Why do I have a Stuffy Nose?
A stuffy nose isn't fun. It weighs you down and limits your ability to enjoy life. Ugh.
However, you don't have to keep suffering. Once you understand why your nose is stuffy, you begin the steps to getting relief. So, in today's topic, we'll be focusing on the why behind that pesky stuffy, blocked, and congested nose. Let's get started!
Nasal Valve Collapse
One of the most commons reasons for a stuffy nose is nasal valve collapse. This is when the valves at the tip of your nose are become too narrowed and block your nose's ability to breathe air in. To help you understand this, imagine filling up on a jumbo sized 64oz soda from your local convenience store. However, upon leaving, you find that the only straws they have are those teeny-tiny coffee straws. Now, imagine trying to drink up that big soda through that little, tiny opening. It just doesn't work. In essences, that's what nasal valve collapse is - a tiny opening that limits your breathing.
Deviated Nasal Septum
Your nasal septum is a bone that goes right down the middle of your nose and separates your two nasal cavities. It's helpful for mid-face development, however, the septum is made up of thin bone and nasal cartilage. Simple time or even small injury can shift your septum one way or the other causing you to not breathe well out of one side of your nose. No fun. Surgery is required to straighten it.
Turbinates are really cool tube like structures in your nose. Their job is to filter, warm, and humidify air as you breathe in. However, things like allergies, smoking, or sinus infections can cause these to swell. And when they swell, they block your nose. It's like puffing up a balloon inside your nose - no fun. There are many ways to reduce the size of your turbinates including stopping smoking, using nasal steroid spray, decongestant medication, or even surgical reduction
This is not as common as the above, but it can happen. People who suffer with nasal polyps often have benign mass that fill up their nose enough to cause poor nasal breathing. Of course, other more serious masses can cause poor nasal breathing, too, but again, they aren't common.
So, what's causing your nasal obstruction? Sometimes it's hard to know. The only way to really tell is to get a good look up your nose, but that's easier to do in my world that yours!