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Blocked Nose: Treatment, Cost And Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2019

What is a Blocked Nose?

Blocked nose occurs when you have sinus pressure due to several reasons like cold, flu and allergies. The membranes and inner lining of the nasal passages get inflamed and constrict. They get irritated to cause more mucus to come out. The conditions affect both children and adults and can be very annoying and get be life threatening too if left untreated. Sleep apnea and snoring have been often associated with a blocked nose or nasal congestion. In children, chronic sleep apnea has been observed mainly due to inflamed adenoids. Children affected with this can sometimes suffer from right-side heart failure as the inflamed adenoids cause insufficient uptake of oxygen. Blocked nose due to pollen allergy, drug reaction or due to the common cold can lead to facial pain and headaches.

Excessive exposure to topic decongestants, gastroesophageal reflux disease , nasal, polyps, sinus infection or empty nose syndrome have been observed to cause a blocked nose. Sometimes the condition also occurs due to collapsing of the nasal valves or due to pregnancy too. There are treatments available to relieve blocked nose depending upon the underlying cause. You can use over the counter nasal drops as decongestants or inhalers and over the counter drugs also to treat a blocked nose due to an allergy or common cold. If the condition does not go away on its own or by treating with over the counter medicines, you can consult a doctor. The doctor may prescribe you with different anti-allergic drugs, medications and ways to get rid of blocked nose. For example, you may be asked to inhale steam to unblock your nasal passages and allow free flow of air through them.

How is the Blocked Nose treatment done?

A blocked nose can be treated using medications depending upon the underlying cause of the condition. Drugs like phenylephrine and oxymetazoline are alpha-adrenergic agonists that constrict the blood vessels present in the nasal cavity, thereby relieving congestion. Although, common cold and influenza caused blocked nose usually improves on its own. In case it does not, drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen can easily help. Blocked nose cause due to hay fever which in turn is caused due to some allergic reaction can be treated by antihistamines. Decongestants and antihistamines help in improving the condition of the blocked nose caused by pollen allergy also.

It is advised to use topical decongestants only for a period of 3 days otherwise the condition can rebound and effect in a more severe form called rhinitis medicamentosa. Nasal sprays like inhalers, exymetazoline , naphazoline, oral pills like Neo-Synephrine, Sudafed, Rhinall, Bronkaid and Sinex are quite helpful. The thick and sticky mucus in infants can be get rid of with the help of a nasal aspirator or a humidifier. If the blocked nose condition prevails for a long time then it might also be a case of severe sinus infection called sinusitis. You can treat your sinusitis by getting the accumulated mucus in your sinuses to drain out. This can be done either with the help of a surgeon or by yourself by putting the right pressure on the sinuses.

Who is eligible for the treatment?

Any person who frequently suffers from influenza, common cold, is prone to pollen allergy and gets blocked nose quite often is eligible for the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If the condition improves on its own without taking help of any medication and without experiencing much discomfort, treatment is not required.

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What are the side effects of Blocked Nose Treatment?

The side effects of taking nasal decongestant like an inhaler for more than 3 days or an oral decongestant for more than a week can worsen the condition by causing its rebound. Blocked nose in children under 4 years should not be treated with over-the-counter medicines and without consulting a paediatrician.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There is no such mandatory guideline to be followed after getting the treatment for blocked nose. Although you can keep yourself warm, take ample amount of rest, keep yourself hydrated, take warm bath, drink herbal teas and keep away from allergens like dust and pollens. Precautions must be taken so that the condition does not get worse.

How long does it take to recover?

Blocked nose takes only a few days to recover. It can improve on its own or may need some medication to recover completely.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of treating a blocked nose takes Rs. 30 and can go up to Rs. 500 in India. For example, an inhaler can cost as low as Rs 25 to Rs. 30, even some over the counter medicines are quite reasonable. Only if the conditions worsen too much and require extensive medication and consultation from a doctor, the prices can go up to Rs. 500.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Results can be permanent only if the infection and allergy do not happen again. Once treated with medication, inhalers etc. the condition improves. But can occur again if proper care is not taken.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The alternatives for treating a blocked nose are using some easy, natural and effective home remedies. It is recommended to blow your nose gently to expel the blocked mucus in the nasal passages, drink warm liquids like herbal teas, lukewarm water with lemon squeezed into it, ginger ale, citrus fruits, gargle with warm saline water, have chicken stew along with taking ample amount of rest.

Key Highlights:

Safety: Very High

Effectiveness: High

Timeliness: High

Relative risk: Very Low

Side Effects: Low

Time for Recovery: Low

Price Range: Rs. 30 to Rs. 1,500

References

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Content Details
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Written ByDr. Gladson Guddappa Uchil MBBS,Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO),Diploma In Otorhinolaryngology (DLO)Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)
Reviewed By
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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