Nasal Congestion & Catarrh
Nasal Congestion Catarrh
Catarrh is an excessive build-up of mucus in one of the airways or cavities of the body. It is usually found inside the nose, but it can also occur in the:
Catarrh is not a condition in itself, but a symptom of a condition such as:
Acute and chronic catarrh
Most cases of catarrh are acute, which means it will pass within a few days once the body fights off the underlying infection. However, some people have chronic (persistent) catarrh, either due to an allergy or because there is an abnormality inside their nose, such as nasal polyps.
The symptoms of acute catarrh can usually be relieved by taking a short-term course of decongestants. Treatment for chronic catarrh will depend on the underlying causes.
Symptoms associated with catarrh
The symptoms often associated with catarrh include:
Causes of catarrh
Catarrh is caused by your immune system reacting to an infection or irritation in one of the cavities of your body, such as inside the nose.
The immune system will send infection-fighting white blood cells to the source of the infection or irritation. The white blood cells cause the linings of your cavity to swell and produce mucus. This swelling also narrows the cavity, which causes decongestion.
Triggers of catarrh
The most common triggers of catarrh are:
Other triggers include:
For reasons that are unknown, some people have abnormally sensitive blood vessels that react to environmental triggers, such as cigarette smoke and pollution. This sensitivity causes the blood vessels to expand (swell), much like they do in response to an infection or allergic reaction. This swelling leads to congestion and catarrh.
A non-allergic reaction to environmental triggers is known as vasomotor rhinitis, or non-allergic rhinitis.
Triggers of non-allergic rhinitis include:
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous, fleshy swellings that grow from the lining of your nose or your sinuses (the small cavities inside your nose). They can prevent mucus from properly draining out of your sinuses, leading to congestion and catarrh.