Nasal congestion is medical term for a stuffy nose. Chronic nasal congestion is the severe level when patients have it in a long term. It is usually a symptom of another disease or health problem, such as a sinus infection and allergy. It can also be caused by the common flu. Chronic nasal congestion is often signed by mucus buildup, nasal tissue swelling, sinus pain, and stuffy nose. When it comes to the chronic nasal congestion treatment, medication treatment and home treatment procedures can be taken. Before going further to the treatments, it is important to know why someone suffers from chronic nasal congestion.
Several Reasons Why You Experience Chronic Nasal Congestion
1. Inflammation in Nasal Tissues Due To Dryness
Dryness, whether it comes from dehumidifier, indoor heating, or air conditioner will cause nasal tissue inflammation. It gives the nose congestion. Nasal tissue can be drier also by the age. The combination of dryness and age make the nasal congestion chronic, especially if it is not well treated.
2. Sinus Infection
One of the most common causes of irritation and inflammation in the nose is viral infection. The source can be also bacterial or fungal. The chronic nasal congestion often last more than 12 weeks, so don’t wait too long to find help. The sinus infection symptoms usually come as pain in the face, headache, and reduce sense of smell. Unfortunately, many people recognize these as symptoms of allergies or common flu.
3. Deviated Septum
When you can’t breathe through one side, it may be also caused by deviated septum. Trauma can be one of the reasons of why the nose septum is deviated. If it is really bothering, you need to have it repaired with a surgery if the medication treatment doesn’t give enough result.
4. It Can Be A Polyp
Polyp can be a reason why you have chronic nasal congestion. It is a noncancerous growth appears in the lining of the sinuses or nose which block the breathe track in the nose. Polyp grows due to allergy or inflammation. If it is diagnosed, the doctor will prescribe a nasal steroid spray. If the polyp is really bothersome and doesn’t shrink with chronic nasal congestion treatment using steroid spray and other medications, a surgery may be taken.
Allergy is when certain allergen enters the nose and stimulates irritation. There are plenty of allergens that may stimulate stuffy nose such as pollen, dry air, cold air, and dust. Irritation causes inflammation in the nose lines that produces stuffiness. One of the treatments to take if you suffer from allergies is allergy shots.
Chronic Nasal Congestion Treatment with Home Remedies
Some people may feel inconvenience with medication treatment. However, it should be taken if the congestion gets worse. But several home remedies can be good treatments before going to have medication treatment.
- Steam Inhalation
One of the most popular home remedies to relieve nasal congestion instantly is steam inhalation. It helps to lubricate the irritated track in the nose as well as clear the congestion naturally. How to apply this home remedy? Just fill the bowl with boiling water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Then, inhale the steam for approximately 10 minutes. Moreover, inhale steam from hot bath to decrease congestion. Steam inhalation is NOT recommended for children below the age of 12, high blood pressure sufferers, pregnant women, and people with heart problem.
- Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation can be an effective chronic nasal congestion treatment as long as it occurs in adults. This treatment helps to get rid of the irritants and mucus from the nasal tracks and give you a relief. First, dilute 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt into 2 cups of warm water. Pour this solution into a small pot. Second, tilt the head back. Next, slowly pour the mixture into one of nostrils. It will drain out to the other side of nostril. Repeat the step for another nostril.
- Vapor Rub
Many people doubt the safety of vapor rub. It is safe as long as is not used for children below 2 years old. Vapor rub contains several active ingredients such as menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil that help to clear the nasal congestion and give more comfort to the nose. It can be rubbed on the back, throat, and chest. For adults and children above 12 years of age, it can be diluted in boiled water to make inhalation steam.
- Nasal Steroid Spray
Though it is available over the dispensary, it would be better to ask for your doctor’s prescription to use it. Steroid treatments and antibiotics help to break the cycle of inflammation that causes congestion.
Garlic is one of the best remedies can be applied as chronic nasal congestion treatment. It helps to control excessive mucus and also prevents nose from infection since it has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. How to apply this remedy is by consuming it orally. You can eat fresh garlic cloves, drink boiled garlic water, and consuming garlic supplement. However, consult a doctor before taking supplement is necessary.
Read also: Health Benefits of Eating Raw Garlic
Home remedies as alternatives for chronic nasal congestion treatment may work for many people and don’t work to many others. If all of those remedies don’t work after a couple of weeks, maybe it is time to consider surgery by the recommendation of a doctor. It sounds scary, but improvements in medical tech make it possible for many patients to have easy surgery procedure and return quickly to their daily activities.
Some prevention ways also need to be done for those who already recovered from chronic nasal congestion or have never had it. Losing weight can be considered to avoid this medical condition. The reason is that people who have obesity are more likely to have chronic sinusitis and allergies than those who don’t.
In addition to control weight, prevention can be done by avoiding cigarette smoke. A smoking habit will make it harder to recover from this nose problem. Though chronic nasal congestion treatment can be effective for many people, it is better to prevent than to treat.