Swollen Nostril - Causes

Swollen Nostril

Blasé Pascal once said, “If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have been changed”. Keeping the beauty apart, the nose is not only a natural filter but also an air conditioner.

However, swelling of nostril is an uncomfortable condition which might differ from person to person. Some people might experience redness on one side along with unbearable pain while a few might get a feeling that their nose is clogged and they need to blow them all the time. In addition to this, swollen nostril also causes headache and tooth ache.

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Some of the common causes associated with swelling of a nostril are as follows:


A common cause for the swollen nose is sinusitis. Sinusitis often results either due to an infection or any allergic reaction. This causes inflammation which results in swelling of sinus mucosa which leads to clogging and excessive production of mucus. This is the major cause for headache. Sinusitis can be treated with the help of antibiotics and pain relievers.


Infection is one of the most common symptoms of ill health. Inflammation observed in nostril may be due to an infection in the inside or the outer part of the nose. Initially, it may appear with a reddish hue and a pimple-like formation. But it progresses with time, leading to redness, pain thereby producing pus. Internal infection may be due to pulling of nasal hair or continual habit to pick the nose or blow it more often than needed, leading to a condition known as mucosa lesion. Bacteria known as staphylococcus can stem out of this lesion and attack the natural defense mechanism of the body, resulting in inflammation.

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Nasal Trauma

An injury to the nose or to the areas which supports it can be referred to as nasal trauma. It may be due to an internal or external injury. Nasal trauma results in bleeding of nose due to superficial positioning of blood vessels. The potential complications of nasal trauma include infection, difficulty in breathing and physical deformity. The common types of nasal trauma are fractures, blood clots and chemical injuries to the interior of the nose.

Nasal Polyps:

Generally, only 4-5 in 100 people develop nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are basically a swelling which grows inside the nose. It is yellowish or grey in colour. The symptoms of nasal polyps include runny nose, loss of smell, loss of taste and sneezing. It must be noted that large polyps tend to block the air passage causing difficulty in breathing. A chronic sinus infection is another symptom of nasal polyps. Polyps generally appear like cloudy spots. Steroid nasal drops are widely used to shrink the size of polyps. Steroid sprays are also used to prevent the recurrence of polyps.

Allergic Rhinitis

This often occurs when you inhale dust, smoke, and pollutants from the atmosphere. Allergic rhinitis causes swelling of mucosa inside the nostril. This results in constant sneezing and severe headache. The nose becomes swollen and attain a reddish hue, when you blow it continually.  The treatment for this includes antihistamines and pain relievers.

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