What are the causes of nasal congestion?

What are the causes of nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion can be due to many permanent or temporary reasons.


Infections: In upper respiratory tract infections such as cold, flu, sinusitis, nasal congestion occurs due to swelling of the nasal mucosa and increased secretion production. This condition is temporary and will improve with the right infection treatment. In chronic sinusitis, surgical treatment is the solution.


Allergic rhinitis (hay fever): In patients with allergies such as pollen and grass, in certain seasons, in patients with allergies such as house dust and mold, there is an increase in secretion production and swelling in the mucous membrane and nasal concha, which persists all year, due to the excessive reaction of the nasal mucosa when they encounter allergens. This causes nasal congestion. Especially in all-year-long allergies, the growth of the nasal concha due to the long-term reaction of the nasal mucosa becomes permanent and nasal congestion continues even if the allergen is not encountered. Its treatment is medical, but surgical treatment may be required for permanent growths in the nasal concha.


Vasomotor rhinitis (Pseudo hay fever): It is a condition that is triggered by many reasons such as stress, cigarette smoke, air pollution, different smells, spicy foods, and temperature changes, and is caused by an overreactive response of the nasal mucosa, which is accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose in the patient. Complaints are confused with allergic rhinitis. Although it impairs the quality of life, it does not cause vital problems in allergies. Its treatment is medical. Surgical treatment is rarely used.


Adenoid hypertrophy (adenoid enlargement): It is one of the most common causes of nasal congestion, especially in the childhood age group. Adenoid enlargement is rare in adults. For many reasons such as frequent infections, allergies, air pollution, consumption of additives, the tissue mass of the immune system in the back of the nose in children grows excessively and causes difficulty in breathing through the nose in children. Surgical treatment may be required.


Foreign body: It can be a cause of nasal congestion, especially in children. Foreign body should be considered if there is a sudden onset of unilateral nasal congestion or unilateral long-standing inflammatory colored discharge and congestion.


Septum deviation (Nose curvature): The nose is divided into two by a structure called the septum, which continues with the cartilage in the front and the bone in the back. Curvatures in this cartilage and bone structure that develop due to various reasons such as congenital or subsequent accidents, impacts, falls, cause difficulty in breathing through the nose. If the curvature of the nose causes severe nasal congestion, its treatment is surgery.


Concha hypertrophy (nasal concha enlargement): There are tissues in the nose, three on each side, which we call turbinate, which plays an active role in the humidification and heating function of the nose. If the concha enlarges for various reasons, it can lead to nasal congestion. If it does not improve with medical treatment, the treatment is surgery.


Tumors: Tumors originating from the nasal mucosa, sinuses or nasal passages may grow into the nose and cause congestion. Nasal congestion may be accompanied by other complaints such as bleeding toothache, postnasal drip, headache and facial pain.


Medications: Some nasal sprays called decongestants used as nasal decongestants can cause nasal congestion in long-term use. Shortly after this group of sprays is sprayed with an adrenaline-like effect, it narrows the vessels, reducing the swelling in the nasal mucosa and shrinking the nasal flesh. In long-term use, the swelling-shrinking mechanism of the nasal concha, which works automatically in the nose and is necessary for the healthy functioning of the nasal functions, is disrupted and the patient feels nasal congestion because the nasal turbinates are swollen unless the spray is sprayed. Using these sprays for a long time thins the nasal mucosa, may cause bleeding, and may cause melting and perforation of the cartilage due to the blood supply disorder. When the drug is absorbed and passes into the systemic circulation, it may cause elevations in blood pressure.

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