What Causes a Blocked Nose

Knowing what causes a blocked nose can help you fight against its symptoms.

What Causes a Blocked Nose

Nasal congestion, or otherwise known as blocked nose, is among the most common complaints. It causes discomfort in nose, creating difficulty in breathing, and is caused by the blockage of the nasal passages. It usually occurs due to membranes lining the nose swelling from inflamed blood vessels. Though not a major illness, it can be a source of considerable discomfort.

To treat nasal congestion effectively, it is important to understand the events that trigger it. Here are the most common causes of a blocked nose:

Common cold

Common cold or flu is one of the most common reasons behind a blocked nose. A cold or the flu can inflame blood vessels in the membranes lining inside your nostrils. The extra mucus in your nose can make it difficult to breathe. While it is not a serious condition, it makes you highly uncomfortable, hampering your daily activities. However, in normal circumstances your blocked nose will clear soon after the symptoms of cold or flu have subsided.


Rhinitis is associated with inflammation in the nasal cavity lining, and it can be allergic as well as non-allergic. Allergic rhinitis occurs when an individual breathes in an allergen. Allergen causes your immune system to overreact and trigger nasal allergies.Repeated exposure to your allergies can make you extra sensitive and lead to a blocked nose.

Rhinitis can be seasonal or perennial, or both, depending upon the symptoms. Allergic rhinitis includes pet dander, saliva, mold, wood dust, or dust mite. Some individuals also develop symptoms of rhinitis from cigarette smoke, artificial fragrances, household odors, and other allergens. Hay fever, caused by pollen, is a common example of seasonal rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis can be easily detected; however, non-allergic rhinitis is more challenging to diagnose as it is not caused by an allergen.

Reaction to allergens can vary from person to person. It is important that you understand your allergic reactions and take appropriate care to avoid it.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are abnormal growth of tissue that grows inside the sinuses and nasal passages. Large nasal polyps can block your passages and cause a runny nose and loss of smell and taste. The symptoms of nasal polyps are similar to a regular cold, but while a cold can get better within 2-10 days, nasal polyps cannot clear up without proper treatment. Asthma, allergic rhinitis, cystic fibrosis, or aspirin tolerance can increase your risk of developing nasal polyps.

Sinus Infection

Sinus infection plays a major role in conditions such as nasal congestion. A sinus infection swells and inflames the membranes leading to a blocked nose. When inflammation occurs, the secretion of mucus increases, and it becomes thick and sticky, causing blockage. The mucus buildup can encourage germs and bacteria to increase their growth in your sinus cavity, leading to viral infection. Most sinus infections are viral infections, and they tend to disappear in a week or two.

Structural abnormalities

Enlargement of the adenoids is one of the most common causes of nasal obstruction, particularly in children. Adenoids are tonsil-like tissue located in the back of the nose. It causes noisy breathing, blocked nose and snoring among children. Children with enlarged adenoids often breathe through their mouth during the night because of a blocked nose.

You can consider taking various medications to relieve the symptoms of a blocked nose. Sudafed Blocked Nose Spray can do wonders to clear a blocked nose and helps relieve sinus pressure caused by hay fever and cold. Taking Sudafed Blocked Nose Capsules can also help to clear a stuffy nose and lighten your pain.