of fluids, taking warm showers, and using saline nasal sprays can all provide some relief.
4. Non-Allergic Rhinitis
Rhinitis basically is a fancy way of describing an inflamed nasal passage. Inflammation can create the uncomfortable sensation of a stuffy nose, and the exact cause isn’t always clear.
If you’re suffering from non-allergic rhinitis, you might benefit from regular nasal irrigation, using a device like a neti pot, which allows you to rinse the nasal passage with saltwater.
Nasal sprays containing antihistamines, steroids, and decongestant can all help, but it’s best to get a doctor’s advice before choosing a spray, as some can have negative side-effects.
What Are the Most Common Nasal Congestion Causes?
The most common nasal congestion causes include allergies, common colds, infections, nasal polyps, and non-allergic rhinitis.
If you’re suffering from regular nasal congestion with no apparent cause, be sure to seek medical advice, as it could signify something more serious.
Looking for more advice on sinus health? Check out our blog.