If your nose is dry, its various functions will be impaired. Try over-the-counter salt-water (saline) nasal mists and sprays to help maintain nasal health. These can be used liberally and at your discretion.
Beware of over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays (eg. Afrin). Prolonged use of these sprays may damage the nose and sinuses. Decongestants nasal sprays can become addictive and actually cause nasal congestion to get worse.
Think of your nose when you’re traveling. In airplanes and air-conditioned cruise ships, the air is very dry and contains a lot of recirculated particles and germs; a dry nose is more susceptible to germs. Use saline nasal mist frequently during the flight, and drink lots of water.
Stuffy nose or nasal congestion is a symptom caused by a remarkable array of different disorders, and San Francisco ENT and Allergy, with its unique two specialty approach and a special interest in managing nasal and sinus disorders, offer the appropriate treatment(s) based on the specific causes.
The causes of Nasal stuffiness or congestion and/or obstruction can be classified into four main categories:
1. Sinus Infections, acute and chronic2. Structural abnormalities3. Allergic4. Non-allergic (vasomotor) rhinitis.
Overlap can exist between these categories and that it is not unusual for a patient to have more than one factor involved,
4. Non-allergic or Vasomotor Rhinitis
Has similar year round symptoms to perennial allergic rhinitis and can mimic allergic rhinitis.
Nerves control the blood vessels and membranes in the nose have an abundant supply of blood vessels, which have the ability to expand and constrict. This particularly affects the nasal turbinates which are extremely vascular.
Under certain circumstances these nasal blood vessels expand, leading to vasomotor rhinitis.
● Changes in the weather, barometric pressure, and/or temperature. ● Psychological stress,● Inadequate thyroid function, ● Pregnancy,● Some blood pressure drugs,● Prolonged overuse of decongestant nasal sprays,● Exposure to irritants like perfumes and tobacco smoke.
Treatment● Nasal saline sprays● Nasal drying sprays eg. Ipratropium