Saturday, 14 January 2017

Nasal Congestion, Causes, Medicines For Treatment.

By: Musa Suleiman

Nasal congestion is a very common condition that is seen in virtually all the time as result of some kind of sickness like rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose), sinusitis (inflammation of some hole like spaces around the nose and the forehead) or even the weather. Nasal congestion is a condition that is self limiting (meaning it can go on it's own with time). Sometimes nasal congestion can be an indication of some serious disease within but in most cases, nasal congestion is caused by allergic reaction in the system (like in the case of allergic rhinitis).

Nasal congestion can occur as a result of nasal polyps (a small outgrowth like tumor) which may cause blockage of the nasal opening causing breathing difficulty. Nasal congestion can be so discomforting to the point of making sleep difficult sometimes.

 Normally on the surface of the smooth muscle covering the inner upper part of the nose, there is a mast cell (a bag-like structure that carries some different biological chemicals that can tigger biological reactions). On the surface of the mast cell, there is an antibody known as IgE( immunoglobulin E); when you come in contact with an allergen (any substance that may cause u allergic reaction), it binds with the IgE on the surface of the mast cell and this will cause the mast cell to open and release some chemicals it contains like HISTAMINE, LEUKOTRIENE AND EVEN PROSTAGLANDIN.

This various biological chemicals have effects on different parts of the body as they circulate, and the role they play in nasal congestion is that they dilate (widen/swell) the blood vessel in the nasal cavity. This widening of the blood vessel in the nose now make them to block the nose opening thereby causing breathing difficulty congestion inside).Basically that's how it occurs in the molecular phase there. As the blood vessels widen, blood flow increase and fluids may start to leak out and you may see that you have catarrh.


 Allergens like dust, smoke from tobacco, animal furs, Some chemical sprays, side effect of some drugs that cause dilation of blood vessels, weather and disease like flu and other conditions that cause nasal tissue inflammation like sinusitis and rhinitis.


 Normally it goes off even without drug treatment within few hours to few days if the cause is just a simple allergy. But if you have nasal congestion for up to 10days causing u breathing difficulty, or you are seeing nasal fluid with green or even red colour; PLEASE visit a health care professional.

Drugs are used to treat nasal congestion that is causing serious discomfort (the way we react to allergy differs, it's stronger in some people) and these drugs include preparation containing; Chlorpheniramine(popular trade name PIRITON), Phenyephrine, Pseudoephedrine, Diphenhydramine, loratidine, montelucast, oxymetazoline (mostly comes as nasal drop), ketotifen (very effective and expensive) and Cypoheptadine (this drug is a popular pharmaceutical preparation like its other class members e.g loratidine, but when you have a nasal congestion do not walk into a pharmacy store or a patent medicine store to order it. The reason is that; 1. it is not very potent at stopping inflammatory response (it doesn't prevent release of histamine, it only try to bind or stop the already flowing ones) and 2. it is mostly used to stimulate appetite (increases hunger ) because of its ability to block the neurotransmitter "serotonin" in the appetite center in the hypothalamus and it can cause you sleep and you get weam sometimes).

Another group of drugs used to treat nasal congestion include BETAMETASONE, dexametasone and triamcinolone. They stop inflammatory response but their other effect is that they can suppress your immune system after chronic use and this can result to one of their VERY RARE SIDE EFFECT known as oropharyngeal candidasis (known as oral thrush). So in case you are using inhaler containing these drugs, please rinse your mouth with water after usage.
WARNING: when u buy a boogie (nose inhaler) containing betametasine or dexametasone please do not inhale deeply so that it does not get to your lungs or your throat. Inhale gently to help it deposit the drug in the nose. Lastly if you have nasal congestion or allergic rhinitis, do not use drug containing Chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine or cyproheptadine at night IF YOU INTEND TO READ OVER THE NIGHT BECAUSE IT WOULD GET YOU DROWSY AND PROBABLY SLEEP OFF (and you may be feeling life is all about enjoying sleep during your exam): order for a non drowsy ones like Loratidine or cetirizine . Also do not handle machines when you aare on drowsiness causing drugs.

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