Why Do You Always Have Nasal Congestion?

You know you don’t have a cold or the flu, and as far as you know, you don’t have any allergies. Then why won’t this nasal congestion just pass? Although the flu, the common cold, and allergies are typical nasal congestion triggers, there are some other reasons as to why breathing through your nose might become such a difficulty. Here are x things that can be sneakily causing your nasal congestion.

An Environmental Irritant

Over 30% of individuals experience inflammation in their nasal airways due to a condition known as nonallergic rhinitis, which has no relation to an immune system reaction. If you do not have any allergies–tested and confirmed by a doctor–, then nonallergic rhinitis is probably the culprit of your stubborn nasal congestion. This condition is also known as vasomotor rhinitis, which is brought on upon contact with an irritant such as a cosmetic product, cigarette smoke, or even a dry weather. Indeed, temperature changes including dryness seem to play a part in causing congestion. For people in this boat, the ideal route is to identify triggers and keep clear of them like they are the plague. If avoiding triggers does not do the trick either, then you can discuss your decongestant or other medicinal options with your physician.

Overuse of a Decongestant

While nasal decongestants can be very helpful in relieving congestion, long-term use of them–longer than a few days–can lead to what is known as rebound congestion. Simply put, your nose becomes dependent on nasal decongestants and becomes more stuffed up when you stop using it. It is paramount to heed the instructions and warnings on the label.


As beautiful a miracle as it is, pregnancy puts a woman’s body through an awful lot, including significant hormone fluctuations and increased blood circulation. It is somewhat a well-known fact that pregnancy can put too much strain on the lower limbs, causing swelling in the ankles. Another part of the body whose tissues can become a target for inflammation during pregnancy is the nose, which can consequently cause stuffiness when you don’t have a cold or the flu. Using a humidifier, consuming lots of fluids, and nasal irrigation can all be helpful in relieving this congestion. That being said, talk to your OB-GYN before taking any medicines even if they are over-the-counter.


When you have hypothyroidism, this means that your body is incapable of making enough TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). This deficiency in TSH, in turn, presents itself with symptoms such as lethargy, hair loss, feeling cold even when it’s not cold, constipation, dry skin, and–you guessed it–nasal congestion. If you have any of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to get your TSH levels checked. Going on synthetic thyroid hormone is the standard treatment approach.

Nasal Polyps

These guys may be another reason as to why you are constantly congested. Nasal polyps are benign growths that aren’t life-threatening in any way but can block the nasal passages. People with asthma, allergies, and chronic sinus infections are more prone to forming nasal polyps. If you always feel like you’re stuffed up with a decreased sense of smell and taste, consult your doctor. While polyps can be surgically eliminated, they have a tendency to regrow. Hence, it may be more preferable to use a steroid nasal medicine to decrease the size of polyps and ease symptoms.

A Sinus Infection

Do you have a lingering, stubborn cold? A run-of-the-mill cold should only last a couple of weeks at most. If your cold sticks around for longer than a week or two or even improves and returns with even more severe symptoms, it is time to pay your doctor a visit. This may be a case of bacterial sinus infection, and its treatment necessitates taking antibiotics. If it is a bacterial infection, your congestion is likely to be accompanied by a fever, nasal secretion, and painful sinuses.

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Posted on May 22, 2023