Nasal Congestion & Blockage
A blocked nose occurs in everyone from time to time but for some people this is a persistent problem. This can have a significant impact on their normal daily lives. People with nasal blockage often describe problems with breathing at night in particular. This is because most of us rely on breathing through the nose at night as the mouth is closed whilst asleep. If the nose is blocked then we are forced to breathe through the mouth which in turn can lead to dryness in the throat and discomfort especially noticed in the morning. Some people need to wake up to take a drink of water which can add to the poor night’s sleep. Some people also describe problems exercising as the increased airflow through the nose can feel more restricted. This is often associated with a reduced sense of smell (see loss of smell).
People who have a persistently blocked nose either have a problem with the lining of the nose, a problem with the structure of the nose or a combination of both. Rarely, there may be a growth inside the nose but this is uncommon. The cause of the blockage will be assessed at the initial consultation. The causes of structural problems of the nose may be related to previous injuries to the nose or can occur due to the way the nose grows when we are young. The causes of lining issues include nasal allergies (see allergy) and nasal polyps (see nasal polyps). Treatment of the nasal blockage depends on what the problem is and an operation may not be the best treatment especially if the lining in the nose is the main problem.