Inhaling and exhaling without any blockages is crucial. The nose and sinuses play a critical role in health and comfort when it comes to breathing easily, filtering unwanted particles from our air, and helping us enjoy the delicious aromas of our favorite foods. The nose is one of the main components of the respiratory system and controls your sense of smell.
Pain and discomfort may arise when something is not working properly in the nasal passageways. Most nasal problems are fairly easy to treat. If they are left untreated for a long time, complications may arise. One of the best ENT specialists in Lahore was kind enough to share some common nasal problems most people face and important related facts that will help us manage them better. Let me share a briefing on some of those:
This condition is also known as hay fever. Your nose is sensitive to allergens in the air. Uncomfortable symptoms are triggered by pollen, grass weeds, mold, dust mites, pet dander, etc. When allergens are breathed in, your immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which is responsible for all the symptoms that arise.
Some common symptoms include runny nose, frequent sneezing, and a reduced or absent sense of smell. Congestion can also occur which can make your breathing difficult. Pain and pressure in the sinuses may be felt.
You can have allergic rhinitis any time of the year. Spring, summer, and early fall may trigger seasonal allergies as this is the time when pollen counts are higher. Allergies are usually inherited. If you have a parent or sibling who is allergic to pollen, you are most likely to suffer from it. Diagnostic tests include a blood allergy test.
Treatment includes taking oral antihistamines which are usually available over-the-counter. These medicines can cause side effects of drowsiness, so avoid taking them if you are going to be driving. Decongestants are medicines taken to relieve congestion in the sinuses. They are available in pills and nasal spray forms.
Sinuses are structures in your face that are filled with air. They are interconnected cavities in the skull that are linked to your nasal passages via small channels. Sinuses are necessary for optimal health as they create a thin layer of mucus that draines the dust and germs from the sinuses and throat.
When the tissue lining the sinuses gets inflamed, the condition is known as sinusitis. The most irritating symptom of this condition is nasal obstruction. Decreased olfactory sense and increased facial pressure are other associated signs. Mucus may usually drip down your throat. Fever, cough, and fatigue are also caused by this.
Sinusitis may be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is usually of viral origin and lasts less than four weeks. Chronic sinusitis is caused by bacteria and lasts more than 12 weeks. Sinusitis usually goes away on its own. Only symptomatic treatment is done. Very rarely, the bacteria or virus may spread to your brain, eyes, or nearby bones and lead to life-threatening infections.
Treatment includes decongestants, over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal saline rinses, antibiotics, and excessive intake of fluids. Antibiotic treatment is recommended if symptoms persist for more than 10 days. Establishing good hygienic regimes and avoiding allergens and smoke, this condition can be prevented.
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous and painless growths lining the nose or sinuses. People suffering from asthma, allergies, or inflammations of the nasal passages are more prone to get these. Although these are benign, they can get swollen when irritated. This may cause partial blockages of the nose or sinuses.
Small polyps usually cause no symptoms. When they grow, they may lead to loss of smell or taste. Headaches, nasal drainage, facial pressure, snoring, etc. When nasal passages are blocked due to larger polyps, frequent asthma attacks are common. It may also cause sleep apnea and troubled breathing.
All patients cannot be cured of nasal polyps but several treatments can help including using steroid sprays which shrink the polyps. Your healthcare provider can also give to antibiotics in case of an infection. Polyps can occur again even after treatment. If your symptoms are not improving, surgery can be done to remove the polyps completely. A polypectomy is an outpatient surgery to remove the polyp by cutting and removing the soft tissue. After surgery, it is necessary to use saline washes and nasal sprays to reduce inflammation and prevent them from returning.
In conclusion, it is important to understand nasal problems in order to avoid them and maintain overall well-being. Whether it is allergy or sinusitis, seeking appropriate medical care, advice, and treatment at the right time can make a significant difference as well. These nasal passages help you breathe easy so take good care of them!