What diseases cause nasal pain?
Nasal pain is a disease symptom of the nose itself or the paranasal sinuses. Early diagnosis and adequate therapy prevent the transition from an acute to a chronic form and the development of complications.
The nose has two nasal cavities that extend outwards through the nostrils: these cavities are lined with a mucous membrane and separated from each other by a cartilage wall, the nasal septum. The nasal bones form the upper part of the outer nose, while the lower part is made of cartilage.
Causes of nasal pain
- With skin diseases of the outer nose, for example, a boil, the nasal pain is severe, often spreading to the forehead and to the entire side of the head. The pain is acute when the boil is touched and grows proportionally to the swelling.
- With any type of trauma to the nose, for example, when a patient falls, gets a blow or bumps his nose against something hard, inflammation and pain develop. For example, a crooked nose indicates a fracture or tear of the nasal bones, usually accompanied by bleeding and blue discoloration on the affected side (right or left) near the eye. In rare cases, the patient also has significant difficulty breathing.
- With sinusitis (acute inflammation of the paranasal sinuses), the pain is intense: this is the symptom of a decrease in the flow of secretions from the nose and paranasal sinuses due to narrowing, and sometimes complete occlusion of the lumen of a nasal cavity. The localization of pain depends on which sinus is affected by the inflammation: for example, if the frontal sinus is affected, the patient feels pain mainly in the forehead area, rarely also in the area of the cheeks, cheekbones and teeth.
The pain is felt at a certain time of the day, the pain increases at night and the patient complains about it in the early hours of the morning. In addition, the pain increases when touched (i.e. when pressure is applied) of the inflamed sinus walls, for example on the forehead near the frontal sinus and on the cheeks near the maxillary sinuses. If the patient has inflammation of the frontal sinus and other paranasal sinuses, he often feels pain at the bridge of the nose and on the inside of the eyes.
Mucus and secretions can run down the throat and cause a sore throat.
- The sinus pain in chronic sinusitis is not as intense and often accompanied by headaches and physical and mental reduced activity on the part of the patient. The headache does not occur constantly, but it increases with an exacerbation of the disease, causing an increased blood rush to the brain.
- Rhinitis, an inflammation of the nasal mucosa, is a common condition and appears to be harmless. The nasal cavities are the “gateway” to the respiratory tract through which air flows; in addition, this zone is richly innervated. Therefore, the whole body reacts to the smallest disturbances in the physiological functions of the nose: for example, a runny nose causes great concern in the patient, it can even lead to a sudden loss of appetite.
A runny nose is annoying, it causes nervousness and creates harmful habits, usually the patient has a higher risk of other diseases.In addition, impaired nasal breathing has a negative impact on the cardiovascular system, eye and intracranial pressure, respiratory organs, lymphatic circulation, cerebral circulation, brain functions, etc.
With a cold, the patient often blows his nose. The result is inflammation of the skin around the nostrils, especially when it is cold, because the skin is then harder.
A runny nose also leads to nasal congestion and stuffy ears.
- Patients suffering from allergic rhinitis have to sneeze continuously and have headaches, runny nose and swell, congestion, reddened and painful every time they inhale dust, pollen, smoke bacteria or other contaminated substances, especially if they are cleaned often.
- Nasal polyps are benign teardrop-shaped neoplasms; the affected persons have an enlarged and painful nose and often suffer from an allergy. If the nasal polyps are very large, they can block the nasal passage, which increases the production and accumulation of mucus and causes facial pain and other symptoms similar to those of sinusitis. If they continue to grow, they can infiltrate the bones and even change the shape of the nose.
- Foreign bodies inside the nose are common in children, but they are also seen in adolescents and adults; as a rule, they lead to an enlarged and painful nose. If the foreign body (such as a pearl or small toy) gets stuck in the nose for a few days, it can damage the mucosa and lead to infection with possible bleeding or a foul-smelling yellowish or greenish secretion.
- Infections caused by piercing. After a piercing is applied to the nose, infection may occur in the area that was pierced.
- Postoperative pain can last for at least 2-3 days due to acute inflammation, but some patients experience symptoms for a few weeks due to complications.
The most common surgeries are rhinoplasty, correction of the nasal septum and polyp removal.
- Hypertrophic rhinitis is the result of chronic catarrhal rhinitis; the latter is favoured by some risk factors such as nasal septal deviation or inhalation of dust and irritant gases, but the most common cause is chronic inflammation of the paranasal sinuses or polyps. Patients with hypertrophic rhinitis often have difficulty blowing, the feeling of nasal dryness, frequent nosebleeds and a weakened sense of smell.
- Neuralgia of the nasociliary nerve occurs in relatively young people up to 40 years of age; it is characterized by an acute, burning and intense pain in the eyes and nose, which radiates to the equilateral front side. These attacks of pain often occur during the night, lasting for many minutes, sometimes hours, and even days. They are accompanied by various neurovegetative disorders, the most common are hyperemia and lacrimation, rhinorrhea (runny nose) and swelling of the nasal mucosa on the painful side of the face.
- Glasses can cause pain where they sit on top of the nose. The more asymmetrical the glasses are, the greater the discomfort, for example after a pair of glasses has fallen off and the frame is warped.
- Psychosomatic pain. Anxiety can cause pain in the face during particularly stressful moments.
- A tumor of the nose or sinuses can cause pain in the nose, congestion, mucus and nosebleeds, headache, formation of a mass in the palate and pain when chewing.
Pain inside the nose
The pain felt in the nose depends on the particular factor that causes irritation of the nasal passages:
- Nasal injury and crusting: one of the most common causes of pain.
- Cocaine abuse: usually in drug addicts who snort cocaine
The nose acts as a protective shield against external elements, including dust and bacteria in the air we breathe; in some cases, bacteria (especially staphylococci) find an entry point into the organism through the nasal cavities and cause a rather painful infection.
- A local infection in the nose can also begin in the form of a small and reddened pimple that grows larger, grows into a painful lesion, and may be filled with pus.
- Allergy: an allergic reaction to pollen, chemical smoke or mold causes a painful sore in the nose.
- Sometimes a small ulcer develops inside the nose because the patient sneezes or blows his nose too hard, injuring the surface of the mucous membrane and the tip of the nose.
Pain on one side of the nose
Sometimes the pain appears only on one side of the nose: it can pass to both nostrils or simply remain on this side of the nose. This pain is the result of one of these factors, for example nasal infection, sinusitis, nasal polyps or other disorders of the nose. Nasal sprays and a cycle of antibiotics cure the patient of this pain and inflammation.
Symptoms that occur along with nasal pain
The most common signs and symptoms in a patient who has nasal pain are:
- Inflammation and swelling of the nose
- Dry nose or itching
- Injury or deformation of the nose
- Loss of odour
- Nasal congestion or blocked
- Nasal secretion or rhinorrhea that looks clear, yellow, whitish, or green
- Skin neoplasia
- Wounds or hair follicles
Therapy for nasal pain
With nasal pain, it is always better to visit the family doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics. But sometimes surgery is required, for example, for draining an abscess or pus, correcting nasal injuries or removing polyps.
After eating, the patient may take a painkiller or anti-inflammatory, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
If the nose is blocked due to an allergy or sinusitis, nasal sprays, antihistamines and decongestant nasal remedies are helpful. Women should consult a doctor during pregnancy before taking any medication.
Natural remedies for nasal pain
In any case, here are some practical suggestions for immediate relief from nasal pain:
- Especially do not put your finger or other objects in the nose: this could lead to bleeding or infection of the nose. In addition, the patient should not blow his nose too hard, but only very carefully.
- You can put ice on your nose in a small zippered plastic bag or wrapped in a towel to relieve swelling and pain; this treatment is performed for 15-20 minutes up to three times a day.
- When lying down, you can put another pillow under your head to lift it; this promotes the outflow of mucus and allows the patient to breathe and sleep better.
- One should refrain from smoking and alcohol, as they aggravate the symptoms. In addition, you should stay away from pollen, dust and other irritants, as they can cause allergic reactions.