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What causes nasal congestion?

Sinus pain, sinusitis. Sad man holding his nose, black and white photo with red sore zoneHaving a stuffy nose can interfere with every aspect of your life – from concentrating at work to eating. It can especially affect how you sleep – just making it tough to sleep or causing you to  snore loudly. So, what causes nasal congestion, what can you do about it, and when should you see a doctor about it? 

Causes of nasal congestion

You may find yourself more congested than usual during allergy season (and of course if you have a cold or the flu), but congestion can be caused by other factors as well.

  • Nasal polyps. These are growths in the nasal passages or the sinuses. They are noncancerous and painless, but they can make it difficult to breathe properly and give you a sense of pressure in your face. Medication may shrink nasal polyps, but sometimes surgery is needed to remove them.
  • Deviated septum. The septum separates the nasal passages, and oftentimes a septum does not split the nasal passages evenly. If it is displaced to one side or another (known as a “deviated septum”) it means that one nasal passage is smaller than the other. Besides congestion, a deviated septum can result in nosebleeds, facial pain, and recurring sinus infections. It causes nasal congestion and makes breathing difficult. Surgery is needed to fix a deviated septum.

What to do for nasal congestion

There are a few things you can try at home if you are congested. Congestion may be caused by dry, irritated nasal passages, so moisture can help. You can try a humidifier, inhaling steam from a hot shower, saline spray (available over the counter at the pharmacy), a neti pot, and drinking lots of fluid. 

Home remedies may help for a  while, but oftentimes the fix is only temporary, or the issue is more than just congestion. If home remedies aren’t working, and you find yourself unable to sleep or are snoring loudly every night, eos dental sleep can help. Dr. Mark Levin and his staff can help you to find a treatment for your snoring and can get you back into a good night’s sleep. Contact the Philadelphia office today at (215) 241-0700 for an appointment!