According to Dr. Richard Nahas, the nose is one of the most important sensory organs in your body since it helps to protect your airways from foreign bodies such as dust and germs. It also allows you to enjoy rich sensory delights in the form of various types of smells. Thus, when you suffer from a nose disease or sinus problem, it can decrease your quality of life.
Here are a few common nose problems:
1. Sinusitis – Almost 20 percent (fifty million) Americans in the United States suffer from sinusitis which is categorized as a chronic (ongoing) condition. It is difficult for patients to diagnose the condition since the symptoms of sinusitis are similar to upper respiratory tract infection, a sinus condition, and allergies.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include decreased sense of smell, frequent sinus infections, nasal obstruction, nasal drainage, and facial pressure. Treatment options include decongestants, anti-inflammatory nasal sprays, systemic steroid medications, and oral inflammatory inhibitors.
2. Smell and taste disorders – Almost 2 million adults in the United States suffer from smell and taste disorder which greatly affects their quality of life since the loss of olfactory input is related to a loss of taste too.
The cause of smell and taste disorder requires expert diagnosis since it can be caused due to a variety of reasons such as allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, trauma, tumours, neurological disorders, and more.
3. Nasal allergies – The common symptoms of nasal allergies include watery eyes, constant sneezing, runny nose, and uncontrollable itching. It is pretty common in people who suffer from the common cold but can happen due to a variety of reasons.
Typically, your body suffers from a nasal allergic reaction when foreign bodies such as dust, pollen, or even pet hair enter your nasal passage. When your body detects a foreign object, it releases chemicals known as histamine which causes an allergic reaction. The trigger can be different for each person and sometimes, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem.
4. Nasal and sinus polyps – Due to sinusitis, the lining of the sinuses can swell and result in the formation of soft, non-cancerous growth that may or may not cause any symptoms. These are known as nasal polyps. Oftentimes, nasal polyps can cause difficulty breathing by blocking the nasal airways, and lead to infections and a reduced sense of smell and taste.
Usually, medications are prescribed to treat the problem, but surgery may be required if medications alone are not enough to treat the problem. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain medical treatment and monitor the sinus and nose cavities after surgery to prevent the formation of nasal and sinus polyps once again.
Dr. Richard Nahas suggests you consult a doctor as soon as possible if you notice breathing difficulties due to nasal obstruction, severe upper respiratory tract infection, or allergies due to a nose condition. Oftentimes, taking OTC medications is enough to treat nose conditions associated with the common cold or minor allergies. However, for more severe problems, you should not delay treatment.