The sensation of having dry and closed nasal mucous membranes is typical of the winter period and is often accompanied by the presence of other symptoms. But what causes it, and what are the best remedies to combat dry nose? Let’s find out together.
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Dry And Stuffy Nose: What Are The Causes?
Nasal dryness is a prevalent condition, especially during the winter season, when it is easier to be subject to colds or respiratory diseases. The sensation you feel is that of dryness inside the nose and nasal passages. It occurs when this area, which generally produces a fluid to keep itself well hydrated constantly, becomes dry
The mucosa of the nose plays an essential function in the well-being of our organism as, thanks to it, the air that is breathed and sent down the bronchi has an ideal temperature. Furthermore, it is capable of producing around 300 milliliters of mucus per day, which is essential for filtering the air and preventing pollution, viruses, or pollen from entering the body.
Dry nasal mucous membranes are usually related to particular environmental situations, such as when there is a scorching and dry climate, when there is massive use of certain drugs (including antihistamines or decongestant sprays), or when certain viral diseases arise, or more rarely, autoimmune, such as Sjögren’s syndrome. Among the most common causes of dry nasal mucous membranes are:
- Atrophic rhinitis: this pathology causes the thickening and narrowing of the nasal cavity, as well as the formation of dry crusts inside the nostrils and their bleeding;
- Irritated nasal mucous membranes
- Systemic diseases (Sjögren’s syndrome)
- Contact with pollutants (pollution, dust, chemicals)
- Old age: nasal dryness is a fairly common condition in older people, as their immune and respiratory systems become more fragile and less efficient, with consequent more incredible difficulty in maintaining the correct level of humidity in the nasal mucous membranes
- Excessive use of certain drugs or allergic reactions to them
- Contact with pollen or allergenic substances
- Arid environment
- Allergic reactions
- Presence of nasal polyps
- Deviated nasal septum
- Turbinate hypertrophy: those who suffer from turbinate hypertrophy have a condition of nasal dryness, which occurs mainly during the night hours, with the inhalation of air occurring only through one of the two nostrils.
Dry Rhinitis: What Symptoms?
In the presence of dry rhinitis, the most common symptoms, in addition to dry mucous membranes, are:
- Itchy nose
- Formation of trim crusts inside the nose
- Impaired sense of smell
- Nasal congestion
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rashes
- Swollen salivary glands
Although in most cases, dry nasal mucosa is not a severe warning sign, if other symptoms also appear, then it may be appropriate to go to the emergency room or contact your doctor.
Signs to take into consideration include:
- Nose constantly stuffy and dry for a prolonged period;
- Respiratory difficulties;
- High fever;
- Blurred vision;
- Difficulty urinating.
Nasal Dryness: What Remedies?
Understanding the primary cause that causes the presence of dry nostrils is essential if you want to apply the most effective and decisive remedy. For example, if the use of a particular drug causes the problem, you can consider changing your intake, following the advice of your doctor.
Alternatively, if the dryness of the nose is due to the climate, it is advisable to humidify the environment in which you live or work or to ventilate more frequently. However, when this situation is attributable to a pathology, it is necessary to contact a healthcare professional and follow his instructions. Among the solutions that can be adopted in the treatment of a dry and excessively dry nose are the use of nasal sprays formulated with the use of glycerin and saline solution.
As regards any natural remedies or products, the use of Vaseline, which has a hydrating function and prevents skin dryness, or coconut oil, aloe vera, and olive oil may be helpful. Furthermore, fumigations and inhalations of antiseptic and anti-inflammatory active ingredients are very useful.
Tips To Prevent Dry Nostrils
To always maintain a correct level of hydration in the nostrils and avoid the unpleasant consequences of a stuffy nose, it is helpful to follow these tips :
- Drink a sufficient amount of water, which is essential for the production of mucus;
- Pay attention to the degree of humidity in the atmosphere. The optimal value should not exceed 50%-60%. However, it is easy to drop below 40%-45% if you overdo it with heating or air conditioning. This is particularly important if you suffer from nocturnal nasal dryness: the bedroom, in fact, should never be too hot, or you risk running into problems such as irritation to the nostrils and throat;
- If the air inside a room is too dry, use a dehumidifier and do not adjust the air conditioning or heating to excessive values;
- Avoid contact with irritants, such as cigarette smoke or pollution;
- Use nose products, such as saline solution sprays, to increase the hydration of the mucous membranes, but without exaggerating: these remedies, although helpful, do not really act on the primary cause of the problem and can worsen in the long run the symptom of dry nose;
- Eat adequately, consume the right amount of fruit and vegetables, and practice regular physical activity;
- Carry out nasal washes based on physiological or hypertonic solutions.