When you feel a tickle in your nose you know it’s not going to be a pleasant day, week or possibly month. Hayfever symptoms can include red, watery and itchy eyes, an itchy throat, itchy ears, a runny nose, sneezing, or a blocked nose.
For those of you who have suffered from a stuffy nose, you’ll know just how bad it can be. It is caused when the blood vessels inside the nasal passages swell when your nose has come into contact with allergens such as pollen or dust.
Here are 10 reasons why the struggle is real:
- Food: A blocked nose can prevent your sense of smell, and therefore affect how you taste and appreciate food. No explanation needed for how terrible this can be for foodies, especially if you’re surrounded by yummy food all the time!
- Sleep: Having a good night’s sleep is essential for brain function, but a blocked nose can put this on hold. Having a blocked nose can prevent you from sleeping, as it can be irritating only being able to breathe through the mouth. Naturally, this can result in waking up with a dry mouth. Usually, a blocked nose will get worse if you’re lying down. This is why your allergies may get worse at night. However, it could also be caused by the increase in pollen or triggers found in bedding like dust mites.
- Social life: When you have a blocked nose you talk differently and sound funny. Nasal congestion can make people feel heavy headed and not themselves. In a study by Meda Pharmaceuticals 33% of people said hayfever made them feel more self-conscious and less confident.
- Productivity / work: A stuffy nose can be distracting when you are trying to work or study. Research has revealed that 20% of people said hayfever impacts their ability to meet deadlines and 68% of people said it affects their ability to concentrate.
- Environmentally unfriendly: When you have a blocked nose you waste tissues trying to blow your nose, even though almost every time nothing comes out. This is because a blocked nose due to hayfever is usually caused by swollen nasal passages, not a blockage of mucus.
- Relationships: A blocked nose could impact your sex life. The same study by Meda Pharmaceuticals confirmed that hayfever can make people feel less desirable to their partners.
- Leads to other symptoms: A blocked nose can lead to other symptoms like a dry mouth, a plugged sensation in the ears or headaches.
- Tiredness: A blocked nose and lack of sleep can take a toll on you mentally and physically. Feeling tired and less energetic makes you more likely to put things off so you feel like you’re not getting on top of things.
- Fitness: Suffering from a stuffy nose can make it difficult to do some exercise like running, where the right breathing cycle and pattern are critical. Calmer exercises like yoga may be more suitable, but can still be difficult, especially if you have lack of energy and cannot breathe through the nose.
- Sick days: When you have a blocked nose and you’re not being treated effectively, you may need to take sick leave at work. In a study 30% of patients said they took sick days because of their hayfever.
If you suffer from a blocked nose and it’s impacting your life you should consider visiting the doctor. A doctor will be able to help you with a diagnosis and can find out which triggers you are allergic to. This will help you to avoid triggers, but the biggest benefit of seeing a doctor is that they can recommend a suitable and effective hayfever treatment. A common way to treat hayfever is with medicated treatments like nasal sprays. If you’ve been to a doctor and still haven’t been able to find a solution there are specialists and experts that are trained to help you.