Why Does Only One Nostril Get Clogged When You’re Sick?
Have you ever noticed that when you’re suffering from a cold or sinus infection, only one nostril tends to get congested while the other remains relatively clear? This phenomenon, known as the “nasal cycle,” is a natural and normal occurrence in our respiratory system.
The nasal cycle typically lasts for about 2-6 hours and switches nostrils throughout the day. It is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, specifically the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, which control the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the nasal passages, directly impacting congestion levels.
When we are healthy, the nasal cycle is not noticeable, as both nostrils have similar airflow. However, when we catch a cold or experience sinus congestion, one nostril becomes the dominant one for breathing while the other becomes congested.
Several factors contribute to the nasal cycle and its association with sickness, such as swelling and inflammation in the nasal tissues, sinus drainage, and the size of the nasal turbinates.
It’s important to note that the nasal cycle is generally harmless and doesn’t indicate a severe health condition. However, if you experience persistent or chronic nasal congestion, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
In the meantime, you can try some remedies to alleviate congestion, such as using saline nasal sprays or rinses, humidifying the air, staying hydrated, and avoiding irritants like smoke or strong perfumes.
Understanding the nasal cycle provides us with an insight into the complexities of our respiratory system and reminds us of the wonders of the human body.
Severe colds and flu can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, but for many people, one of the most annoying is a blocked nostril. While most of us have experienced this phenomenon, few of us know why it happens. Thankfully, the medical community has studied this common problem and uncovered the mysteries behind why one nostril gets blocked when you’re sick.
The primary reason why one nostril gets blocked when you’re sick is due to a change in your body’s physiology. During a cold or flu, your sinuses may become congested due to increased levels of inflammation. This swelling narrows the opening from the sinus to the nostril, causing the blockage.
In addition to the increased inflammation, some other factors can contribute to the problem. For example, when mucus production increases due to a cold, the amount of mucus entering your nostrils can exceed what your body can expel. This causes a blockage as the mucus hardens and blocks the opening to the nostril.
Finally, while not as common, one nostril blockage can also be the result of a problem with the nasal septum. The septum is the wall that separates the two sides of the nose, and if it is misaligned it can lead to a blockage in one nostril.
Overall, it’s easy to see why one nostril is often blocked when dealing with a cold or flu. Increased inflammation causes swelling in the sinuses, which blocks the opening from the sinus to the nostril. An increase in mucus production may further contribute to the problem, and in some cases, a misaligned nasal septum can also be responsible. If the blockage persists, it is important to visit your doctor to check for any underlying issues.