Everyone knows the feeling of a bad head cold. You get a stuffy nose, a headache, maybe a sore throat, an ear ache or even the occasional dizzy spell. These are common symptoms for those affected by a cold or seasonal allergies, but what if you don’t have a cold or any known allergy problems? This congestion can be a confusing and scary experience if you can’t figure out the causes. The cause of your unexplained congestion may be easier to figure out than you think.
1. Vasomotor Rhinitis
Rhinitis is a condition that affects most people at some point. It is usually brought on by a cold, infection or allergens that affect hay fever, however vasomotor rhinitis is not caused by any of these things. Though it has been studied for years, the exact cause of this specific condition is unknown. Some of the triggers may seem bizarre but the most common ones are: emotional distress, pollution, a dry climate, alcohol and even spicy foods. Along with the stuffy nose, some may experience sneezing or postnasal drip that causes a sore throat and coughing.
2. Nasal Sprays
When a stuffy or runny nose become a burden, there is over-the-counter relief through treatments such as nasal spray. While this treatment is meant to help clear the congestion, when used too much it can actually add to the problem.The overuse of nasal sprays can make your symptoms worse. If you have been using an over the counter nasal spray regularly for three days or more, you should consult a healthcare professional in Hillsborough to see if this is what is making symptoms worse or stopping them from improving.
3. Nasal Polyps
If your breathing seems to be getting worse and your nasal cavity feels tighter with no explanation, a condition known as nasal polyps could be to blame. These fleshy, sac-like growths can form anywhere in the sinuses or the lining of the nose. They can block the airway, making it difficult to breathe. Polyps grow slowly over time so for many patients, it is not until many have formed that breathing difficulties become noticeable. There is not always an obvious cause of polyps, but it is important to identify them so that appropriate treatments can be started.
During pregnancy, the body goes through many changes. Among some of the more well-known changes are symptoms of morning sickness that mirror those brought on by spoiled food or a stomach virus but another less known side effect is nasal congestion. Because of the high levels of estrogen and progesterone that increase blood flow, the membranes in the nose may swell or soften, causing congestion.
Having a stuffy nose without any obvious causes can be frustrating. The best solution for your unexplained congestion is to get a correct diagnosis from a specialist. Keep track of your symptoms and schedule an appointment as soon as you can to get back peace of mind and easy breathing.