From childhood, I’ve faced the constant problem of recurring blocked nasal passages, recurring infections and stuffy nose. This would increase with changes in weather, exposure to different allergens, pollution and infectious microbes. Treatments were symptomatic and usually included nasal sprays, decongestants etc. Gradually, I developed respiratory problems, lack of sleep, loss of sense of taste/smell, discomfort, anxiety and stress. Finally I resolved to discover what could be the real reason for persistent nasal blockage.
There could be a host of direct and indirect causes for this condition. Nasal blockage or congestion essentially means that the nasal passages, airways and irrigation pathways via the nostrils and sinuses are blocked by something that has irritated/inflamed the nasal lining and tissues. In general, infection-related nasal blockage clears up on its own within a week/ten days and the passages get unblocked. Medication is given mostly to ease the discomfort.
Infections: Influenza, common cold and sinus infections are caused by various types of viruses. At least 200 different cold viruses have been identified and there are many more yet to be. Hence it’s impossible to develop immunity to all of these. The common cold may clear up on its own, but it could develop into bronchitis, sinusitis, sore-throat, ear infections, nasal polyps etc. Since it is highly infectious, it spreads rapidly in places where people gather: schools, work-places, families etc. As the infection takes root in the body, the mucous becomes thicker and harder, leading to nasal blockage.
Chronic conditions: Diabetes, thyroid problems, asthma/respiratory conditions, Wegener’s Granulomatosis, Churg-Strauss syndrome etc.
Allergy: People may be allergic to a number of things, both known and unknown. They include dust/dust-mites, exposure to chemicals, perfumes, cleaning agents, strong odors, certain types of foods, dairy products, wheat, gluten, mold, aspirin, latex, drugs, medication, sea-food, peanuts, plastics, smoking, tobacco-products, pe