Understanding Nasal Congestion

2012-06-01 | |
Last updated: 2012-06-01

Congested Nasal Passages And Nasal Temperatures

In addition to allergies and particles in the air, other aspects of air can affect the feeling of breathing through the nose. Research by the Monell Center in 2011 identified that both air temperature and humidity can affect the feelings of nasal congestion. The scientists reported that when study participants breathed cold air, they were more likely to feel less congested. They also found that breathing dry air reduced feelings of congestion to a lesser degree.

From their research, the scientists determined that breathing warm, humid air decreases the amount of evaporation in the nose. This means that the temperature in the nose is warmer and the brain then interprets this as obstructed breathing even though nothing is actually blocking the flow of air in nasal passages. For people who experience that stuffy feeling, this means that better controlling humidity and air temperature can reduce the feelings of congestion.


Every one of us has experienced the annoyance of nasal congestion at some point whether as the result of a cold or as a consequence of allergies. It is common knowledge that nasal congestion is a symptom of both these conditions. However, it is not only these conditions that can cause that feeling and experiencing nasal congestion is extremely common with a significant number of people suffering the symptoms. Unfortunately, however, it is not well managed but the promising news is that research is beginning to understand just why we feel all stuffed up.

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Category: General Health, Medical Research, Symptom Information

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