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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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