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What are the Common Causes of Nose Swelling?

By Brandon May
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Many causes of nose swelling can stem from allergic reactions or infectious bacteria, yet are easily treatable and do not normally develop into a more serious condition. A common cause called sinusitis involves inflammation and then swelling of the inner lining of the nose due to blocked fluid or germs. This can later lead to an infection, therefore increasing swelling and inflammation, if not addressed by a physician when the symptoms first develop. When dealing with an allergic response, the simplest form of treatment may come down to rest and avoidance of the allergic stimulus. Symptoms of swelling, regardless of the source or cause, frequently include facial pain and loss of smell.

When swelling in the nose occurs, it is often seen as an inflammatory or allergic response to a certain stimulus in the environment. Seeing an allergist might help determine a specific element in the diet or the environment that contributes to the swelling and inflammation. However, pure avoidance and elimination of certain foods or ingredients used in cosmetics may be the best way to determine the specific cause of the swelling. More often than not, nose swelling stemming from an allergy will also be accompanied by swelling around the eyes.

Nose swelling is also a common symptom of bacteria buildup within the nose or lining of the nasal cavity. This bacteria can lead to infection if not treated at the symptoms' onset, and can lead to a longer than usual swelling of the nose. Sinusitis is the term for nasal swelling when it involves the buildup of bacteria, and can only be diagnosed through a physical examination by a medical doctor or allergy specialist. Anti-inflammatory medications can help bring down the swelling and ease the inflammation involved with the bacteria.

Adequate rest can be one of the best treatments for nose swelling, as well as antihistamines if one is suffering from an allergic response. As bacteria can spread to other parts of the body, further treatment and medication can be prescribed by a doctor to help fight the bacteria in the nose. Side effects of nose swelling can include loss of smell or a stuffy nose, but these do not usually present further agitation or future health problems. Chronic swelling may be a sign of a larger health problem, making it important that an individual work carefully alongside physicians to help determine a cause and solution.

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Discussion Comments
By wavy58 — On Jan 03, 2013

@JackWhack – Colds are really hard on a poor nose. I think I would rather deal with a nose injury than a cold, because at least I know how to reduce the swelling from a direct hit.

I got hit in the nose with a softball last spring, and I immediately put an ice pack on it. Later on, I took ibuprofen to reduce the swelling.

Because I did these things, the swelling wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. I did have trouble breathing through one nostril for awhile, but at least the swelling went down after a few days.

By JackWhack — On Jan 02, 2013

Nasal pain and swelling from a cold is the worst! My problems usually start with about three days of a constantly runny nose, and then my nose becomes congested and swells up on the inside, as well as the outside.

Decongestants help a little, but I really don't get full relief until the virus is out of my system. Antihistamines don't keep my nose from running, either.

By giddion — On Jan 02, 2013

I have chronic sinusitis. Even though I take a daily antihistamine that is supposed to last for twenty-four hours, I still have issues with allergies.

This keeps my nose in a constant state of irritation. I blow it a lot, but once it swells up, blowing it becomes painful and fruitless. The mucus dries up and gets trapped inside my nasal passages.

I take antibiotics when the swelling and pain becomes unbearable. I do fear that one day, my body may become resistant to the drugs, though.

By Kristee — On Jan 01, 2013

I've read that an allergy to milk can cause nose swelling. I know that drinking milk causes you to produce more mucus, so I can see how this combined with the swelling would be really annoying and hard to deal with.

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