A blocked nose?Jun 28th, 2009 | By editor | Category: Health, Specials
Blocked nose can lead to chronic problems if not treated separately and immediately.
DR. GIRISH RAI AND DR. USHA CHENNURU
A blocked nose is a common symptom faced by many people who have a cold. It makes breathing difficult and interferes with one’s daily routine. If this happens during sleep, it is far more distressing. Chronic, untreated blocked nose leads to pr oblems both in children and adults.
Why does your nose get blocked?
When you have a cold, many chemicals are released in the body which lead to the symptoms of cold – sneezing, blocked nose, runny nose, watering of eyes, etc. These chemicals act on the tiny blood vessels in the lining of the nose leading to a feeling of stuffiness and hence the inability to breathe freely. This is how your nose gets blocked when you have a cold.
What happens if a blocked nose is left untreated in adults?
The nose performs the important function of filtering the air we breathe. When the nose is blocked, it cannot filter the air efficiently and this leads to entry of germs and other foreign particles, which can further aggravate the cold and lead to infections. Since the nose, ear, throat and sinuses are all interconnected, an infection in the nose can travel to these areas and lead to further infections. Such infections can lead to sinusitis which is bothersome and needs to be treated with a course of antibiotics.
What happens if a blocked nose is left untreated in children?
If a blocked nose is neglected in children, it leads to breathing through the mouth. A mother will notice that her child is sleeping with her/his mouth open. Since the mouth cannot filter the air, it leads to entry of foreign particles and germs into the respiratory tract. A child’s immune system is not fully developed and hence is prone to infections. So, a blocked nose can lead to respiratory tract infections which in turn can lead to ear infections. Also, chronic mouth breathing can lead to tonsillitis.
What can you do to avoid these complications?
Nasal obstruction as a complaint is on the rise due to increasing nasal allergy. I see about 15 cases of cold and blocked nose daily. Treat a blocked nose immediately! Most people believe that a blocked nose need not be treated separately, and that if the cold is treated, the blocked nose will be treated simultaneously. This is because people do not know the complications of a blocked nose.
To prevent the complications of a blocked nose, you must initiate immediate therapy. While this would take care of your congestion and help you breathe freely again, it would also save you from a lot of other complications which could be very distressing. Nasal sprays are a good way to relieve the discomfort and complications of a blocked nose.
Dr. Girish Rai and Dr. Usha Chennuru are based in Bangalore