As soon as the temperature starts to drop, a stuffy and congested nose can often follow suit. However, this year, some extra nasal congestion brings with it a bit more worry as COVID-19 continues to circulate with nearly 60,000 death cases in the UK. One of the entry routes of SARS-CoV-2 is the nasal epithelium.
Why the nose is affected by a COVID-19 infection
Both the nose and the mouth are entry portals for the COVID-19 because the virus is transmitted through inhalation of or contract with infected droplets.
In fact, the nose can be so infected with a COVID-19 infection that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends diagnostic testing for collecting upper respiratory nasal swabs.
“Nasal mucosa represents a vulnerable area for coronavirus to colonise for its abundant blood vessels, mucinous glands and serous glands which create a humid environment,” said the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology.
The health site added: “Typically, human coronavirus caused disruption of the ciliated epithelium and ciliary dyskinesia. This is likely to impair mucociliary clearance.”
Like many symptoms of coronavirus, a congested or stuffy nose is a non-specific symptom, which means it can be linked to a number of illnesses.
This is why it’s imperative to closely monitor any other symptoms you may be suffering with.
Treating nasal congestion due to COVID-19 is similar to treating nasal congestion as a result of any illness as long as you’re not experiencing any severe symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain.
If your symptoms are mild, you can try a few different techniques that help relieve sinus pressure from a stuffy nose.
Saline rinses and nasal steroid sprays are available over the counter to help clear up your nasal passageways.