definition

Our nasal mucous membrane lines the inside of the nose and fulfills important functions.
It has a so-called respiratory ciliated epithelium on its surface, these are tiny hairs on the surface of the nasal mucous membrane.

These cilia “beat” in the direction of the throat and transport, for example, dust and other secretions from the airways to keep them free. As a rule, these foreign particles are then swallowed or coughed up.
In addition, the nasal mucous membrane ensures that the air we breathe is humidified and warmed.

causes

There are many causes of swollen nasal mucosa.
The first to be mentioned here are the allergies. Especially when the so-called “pollen season”, which may start in February and not end until October, irritates many people's nasal mucous membranes.

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In this context one also has to think of allergies to any animal hair or allergies to house dust. All of these causes can cause a swollen nasal lining and thus a stuffy nose.
Read more about the topic here: Animal hair allergy, house dust allergy

Another cause can also be anatomical changes in the area of ​​the nasopharynx, which can also cause the nasal mucosa to swell. An example is a crooked nasal septum, something like this can exist from birth, but it can also be caused by an external trauma, such as a blow on the nose.

Furthermore, enlarged nasal concha can also be the cause of a swollen nasal mucosa. If this is the case, you should see a doctor specializing in ear, nose and throat medicine, a so-called ENT doctor.

Other causes of swollen nasal mucosa can be the regular use of nasal drops, frequent blowing of the nose, nasal polyps (these are benign, so-called benign growths of the nasal mucous membrane), foreign bodies in the nose, smoke (here, above all, cigarette smoke is to be mentioned) but also dry air be.

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Autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome also cause swollen nasal mucous membranes or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

Read also on this topic Swollen nose

Swollen nasal mucosa from an allergy

Allergies are a major cause of the swollen nasal lining. In order to understand the effects of an allergic reaction to the nasal mucosa, it is useful to first understand briefly what the nasal mucosa is actually there for.
The nasal mucous membrane has a so-called respiratory ciliated epithelium on its surface, these are tiny hairs on the nasal mucous membrane surface. These cilia “beat” in the direction of the throat and thus, for example, transport dust, but also other secretions from the airways to keep them free. Furthermore, the nasal mucous membrane ensures that the air you breathe is moistened and warmed. If you are allergic these mechanisms are disturbed.

How does an allergy develop?
An allergy does not affect every person and is one individual overreaction of one's own immune system across from one actually harmless stimulus Every substance that triggers an allergy is called a so-called antigen. These antigens have certain features or structures on their surface that are recognized as foreign by the own immune system and thus activate the immune system.

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Our immune system has several classes of Antibodies, one of them is the so-called Immunoglobulin E., also called IgE. The IgE now binds to the antigen and, together with it, to another part of our immune system, the so-called mast cells.
The mast cells have inside histamine saved. The special thing is that our immune system is sensitized after the first contact with an allergen, but nothing happens at first.
However, if there is renewed contact with the allergen, a large number of mast cells are activated at once. The consequence of this is that the messenger substance histamine is released en masse, but also other substances that maintain the allergic reaction (so-called inflammation mediators).

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Together, these ensure the classic symptoms an allergy like Redness, itching and the Swelling of the mucous membranes. Among other things, this mechanism can also swell the nasal mucous membrane and thus narrow the lumen of the nose, which leads to a stuffy nose can lead.
Here you can find out more about the: Symptoms of allergy

Swollen nasal lining during menopause

In the Menopause it comes to some in the woman's body Changes among other things too the hormones.
Under certain circumstances, this can also make the nasal mucous membranes drier, the nose then begins to itch and a common runny nose can also occur more frequently.
Here you can find out more about the: Menopause symptoms

Furthermore, long-term Sinus infections be responsible for it, which can show their symptoms at the same time as the menopause, but are wrongly attributed to the menopause due to the temporal connection.
If, in addition to a dry nose, there are also dry eyes during the menopause, you have to have an autoimmune disease like that Sjogren's syndrome think.

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Swollen nasal mucosa in thyroid dysfunction

The thyroid, located on the front side of the neck, is responsible for the production and storage of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, which influence both growth and other important metabolic processes in our body.
The thyroid also produces the hormone Calcitonin, which is important for the calcium balance of the human body.

Like any other gland in the human body, the thyroid gland can be restricted in its function (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).
Symptoms of a Hypothyroidism In addition to dry skin, brittle fingernails, hair loss, intestinal blockages, and menstrual disorders, swollen nasal mucous membranes can also be present. The swollen nasal mucosa creates a feeling of congestion by narrowing the lumen of the nose.

Accompanying symptoms of a swollen nasal mucosa

Depending on the cause the swollen nasal lining, it can different accompanying symptoms give.
The causes include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • allergy
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Menopause
  • cold

When a underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism) is the cause, in addition to swollen nasal mucous membrane, weight gain, constipation, lack of drive, brittle hair and brittle nails, and in women also a lack of menstrual bleeding (amenorrhea), slow reflexes, cramps in the muscles.

Is a allergy the cause of a swollen nasal mucosa, the accompanying symptoms also include itching, redness, sneezing and a runny nose.

If you have an autoimmune disease like this Sjogren's syndrome is the cause of swollen nasal mucosa, you also have very dry eyes, in addition to a foreign body sensation in the eye.

If women who are currently in the Menopause shows a swollen nasal mucous membrane, other accompanying symptoms of menopause can occur, such as dryness of the vagina or the exit of the urethra (so-called urogenital area).
Then there is often a burning sensation, itching and pain during sexual intercourse. The dryness of the vagina also makes these women more prone to vaginal infections with bacteria and fungi, which is usually indicated by a foul-smelling discharge.

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When a cold If a runny nose and cough is the cause of a swollen nasal mucous membrane, this can also obstruct the access to the paranasal sinuses so that they are partially or completely closed.
Since this can promote the spread of pathogens, it can also lead to inflammation of the sinuses (Sinusitis). Furthermore, the pathogens can spread to the middle ear via a connection in the nasopharynx (the so-called Eustachian tube or tuba auditiva), where it becomes painful Otitis media to lead.

Swollen nasal lining in babies

In babies and infants, swollen nasal mucous membranes are even more of a problem than in older children or adults, as in this age group breathing is still mainly through the nose and breathing through the mouth, e.g. only takes place in the context of the screaming.

Impaired nasal breathing in babies can result in restless sleep at night, but also problems when drinking breast milk, since the mouth is again closed as an alternative respiratory organ.
For this reason, it is advisable to ensure with babies that the heating air in the bedroom is not too dry at night; cooler room temperatures of around 18 ° C also protect against sudden infant death syndorme (SIDS).
Furthermore, as in adults, nasal drops with a 0.9% saline solution can help to reduce swelling.

If this also does not bring the desired result, there are still vasoconstricting nasal drops, as we know them in adults, available.
However, it should be noted that one should never use a nasal spray for adults, as these contain much higher concentrations of active ingredients. They are only approved in lower concentrations for babies. Care should be taken to use this type of nasal drop only for a short time (no longer than 1 week) and to dose it very sparingly so that usually no damage can occur.

Swollen nasal mucosa during pregnancy

Swollen nasal lining, is an issue with women while of their Pregnancy often faced are.
In addition to the other inconveniences that pregnancy can bring, such as nausea, which pregnant women often struggle with, a swollen nasal mucosa is nothing to worry about. This can occur as early as the 2nd month of pregnancy, but disappears at the latest, like other inconveniences that occur during pregnancy, with the delivery of the child and thus with the end of the pregnancy.

The root cause for a swollen nasal mucosa during pregnancy is the hormone Oxytocin. This hormone increases in concentration during pregnancy and ensures that, among other things, the nasal mucosa is better supplied with blood.
As can be seen in other parts of the body when they are better supplied with blood, the nasal mucosa also swells through a better blood circulation narrows the lumen of the nose, which can lead to a blocked nose.
Here, too, depending on the symptoms, you can use tried and tested home remedies, such as inhalation of essential oils, nasal rinsing with table salt or Nasal sprays use sea salt or table salt.

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diagnosis

A swollen nasal mucosa, which causes a blocked nose, can be very bothersome. However you have to do not always go to a doctorif, for example, it is a common cold that goes away on its own.

If the complaints but about one longer period extend or are very pronounced is one diagnostic workup to advise a doctor for ear, nose and throat medicine (ENT doctor). He has various options to find out the cause of a swollen nasal mucous membrane and thus the impeded nasal breathing.
With his instruments, he can examine both the nose itself and the sinuses. There are also various diagnostic test methods available, for example to test for certain allergies.
The doctor can also test whether the ability to smell is restricted or even changed. He has the options blood to examine for certain parameters that can also cause swollen nasal mucosa, such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

He can also do a X-ray examination of the skull to see if the sinuses are blocked.
Even if the causal problem for the swollen nasal mucosa is an anatomical one, such as a crooked nasal septum, which can exist from birth, but can also be caused by trauma (such as a blow on the nose), the ENT doctor is the right contact Nasoscopy do.
This is completely harmless and painless; the ENT doctor will assist you with this Endoscope look into the nose, at the opportunity he can go straight to the examination Samples of nasal secretions or the Take nasal mucosa in order to be able to examine them diagnostically.

Duration

Unfortunately, there is no general answer to how long a swollen nasal mucosa will last. Much more the time depends on the cause.
For example is a Allergy to pollen responsible for it, it may be of February to October come to a swollen nasal lining.
When Tanimal hair or dust are the trigger, then sas long as you surround yourself with it.

If the cause is an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an autoimmune disease such as Sjögren's syndrome or an anatomical cause such as a crooked nasal septum, the swollen nasal mucosa may persist until the cause is eliminated.

What do you do with a swollen nasal mucosa?

Depending on the cause of the swollen nasal mucous membrane, one may stand various possibilities available for therapy.

When a The cause of the allergy for the discomfort, those affected should try that Allergen as good as possible too avoid.
Unfortunately, this is often very difficult, because if you have a pollen allergy, for example, you don't want to spend the whole year in closed rooms.
It looks different with animal hair, here you may even have to part with the animal, depending on the severity of the complaints.

There is the possibility of Desensitization against certain allergens. Put simply, the immune system is exposed to the allergen in increasing concentrations until the immune system ignores the allergen as it occurs in nature and there is no excessive immune reaction upon renewed contact.
This procedure has a different chance of success depending on the allergen.

This is not the only way medicine can treat allergies, there are also various drugs available.
If the difficult nasal breathing is due to an allergy, you can do both Antihistamines as well as small doses of Cortisone to take in. However, this should never be done without a prior consultation with a doctor, as these drugs, too, can show various side effects, especially if they are dosed too high.

There are also decongestants Nasal sprays such as Otriven®, which contains xylometazoline as an active ingredient.
It is extremely important that this should not be overdosed in infants and small children, as this can otherwise be life-threatening due to reduced breathing, which can lead to a coma. That is why it is important always Adhere to the dosage approved for children and, if necessary, to consult the doctor or pharmacist.
In adults, the complications are not so drastic, but a decongestant applies here too Nasal spray no longer than 7 days to use, otherwise there may be dependencies.
You can find more information on the topic here: Dependence on nasal spray
If the device is used too often, the nasal mucous membrane can reactively swell and this is exactly the opposite.
Nasal sprays that contain sea salt or saline solution as a base are much safer.

When a anatomical cause The reason for obstructed nasal breathing is, for example, nasal turbinates that are too large Lasers treated when a crooked nasal septum the reason is, you can treat them in one operation.

Home remedies

The causes of persistent swollen nasal mucosa can be very different.
Various home remedies are available for treatment, such as essential oils for inhalation or a 0.9% saline solution, with which one Nasal irrigation can perform.
You can make this nasal wash yourself. For this you need conventional table salt, which can be found in every kitchen, and a bottle that has a suitable opening to attach to the nostril. This can also be bought as a finished product.
It is important for self-production that you yourself exactly to the instructions to maintain the correct concentration of salt. Instructions can be given to any pharmacist or doctor specializing in ear, nose and throat medicine.

If you prefer essential oils preferred, stand next to one another Tea tree, Cajeput also eucalyptus to disposal.
If you put a few drops of it on an aroma lamp, this not only ensures a pleasant smell, but also helps with blocked noses due to swollen nasal mucosa.

Furthermore, it can also help several times a day at a cut onion to smell, this not only leads to watery eyes in most people, but also has a decongestant effect on the nasal mucosa.

The cause of a swollen nasal mucosa can also dry air be,. It can help here to humidify the room air. It can be sufficient to hang up damp cloths in the room. There are also many versions of humidifiers available that can even be used with essential oils.

homeopathy

With a swollen nasal mucosa, there are also various substances from the group of homeopathy to disposal.
As globules among other things Allium cepa D12, Euphrasia D12, Kalium bichromicum D12, Sambucus nigra D12, every 5 globules 3 times a day.
It is also suitable for external use WALA nose balm which also relies on natural ingredients.
You can also provide support here Nasal drops and be nasal rinses. Here too, however, it is important to know the cause of the swollen nasal mucosa and to help exceptionally long duration or special persistent complaints one Consult a doctor for ear, nose and throat medicine (ENT doctor). This can diagnose the symptoms more precisely, as other diseases can also hide behind a swollen nasal mucous membrane.


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