Vero ENT Associates

Stuffy Nose

A stuffy nose is a condition that doctors call nasal congestion, and it can be caused by several things. Although most people think they have a cold when they get a stuffy nose, this symptom can occur from a number of health conditions. With a stuffy nose, the membranes of the nasal passages get inflamed from excess mucus or from an irritating element.

Causes and Concerns

The most common cause of a stuffy nose is the common cold. Allergies are the second most common cause of a stuffy nose. An allergy is an inflammatory reaction to a pollutant whether it is environmental (grass, dust, pollen, hay fever, mold or pet dander). If over the counter medications (such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Dimetane) do not work for you, then our allergy specialists may prescribe a prescription allergy medication. If those fail, allergy shots are also an option.

Another cause of stuffy nose is vasomotor rhinitis, and it occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed (swollen.) During an allergy attack or reaction, the blood vessels get larger and cause the membranes in the nose to become blocked resulting in a stuffy nose. Avoidance of airway irritants usually helps with this form of stuffy nose.

The fourth cause of a chronic stuffy nose is structural abnormalities. Enlargement of the tissues in the nose (turbinate hypertrophy), crookedness of the divider in the nose (deviated septum) or collapse of the nasal soft tissues (nasal valve incompetence) can all contribute to complaints of nasal congestion or obstruction.

Symptoms and Signs

When you blow your nose, the mucus should be clear. If the mucus is yellow or green then you may have developed a bacterial infection, which will require antibiotics. You may also experience a fever, headache, pain behind your eyes, discomfort in the forehead area, or pain in your cheeks. If these symptoms occur, you need to be evaluated by a medical professional.

With allergic rhinitis, symptoms include a stuffy nose, runny nose, and watery eyes. If you have a persistent stuffy nose from allergies, our mouth and nose specialists can help. Consider seeing one of our competent doctors for an evaluation

Treatment

Treatment of underlying allergies, non-allergic rhinitis or surgical correction of structural problems of the nose can alleviate chronic nasal congestion.  Office procedures and surgical procedures are available and extremely effective to alleviate symptoms. 

One office procedure that can be useful in a significant number of patients is called Coblation. This minimally invasive procedure can be performed in just a few minutes in the office with local anesthesia.  A plasma wand is used to remove some of the spongy and bony tissue in the nose to permanently create more space for free breathing. 
 

Summary

No one likes to suffer being unable to breathe through their nose, especially if treatment is an option. If you or someone you love cannot breathe well through the nose, you could have a serious infection or persistent allergies. Call today and let one of the physicians at Vero ENT evaluate and treat your stuffy nose!

Additional Reading:

http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/stuffyNose.cfm