Not all nasal congestions are treated equally

blog-nasal-congestionStuffy nose? There could be more to it than just a cold.

Different types of nasal congestion call for various remedies to help lessen symptoms, according to Dr. Krista Olson, assistant professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

She said the three types of nasal congestion are:

  • Allergic rhinitis: Commonly referred to as hay fever
  • Upper respiratory infections: Congestion-like cold and flu
  • Non-allergic rhinitis: Usually caused by alcohol, food, medications or air pollution

To help ease symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis and upper respiratory infections try:

  • Humidification
  • Hydration
  • Nasal saline spray
  • Saline irrigations
  • Nasal decongestants
  • Antihistamines (best for allergic rhinitis)
  • Nasal steroid sprays

While allergic rhinitis and upper respiratory infections have some similar treatments, Olson said in general it is best to avoid treating colds with antibiotics and to be very cautious taking nasal steroid sprays. She recommended that steroid sprays not be used more than three days in a row.

Avoiding triggers is the best way to keep non-allergic rhinitis at bay. Although, she notes that in some cases patients do not know what is causing their nasal congestion

-By Julia Parsons

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