Nasal congestion (the feeling of “clogged nose”) is one of the most frequent and annoying symptoms in people of all ages which, although does not intervene with the normal function of breathing, can be particularly annoying both during of daily activities as well as during bedtime. The causes that may lead to clogged nose are many, with the main ones being the infections of the upper respiratory tract (common cold and flu), and the allergic rhinitis.
The infections of the upper respiratory tract usually occur during winter and are related to the infection of the nasal mucosa (the layer of tissue covering the whole surface of the nasal cavity) by microorganisms, that leads to the production of mucus, a substance with fluctuating consistency (from watery and clear to gel and sticky) depending on the etiology and the number of microbes. The production of mucus, combined with the changes in the nasal mucosa because of this infection (dilation of the nasal blood vessels, production of elements of inflammation, etc.) leads to the cause of this annoying feeling that is expressed as a “narrowing” of the nasal passages.
Allergic rhinitis is a clinical entity related to a reaction of the nasal mucosa against various allergens, generally “harmless” irritants that may lead to an “excessive” activation of the immune system of individuals. The most common allergen is pollen, while other substances such as grass, mites, dust, animal hair, etc. have also been “accused” as allergenic ones. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis can resemble those of upper respiratory tract infections. When allergic rhinitis is related to pollen, presents a seasonal distribution with a particular exacerbation mainly in the spring while in other cases, when it is due to other allergens such as for example dust and mites can appear regardless of the season.