Having a clear and unobstructed nasal passage allows you to breathe easier. Having a nasal blockage with a runny nose can be a bothersome and uncomfortable condition to deal with from day to day. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments for nasal blockage is crucial to finding relief. Continue reading to learn more about nasal blockage treatment options.
Nasal blockage with a runny nose, often referred to as rhinorrhea, occurs when the nasal passages become swollen and produce excessive mucus. The condition can be triggered by various factors, including allergies, the common cold, flu, sinusitis, and exposure to environmental irritants. Common symptoms of rhinorrhea include congestion, sneezing, postnasal drip, and difficulty breathing through the nose.
Before seeking professional medical advice, if you have mild nasal blockage, try some of these simple home remedies to see if they help:
Nasal Irrigation Techniques: One of the most effective and natural ways to relieve nasal blockage is through nasal irrigation, which uses a saline solution to clear mucus and irritants from the nasal passages. A neti pot can also be used as a gentle and controlled nasal rinse.
Steam Inhalation: Inhaling warm steam can help soothe irritated nasal passages and loosen mucus. This age-old remedy can be done by leaning over a bowl of hot water and inhaling the steam.
Humidification: Dry air can exacerbate nasal congestion. Using a humidifier at home can add moisture to the air, reducing symptoms from nasal irritation and blockage.
Avoid Allergens and Irritants: If allergies are triggering your nasal blockage, identifying and avoiding common allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites, can further reduce your symptoms.
Prevention is key to reducing the frequency and severity of nasal blockage.
Personal Hygiene Habits: Regular hand washing can reduce the risk of contracting viruses and infections that may cause nasal blockage.
Managing Allergies and Sensitivities: Identifying and avoiding allergens or irritants can significantly reduce nasal blockage from reoccurring.
Creating an Allergen-Free Environment: Keeping your home clean and free from dust, pet dander, and other allergens will contribute to better nasal health.
When home remedies do not provide sufficient relief, try one of these over-the-counter medications to alleviate nasal blockage symptoms.
Decongestants: Oral decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine, can temporarily reduce nasal congestion by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages. However, these medications should be used with caution and not for more than a few days to avoid "rebound congestion" and to prevent dependency.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by blocking the chemical that triggers allergic reactions and can be effective in managing allergies that lead to nasal blockage.
Nasal Steroid Sprays: Nasal corticosteroid sprays can help reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, providing long-term relief from nasal blockage due to allergies or sinusitis.
While most cases of nasal blockage with a runny nose are mild and self-limiting, certain situations require immediate medical attention.
Signs of a Severe Nasal Infection: High fever, severe headache, facial pain, or green/yellow nasal discharge may indicate a bacterial infection that requires prompt medical treatment.
Complications of Untreated Nasal Blockage: Chronic nasal blockage left untreated can lead to sinus infections, ear infections, and sleep disturbances. Seeking medical attention early can help prevent these complications.
If your nasal blockage persists or becomes severe, get an evaluation and start treatment from an ENT specialist. They will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate medications or begin immunotherapy treatment if necessary.
Surgical Treatments for Nasal Blockage
In some cases, when nothing else is cutting it, surgical intervention may be required to treat nasal blockage.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: This minimally invasive procedure involves the use of a small, flexible endoscope to remove blockages, polyps, or damaged tissue from the sinuses, to improve nasal drainage and breathing ability.
Septoplasty: When a deviated septum is the cause of nasal blockage, septoplasty surgery will straighten the nasal septum and improve airflow.
Turbinate Reduction: Enlarged turbinates, bony structures within the nose that can obstruct airflow, can be reduced in size through various methods to alleviate nasal blockage.
Nasal blockage with a runny nose can significantly reduce your quality of life, but effective treatments are available. From simple home remedies and OTC medications to professional medical interventions and surgical options, there are various ways to address this common condition. Schedule an appointment with our ENT specialist in Utah by filling out our contact form.