Stuffy Nose: Causes and Natural Remedies
Causes of stuffy nose
Stuffy nose (also known as "nasal congestion") occurs only in conditions of low body-oxygen levels (less than 20 seconds for the body-oxygen test). Low cell-oxygen levels are caused by chronic overbreathing, upper chest breathing (which drastically reduces blood oxygenation), and habitual mouth breathing.
While main superficial causes of stuffy nose include bacterial and viral infections, low body-oxygen content, on a cell level, is always the key factor. When nasal congestion is caused by infections, the person will notice that his or her mucus is yellow or green. This indicates presence of dead bacteria or viruses in mucosal discharges.
Stuffy nose can also be caused by allergies or allergic reactions to some airborne substances (e.g., as in the case of hay fever). However, even in this case, the hypersensitive state of the immune system is caused by chronic overbreathing. As you can see in the right diagram, the cause is the same, but the mucus is going to be clear.
Another possible cause of large production of clear mucus is dairy products. Such allergic reactions occur due to either casein (the main protein in milk) or lactose (milk sugar).
Natural remedies for stuffy nose due to allergies
If your stuffy nose is caused by allergic reactions, you need to avoid them. For example, you can test your reaction to dairy products by eliminating all dairy products from your diet for 3 days.
If you are allergic to tree pollen or cat or dog proteins, these airborne triggers are to be avoided. Once you achieve more than 30 seconds for the body-oxygen test, most of these substances (dust, dust mites, tree pollen, cat proteins, dog proteins, and so forth) will not produce an auto-immune response due to normalization of the immune system.
Natural remedies for stuffy nose due to infections
If you slow down your basal breathing patterns (get closer to the medical norm for breathing at rest) and achieve more than 20 seconds for the body-oxygen test, your frequent upper respiratory infections will also disappear. Hay fever eradication usually requires over 30 seconds for the body-oxygen test and avoidance of all triggers for gradual desensitization of the immune system for about 2-3 months.
Related web pages:
- YouTube video: How to clear a Stuffy Nose with another simple breathing exercise to clear the stuffy nose
- Internet Lies About Ideal Sleep Positions (Over 90% of internet resources advice sleeping on one's back)
- Sleep Positions Medical Research Summary (What is the best way to sleep for maximum body oxygenation?)
- How to Prevent Sleeping on One's Back (Practical techniques and permanent solutions)
- How to Tape Mouth at Night or mouth taping technique to prevent mouth breathing during sleep
- Mouth vs. Nose Breathing (Medical review of main physiological effects).
Bartley James, Nasal congestion and hyperventilation syndrome, American Journal of Rhinology, 2005 Nov-Dec; vol 19(6): p. 607-11.
Waitemata District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand.
BACKGROUND: This article evaluates the prevalence of hyperventilation syndrome (HVS) in patients who continue to complain of ongoing nasal congestion, despite an apparently adequate surgical result and appropriate medical management.
METHODS: Prospective case series of 14 patients from June 2002 to October 2003 was performed. Patients, who presented complaining of nasal congestion after previous nasal surgery and who appeared to have an adequate nasal airway with no evidence of nasal valve collapse, were evaluated for HVS. When appropriate, nasal steroids and oral antihistamines also had been tested without success. Three patients had end-tidal P(CO2) levels measured and five patients underwent breathing reeducation.
RESULTS: All patients had an elevated respiratory rate (>18 breaths/minute) with an upper thoracic breathing pattern. Twelve of the 14 patients complaining of nasal obstruction had an elevated Nijmegen score indicative of HVS. An average number of 2.5 procedures had been performed on each patient. End-tidal P(CO2) levels were < or = 35 mmHg in the three patients who had expired P(CO2) levels measured. Breathing retraining was successful in correcting the nasal congestion in two of five patients.
CONCLUSION: HVS should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with nasal congestion, particularly after failed nasal surgery. One possible explanation is increased nasal resistance secondary to low arterial P(CO2) levels. Another possible explanation is reduced alae nasae muscle activity secondary to the reduced activity of serotonin-containing raphe neurons. Additional surgery may not necessarily be the answer in HVS patients complaining of nasal congestion.
Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
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