Nasal sprays favor nasal congestion

Nasal sprays favor nasal congestion

Always fed up? Don't underestimate symptoms

Clogged noses are part of the cold season. However, if the "full" nose lasts longer or does not completely disappear all year round, other causes than an infection can also be considered. This is pointed out by the HNOnet-NRW, an association of resident ENT doctors. A permanently congested nose often hinders the inflow and outflow of breathing air and often leads to snoring, olfactory disorders and sinus infections. If those affected compensate for the difficulty in breathing through the mouth, the throat mucosa also dries out. This favors the development of angina or laryngitis. Affected people also often complain about an increased susceptibility to infections, since the narrowing in the inside of the nose blocks connections between the nasal cavity and the sinuses and prevents the nasal secretion and pathogen from closing off. Therefore should be treated.

The disabled nasal breathing is caused by swollen nasal mucous membranes and by organic changes. Infections, allergies or dry air cause the nasal mucosa to swell. Foreign bodies, polyps or tumors also prevent nasal breathing. "Almost every person can also detect congenital curvatures in the nasal septum, which also cause complaints in pronounced forms," ​​adds Dr. Uso Walter, CEO of HNOnet-NRW. To assess the extent of the narrowing and to examine the condition of the nose in general, an ear, nose and throat doctor performs a nose endoscopy and uses a nose flow measurement to determine the severity of the breathing disability.

Decongestant nasal sprays or drops, which are only suitable for short-term therapy, help to reduce the symptoms of colds and ventilation, and to improve the passage of breathing air and secretions. Basically, the mucous membranes need moisture, for example through inhalations. Adding essential oils or table salt is often beneficial. Drinking a lot also helps to liquefy the nasal secretions. Expectorant medications, nasal douches or low-side effects glucocorticoid sprays often also have a relieving effect. If polyps make nasal breathing difficult, they should be removed surgically. “Polyps are benign growths of the nasal mucosa or the mucous membrane of the paranasal sinuses. Enlargement of the mucous membrane then looks like a fungus on a tree trunk, ”says Dr. Walter. As an alternative to surgical polyp removal, tissue-friendly laser removal is also an option, which also results in faster healing.

"Many people with a constantly blocked nose also bring about the chronic condition themselves by using nasal sprays on a regular basis," explains Dr. Initially, the sprays provide relief, but if the effects of the decongestants weaken as a result of habituation, there is often increased blood flow to the nasal mucosa. It swells more than before, dries out and in the worst case takes permanent damage. The re-swelling also tempts to use the spray again. Instead of clearing the nose, permanent use leads to a chronically blocked nose. So the nasal spray temporarily relieves the symptoms of runny nose, but at the same time keeps them up. In order to break the vicious circle, the cause should be identified and treated. (pm)

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