You might be one of those people who have nasal congestion especially at night that causes trouble breathing.
Nasal congestion often occurs when blood vessels and mucous membranes in your sinuses and nasal passages swell.
While most nasal congestion often clears on its own, a wide range of treatments and home remedies can help to relieve it.
Anyone, at any age, can develop nasal congestion or a stuffy nose, however, it may occur more frequently in some people.
For instance, if you have sinusitis, which is one of the frequent causes of nasal congestion tends to occur in children under 15 years of age.
And it can also affect adults between the age of 25 to 64, particularly adult females.
Keep on reading to learn more about nasal congestion, and when it could be the cause of your tooth pain.
Causes of Nasal Congestion
The medical term for inflammation of your sinuses and nasal cavity is “rhinosinusitis”.
Moreover, different issues that cause congestion bear this name.
These are as follows:
Infectious Rhinosinusitis: Common cold viruses or upper respiratory infections can cause infectious rhinosinusitis.
Allergic Rhinosinusitis: This is the inflammation that allergens or environmental irritants can trigger.
Seasonal Allergic Rhinosinusitis: If your doctor diagnosis this, it is also a Seasonal Allergy.
Moreover, the inflammation is a response to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds that are most abundant in the spring and fall.
Perennial Allergic Rhinosinusitis: This one involves allergens present all year like mold, animal dander, dust mites, and cockroach debris.
Nonallergic Rhinosinusitis: Inflammation that stems from airborne irritants like smoke, chemicals, and pollution.
Moreover, if you have a reduced immune system, possibly due to HIV, diabetes, or while receiving chemotherapy, can be particularly susceptible to congestion that often results from infection.
Other Causes of Nasal Congestion
In other cases, nasal congestion is not a response to a pathogen, irritant, or allergen.
The cause may instead be:
Body Positioning: Often lying down makes it harder for the body to clear mucus, so you have a reduction in mobility and may be prone to congestion.
Structural Issues within the Sinus: This might include polyps, septal deviation, narrowing of the passageways, tumors, or an extra pocket.
Health Conditions that reduce Mucus Transport: Some examples of this condition include cystic fibrosis and a gallbladder disorder: Biliary dyskinesia.
Moreover, if you have septal dedication, you may experience bad congestion.
The spetum is a thin wall that separates the left and right nasal airways.
A deviation means that wall is slanted to one side which can make breathing through one nostril tough, even without an allergy or a cold to cause congestion.
Nasal Congestion in Children
If you or the caregiver of your child suspects that your child and especially a baby has a stuffy nose, it can help to look out for the following signs:
- trouble feeding or reduction in appetite
- increase in fussiness or agitation
- trouble breathing or choking on mucus
- interrupted sleep or trouble falling asleep.
Is it normal during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy-related nasal inflammation is very common and the medical name for it is Pregnancy rhinitis.
Moreover, it may stem from obesity, excessive weight gain during pregnancy, rising hormones, or a combination of all.
According to a study, 39% of the participants experienced this rhinitis at some point.
This issue, however, resolves within 3 weeks of delivery.
Nasal congestion is exacerbate symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy.
A different study indicates that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with hypertension, the potentially serious complication of preeclampsia, and fetal growth complications.
Overall, it is advisable for anyone with persistent nasal congestion during pregnancy to raise the issue with the doctor.
Can it indicate Covid-19?
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, about 5% of people with novel coronavirus infection experience a stuffy nose.
More common symptoms people report are:
- dry cough
- coughing up thick mucus from the lungs
- unexplained exhaustion
Nasal Congestion and Toothache
Most often nasal congestion can also lead to toothache.
A number of symptoms of a regular toothache are similar to that of nasal congestion.
However, the tooth pain that comes with nasal congestion affects your molars, instead of affecting only one tooth.
If you are having pain in these teeth and it also comes with other symptoms, it is most likely due to nasal congestion.
You may also feel a bit under the water or low in energy or have a fever.
A toothache due to dental concerns is often the only source of pain and can be more intense and focused.
Moreover, pain due to nasal congestion can intensify with certain movements.
Jumping or bending over can make the pain worse.
This is because the pressure that occurs due to nasal congestion can shift as you move and you can feel it more in your teeth.
The pain may subside when you are sitting or lying down.
In most cases of nasal congestion, the cause is often a type of allergy that you may be suffering from.
Some other causes can be a fungal infection, changes in temperature and air pressure.
Nasal congestion is due to inflammation and swelling and can also cause sinus blockage and pressure, leading to facial pain.
Some additional symptoms you may experience are:
- pressure or tenderness around the nose, eyes, or forehead
- thick, discolored drop
- ear fullness or pain
- loss of smell and taste
- sore throat
- hoarse voice
One of the best ways to clear nasal congestion depends largely on the causes.
Some options are:
Oral or topical antibiotics, if the nasal congestion is due to a bacterial infection.
Corticosteriod nasal sprays.
Mucus-thinning medications, immunotherapy, and corrective surgery.
It is important to note that your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for 5 to 7 days and it is important to finish the complete course.
Often the symptoms that come with nasal congestion subsides in a few days, however, it is still important to finish the course of medication as it is possible that the bacteria and still alive and the infection may recur.
Moreover, corticosteroid nasal sprays can help, however, make sure to avoid using them for the longer term.
In case you have issues like polyps, septal deviation, narrowing of the passageways, tumors, or an extra pocket, corrective surgery can help to reduce the recurrence of nasal congestion.
Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion
There are a number of remedies for nasal congestion and you can try them to help relieve it at home.
Let’s discuss these options below:
The mucus membranes can become inflamed during nasal congestion, however, drinking enough water can help to keep the membrane function proper.
Drinking enough water and other fluids can help.
Breathing in Steam
Breathing in steam can help to keep your mucus membranes moist and is very important during winter or cold climates.
It can help relieve the symptoms of congestion and encourage the sinus to unblock.
You can use running hot water from water and breathing in the vapor can help. Moreover, you can also use a humidifier.
Rase your head while Sleeping
To encourage nasal blockage to clear, you may want to raise your head while sleeping. For this, you can use an extra pillow to prop your head up.
Using warm, wet towels
Using a warm, wet towel can help to relieve swelling and inflammation. Moreover, it can also help to keep the mucus membranes moist which can help function them properly.
A neti pot can help relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion by keeping your mucus membranes moist.
They can help treat congestion by flushing out your sinuses and the buildup of material causing a blockage.
While some other remedies are:
- taking over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants
- using OTC pain relief medications
- taking prophylactic probiotics or consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or kimchi
- taking supplements to booth immunity that contains zinc sulfate, echinacea, vitamin C, or geranium extract
It is important to note that experts warn against the use of nasal sprays and decongestants for the long term as they can cause congestion with overuse.
How long does it Last?
In most cases of common cold or flu, you will feel better within a week or two.
However, if the nasal congestion results from a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for 10 to 14 days.
But the congestion will clear within 7 days, it is still important to take the full course of antibiotics.
In case of an allergy, the congestion may last longer as you are exposed to an allergen.
While in case of a deviated septum, regular exacerbates, or causes congestion, your doctor may prescribe corrective surgery.
When to See a Doctor?
If the nasal congestion lasts longer than 10 to 14 days or gets worse after 7 or 10 days, it can stem from a sinus infection.
In such a case, seek medical advice or consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Moreover, it is a good idea to receive professional care, if congestion does not ease with the above home remedies or come along with:
- a high fever
- thick, discolored mucus or discharge
- trouble breathing
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, doing the following can help to reduce your reaction to allergens and risk of infections:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Wash bed linens with hot water and detergent regularly.
Moreover, keep your windows and door closed during high pollen and mold seasons, including spring and fall.
Use dust mile covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs.
Vacuum your home frequently, and avoid close contact with people who are ill.
In order to reduce your risk while conceiving, it can help to maintain a healthy weight.
Nasal congestion can stem from allergies, an infection, a malformation of the sinuses, or a health disorder in any other part of your body.
In most cases, it clears on its own, with home remedies, and OCT medications, however, you may need antibiotics for bacterial infection or corrective surgery in case of a deviated septum.
If your congestion is persistent, contact your doctor, especially during pregnancy.