As soon as the Winter hits, your head and nose seem to be more congested than ever. But why? Read on to find out.
‘Tis the season—to be stuffy. Unfortunately, Winter weather can cause an uptick in nasal congestion, or "stuffy nose," which, according to the Mayo Clinic occurs when nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid. One minute you’re fine, the next you have difficulty breathing and feel clogged up like crazy. It’s not a fun feeling, and a stuffy nose can be caused by more than just falling temperatures. Read on for some common causes of nasal congestion and self-care remedies that could make breathing easier again.
Reasons You Have a Stuffy Nose in the Winter
Reason #1: Old heating that can dry you out
If you live in an old building or haven’t updated your heating recently, your system could be the cause of your congestion. It’s always a good idea to change your filters regularly. And break out a humidifier to add moisture back into the air — and your nasal passages. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on run time, cleaning and proper storage. You want the humidifier to work for — not against — you.
Reason #2: Allergies caused by mold
Mold isn’t always so easy to spot, especially if the source of moisture is a leak behind your walls or in an area of your home that’s dark. Or maybe it’s in your workplace or school. Molds are very common actually, particularly in older structures. If you know mold is an allergic trigger for you, do your best to avoid it. Again, that’s often easier said than done. So if you’re experiencing a stuffy nose due to what you think is mold, you could try rinsing out your nose with salt water daily. For best results, use distilled, sterile, or thoroughly filtered water in a special squeeze bottle or neti pot. Rinse the device with distilled, sterile, or filtered water as well, and let dry properly before stowing.
Reason #3: A cold lasting longer than you think
The average adult has at least two to three colds each year. And truthfully, while symptoms peak around day two or three, a stuffy nose caused by a cold could last up to two weeks. So even if your sore throat or cough has subsided, you could still feel stuffed up. Keep hydrating with lots of fluids — water especially, which helps thin secretions in your nasal passages. And when you find yourself tossing and turning at night, uncomfortable because you’re stuffy, try Breathe Right nasal strips, which instantly open your nose for a more restful night's sleep. The 3M adhesive will keep your strip secure all night long so you can wake up feeling refreshed.
Reason #4: Deviated septum
When it comes to stuffy noses, your own anatomy could be working against you. If you have a deviated septum, which means your nasal septum is significantly moved over to one side (making one nasal air passage smaller than the other), you could feel stuffed up more than those with a straight septum, especially when you have a cold or are experiencing allergies. Some people are born with deviated septums, others get them from sports injuries or other accidents. While some cases require surgery, you can often treat this kind of nasal obstruction with medications that decrease swelling or nasal dilators that work to open up the nasal passages.
Now you know what could be behind that pesky stuffy nose. Fix it with one of these tips, and hopefully, that stuffy nose will be gone for good.