Winter allergies are quite common and in the current pandemic situation, one has to be careful and closely understand their body. One of the classic signs of winter allergy is nasal congestion. Dr Ranbeer Singh, consultant ENT surgeon, Care Hospital, Hyderabad, says that allergies can lead to a runny or blocked nose, an itchy throat, watery eyes, coughing, a sore throat, fever, etc.

What is nasal congestion?

It is the inflammation of the linings of the nasal cavity causing swollen nasal passages constricting air flow and making it harder to breathe through your nose. It causes you to feel stuffed up, which is why it’s also referred to as ‘stuffy nose’. One might experience a stuffy nose with congestion, accompanied by common cold and cough, the doctor explains.

How to clear the congestion?

According to Dr Singh, one can opt for over-the-counter medication — antihistamines, prescribed nasal steroid sprays, or nasal saline sprays. “A regular nasal washing is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of blocked noses. It not only maintains nasal immunity, but also improves nasal functioning. Furthermore, regular nasal washing is recommended by doctors as an adjunct treatment for people with allergic rhinitis along with regular medications,” he says.

Nasal hygiene practices

Effective nasal hygiene is important in the winter season. The doctor says that the nose accumulates mucus, dust, bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and hence, it is an “ideal environment for germs and sickness”.

Nasal hygiene is important for prevention of diseases. The practice of keeping your sinuses clean, clear, and moisturised is crucial in ensuring the proper functioning of your nose. A nasal rinse is very effective in relieving sinus pressure and to allow better breathing,” he concludes.

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