Stuffy nose? Causes, symptoms and remedies to breathe well again.


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Do you have a stuffy nose and don't know how to get rid of it? This article is for you.

A stuffy nose is a disorder usually known as nasal congestion and is a very common condition. It manifests as an accumulation of mucus and inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes often associated with colds and other respiratory conditions.

Fortunately, it is usually a transient problem with no particular complications and can be easily managed on one's own. Treatment often includes simple behavioural changes, natural remedies or the use of decongestant products. Although it can cause temporary discomfort, it usually has no particular consequences.

What are the causes of nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion can result from various conditions or diseases that cause excessive mucus production or alter the structure of blood vessels in the nasal cavities. The possible main causes of a stuffy nose are:

  • Flu.
  • Colds.
  • Allergies (to pollen, dust, or seasonal).
  • Rhinorrhoea: runny nose.
  • Rhinitis and sinusitis: respiratory tract infections and inflammation of the sinuses.
  • Deviation of the nasal septum.
  • Inhalation of a significant amount of cigarette smoke.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Enlarged adenoids: can be a significant problem, especially in children. This condition can lead to sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, low blood oxygen levels and in extreme cases even heart failure.

What are the symptoms of nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion is often identified with the synonym nasal obstruction or stuffy nose and is a common problem of the respiratory tract, especially during the winter months.

This discomfort results from the dilation of large veins in the nasal mucosa, called venous sinuses. The venous sinuses enlarge due to inflammation, causing swelling that can partially or completely block the nasal cavity, obstructing normal airflow and making breathing more difficult. Since the veins can contract and dilate cyclically, the swelling can change throughout the day and can affect one or both nostrils in turn.

Some typical symptoms associated with a stuffy nose are:

  • Rhinorrhoea (runny nose): frequent sneezing, watery eyes and reduced sense of smell.
  • Dyspnoea: indicates a difficulty in breathing and causes a feeling of distress to the person experiencing it. During the night, above all, it causes disturbances that can impair sleep, increasing the risk of sleep apnoea episodes. This leads to feelings of tiredness, irritability and a general feeling of discomfort during the day.
  • Itching of the nasal mucous membranes.
  • Occurrence of phlegm.
  • Fever and headache.
  • Pain in the chest and face.
  • Inappetence and nausea.

Have you ever experienced a stuffy nose without the presence of a cold?

It can happen to experience a stuffy nose in the absence of mucus or a cold. In these cases, nasal congestion occurs when the blood vessels that supply the mucous membranes of the nose are altered. Normally, the arteries, veins and capillaries are partially open or slightly contracted. However, certain factors can cause them to dilate excessively, in particular:

  • Intense physical exercise.
  • Excessive smoking.
  • Major changes in ambient temperature.
  • Emotional stress.

What are the treatments and remedies for nasal congestion?

To alleviate a stuffy nose, it is preferable to use natural remedies. Natural remedies, unlike decongestant drugs, do not cause dependence and addiction, the so-called 'rebound effect' that leads to the need to use more and more products to obtain the same benefits.

Let's take a look at the main natural remedies to fight a stuffy nose:

  • Nasal washes with saline solutions: useful for rinsing the nasal cavities with a saline solution and helping to clear the airways and keep them moist. Saline nasal sprays can also provide relief.
  • Suffumigation with steam: indicated to thin mucus.
  • Application of warm compresses on the nose.
  • Warm showers.
  • Drink plenty of water to hydrate the mucous membranes.
  • Follow a proper, light diet based on warm, liquid foods.
  • Use of a pillow that keeps the head elevated during sleep to relieve the pressure produced by the inflammation in the nasal cavities and facilitate breathing.

In the case of persistent nasal congestion, it is always advisable to consult your general practitioner for more specific and targeted treatment.

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Balsamic Patch Otosan

Gives relief from stuffy nose symptoms quickly and naturally.

The Otosan Balsamic Patch natural aromatherapy plasters can be easily applied to clothes and objects next to you. They gently release aromatic and active vapours, with an effect on the upper airways.

Suitable for adults and children, starting from 3 years of age.

They soothe nasal congestion, promoting the proper passage of air through the nose, during the day and while sleeping at night.

The pack includes 7 patches.

Autorizzazione Ministero della Salute del 29.05.12

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Nasal Spray Baby Otosan

Promotes the expulsion of excess mucus, helping to reduce nasal congestion and inflammation.

The result of our ongoing research in the field of otolaryngology, Otosan® Nasal Spray Baby is a nasal decongestant made with ingredients of plant origin, with a gentle formula that makes this product suitable for children.

Free from vasoconstrictors and propellant gases.

Autorizzazione Ministero della Salute del 29.05.12

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It is a CE medical device.
Read the instructions for use carefully.

Product Line

Nasal Spray Forte Otosan

Natural nasal spray with decongestant action useful for clearing a blocked nose.

Otosan Nasal Spray® arose from our constant and deep committment to develop natural products capable to offer a solution to several ENT conditions, which can often affect ears and nose at the same time.

Free from vasoconstrictors

Autorizzazione Ministero della Salute del 29.05.12

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It is a CE medical device.
Read the instructions for use carefully.

Product Line

Nasal Wash Otosan

Nasal wash ideal for daily nose hygiene and as a treatment for allergies, colds and sinusitis.

Otosan® Nasal Wash is useful in case of:

  • nasal congestion;
  • cold or allergic rhinitis;
  • acute and chronic sinusitis;
  • hypertrophic rhinitis during pregnancy;
  • snoring at night;
  • staying in dry or polluted environments;
  • exposure to fumes and irritants;
  • surgery (before and after);
  • daily cleansing of the nasal cavities.

Since it is constantly in contact with a large number of allergens, impurities and polluting dusts, keeping the nose clean and clear is the first step to prevent alterations of the mucous membrane of the nose (blocked nose, itching and dryness) and to allow correct airflow in the respiratory tract.

Autorizzazione Ministero della Salute del 29.05.12

Read More

It is a CE medical device.
Read the instructions for use carefully.

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