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Why Is My Nose Always Stuffy? 5 Possible Causes and When You Should Go To The Doctor

Why Is My Nose Always Stuffy? 5 Possible Causes and When You Should Go To The Doctor

You have been trying to figure out what is wrong with you. You have been using a lot of Kleenexes and multiple over-the-counter medications, and yet you are still stuck with a stuffy nose.

A stuffy nose is always a bummer since it causes discomfort. It only affects your nose, and yet you feel like your whole day will be affected because of it. A stuffy or a congested nose happens because the tissues lining the nose are swollen. Inflamed blood vessels causes this swelling. [1]

So what causes stuffy nose? And when should you see a doctor if you have it?

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1. Allergies

Our bodies have a natural inflammatory response to foreign objects, and that response is the cause of allergies. Examples of foreign objects that may cause allergies are pollen, pet hair and dust.

This is because when the allergens get to our nose, eyes, mouth and ears, our body releases histamines in response as an allergic reaction and causes symptoms such as stuffy nose and runny eyes. [2]

2. Noncancerous growths called nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are a type of benign sinonasal tumor. Depending on where the benign tumour is located, it may cause nasal obstruction.[3]

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Nasal polyps can grow anywhere on the lining of the nose or the sinuses. If they are small polyps, it may not cause any problems. However, large polyps can block your sinuses or nasal airway. [4]

3. Sinus infection

Acute sinus infections produce pain, nasal congestion and thick discharge. Chronic sinus infections usually involve nasal obstruction and offensive nasal or postnasal discharge may or may not cause pain.

When the nasal mucus turns to yellow or green, it usually means that there is a bacterial infection and you should go see a doctor.
[5]

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4. Hay fever

Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis. It is like allergies, where our bodies react to foreign bodies in the environment. Some of the symptoms of hay fever are stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth or skin, sneezing and fatigue.

Allergic rhinitis has two types, seasonal and perennial. The seasons of spring, summer and early fall are when seasonal allergic rhinitis typically happens because of airborne mold spores or pollens from grass, trees and weeds which our bodies may react to.

Perennial allergic rhinitis experience happens all throughout the year. Dust mites, pet hair or dander, cockroaches or mold are the main causes. [6]

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5. Nasal septum deviation

Our nostrils are separated by a cartilage and a bone, which is called the nasal septum. If it is crooked or off-center due to a congenital defect or trauma to the nose, it can interfere with normal airflow and problems.

Some of the symptoms of a deviated septum include a stuffy nose, snoring, recurring bacterial infections, and frequent or chronic postnasal drip. [7]

When to see a doctor

  • You have been experiencing congestion for more than 10 days.
  • You have been experiencing both congestion and a high fever for more than three days.
  • Your nasal mucus turns to yellow or green. This usually means that a bacterial infection is going on.
  • You have a weakened immune system, asthma, or emphysema.

Do not delay going to the doctor if you have the symptoms above. Do not wait until your condition gets worse or complicated before getting yourself checked. With any condition or symptom that you feel is not normal, the safest thing to do is to seek help from a professional.

Reference

[1] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003049.htm
[2] http://www.nlda.org/how-to-get-rid-of-a-stuffy-nose-quickly-best-home-remedies/#
[3] https://medicine.yale.edu/surgery/otolaryngology/sinusallergy/patient/conditions/benign-sinonasal-tumors.aspx#page1
[4] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001641.htm
[5] http://www.entnet.org/content/stuffy-nose
[6] http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis
[7] http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/preventive-care/article/do-you-have-deviated-septum

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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