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What Causes A Stuffy Nose? Most people think a stuffy nose is caused by excess mucous blocking the airways. In reality, it’s quite different. Nasal congestion usually occurs from inflammation. When an infection or allergen irritates the nasal cavity, this irritation causes an increase of blood flow, which then causes the blood vessels to expand. These expanding blood vessels (or inflammation) block the nasal airway, resulting in the feeling of nasal congestion. While mucous production usually increases, the mucous is not what blocks your airways. What you may not know is that your congestion, or rather the feeling of nasal congestion, can occur even when you have no mucous. Have you ever had a cold and your nose feels full yet when you go to blow it nothing comes out? That’s inflammation. Sometimes blowing your nose too hard (because you think there is mucous) can increase the inflammation. Chronic sinusitis is an extreme example of nasal inflammation as the sinuses are constantly inflamed. In addition, those who suffer from a dry nose at high altitudes, in the desert or during winter dryness can have this feeling as well. I’ve found the best way to relieve nasal congestion and that stuffy nose feeling is to get on top of it as soon as it starts. Check out these past blogs with tips on how to reduce inflammation: Reducing Nasal Inflammation Surviving the Cold and Flu Season Nasal Rinse During Allergy Season Why Use A Neti Pot

If you’re chronically inflamed the solution may not be that easy. It could be the result of your diet, allergens, pollution and much more. Check out this past blog on sinus health and if that inspires you– look through other past blogs that investigate some of these issues specifically.

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While mucous production usually increases, the mucous is not what blocks your airways.