A swollen nose is a very disturbing symptom that can mean different things for various people. Some may experience redness and extreme pain on one side of the nose, while others feel that their noses are clogged and need to blow them all the time.
Sometimes the pain in the nose radiates to the cheek or the eye on the same side, and others may even feel a lymph node in the neck area. Other symptoms that may be associated with a swollen nose are headaches, toothaches and pain in the face.
Other times, the swelling may be caused by nasal polyps which are painless growths inside the nasal passages that might cause a runny nose. Many times one may be oblivious to the fact that they have such growths in their nasal passages, and the situation may remain the same unless the polyps grow big enough to cause a blockage in the nose.
Causes of a Swollen Nose
What causes a swollen tip, inside or bridge of the nose? Injuries, piercings, nasal infections and trauma from trying to squeeze blackheads or pimples can all cause your nose to swell up.
1. Swollen nose after a piercing
A nose piercing, just like other piercings, is a wound on the body and just like all wounds, they have to be well treated in order to get healed fast and without causing further damage to the body. You should monitor the healing of a nose piercing in order to ensure that the swelling and wound does not get infected.
Some of the symptoms of an infected nose piercing (that would cause a swollen nose) include:
Discharge from the site where the piercing was made.
You might have yellowish or greenish discharge that might have a foul smell. This pus-like discharge commonly caused by bacterial infection on your piercing site. You will notice the discharge when the jewelry moves or around your jewelry. If you have a white discharge, it indicates your infection is minor
Swelling, tenderness, redness and soreness around the piercing sites
Swelling, bruising and redness are the other common symptoms you might have in case of an infected piercing. It is normal to have some redness, tenderness, bruising and a swollen piercing immediately and for the first few days after a new piercing.
Sometimes, swelling, redness and tenderness might be accompanied by hot feeling i.e. the piercing site will feel hot to touch.
If the swelling and tenderness does not disappear in a few days then it might be prudent to seek medical care.
The other sign of an infected piercing might include cold chills, nausea feeling and fever. This is a likelihood of a more serious infection especially the bacteria or pathogens have become systematic (infected your blood). You need to see your doctor immediately for further treatment since ignoring it could cause a more serious life threatening infections.
Alcohol induces vasodilation and facial flushing in people who have rosacea. However, alcohol is not the cause of the skin disease in most people.
Although the classic ‘drinker’s nose’ (rhinophyma) was thought to be related to excess alcohol consumption, it has never been proven. In a case-control study of 175 people with rosacea and 145 people with normal skin, there was no significant difference in alcohol consumption between the two groups.
3. Nose swelling after Injury
One can also suffer a swollen nose after injury caused by a fall, getting hit during a contact sport and also after getting punched by someone. This might get one a broken nose whose symptoms include:
- pain in or around your nose;
- a bent or crooked nose;
- A swollen nose or swelling around your nose, which can cause your nose to look bent or crooked even if it’s not broken.
4. Inflamed nose after squeezing blackheads
Blackheads are also known as open comedones, they are a plugged follicle that reaches the skin’s surface and ruptures. The plug’s dark appearance is not just from dirt and toxins, but contains a buildup of melanin (the skin’s dark pigment) and oil, which darkens as it oxidizes.
Improper squeezing of blackheads can cause inflammation. Many people have the habit of squeezing the blackheads on their face with their fingernails. This type of behavior can be dangerous, as it may cause redness around the nose, soreness, tenderness and scarring.
5. Swollen pimple on nose
These pimples can either be inside or on the surface of the nose. It is usually as a result of folliculitis which is caused by infection of hair follicles or pores on nostrils. Mostly it is as a result of bacterial imbalances which could be triggered by a number of factors.
When they occur on the nose, pimples could indicate underlying problems in the body system. Those that form near the nose but close to the eyes could indicate poor functioning of the liver. They could also indicate insomnia, stress and restlessness.
Pimples on the tip of the nose could be as a result of a faulty digestive system. This makes the skin to lack important nutrients.
6. Before Period and During Pregnancy/Sign of Early Pregnancy
The total body volume increases during pregnancy. It is very common for you to produce and retain more fluid when you are pregnant, so that could definitely be contributing to the increased swelling in your nose.
The fact that you notice that you are more swollen in the mornings likely has to do with the fact that your head is in a more dependent position as you lie in bed all night. So in the morning, you notice this extra volume in your nose and face. Throughout the day, the fluid works its way down your body due to the effects of gravity as you walk around and sit upright. The swelling should improve after the pregnancy.
A swollen nose can also be a pre-menstrual symptom. This is caused by edema which is swelling caused by excess water retention. This swelling typically lasts through the period of one’s menses and only comes back on the next cycle.
Some women have also presented with a case of a swollen nose during early pregnancy. It is considered in some circles as an early pregnancy symptom. It is advised however, that one takes a pregnancy test as soon as they suspect that they might be pregnant.
7. Swollen Nose from Cocaine Use
Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant with potent cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) side effects. Signs of intoxication typically begin with enlarged pupils, a feeling of being “high” (euphoria), agitation, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Chronic cocaine use may cause septic perforation of the nose which makes the nose swell. A septal perforation is a hole formed in the nasal septum due to hardcore drug abuse.
A perforated septum can vary in size and location, and is usually found deep inside the nose. It may be asymptomatic, or cause a variety of signs and symptoms. Small perforations can cause a whistling noise when breathing.
8. Nasal Bone Fracture
A nasal fracture is caused by a broken nose cartilage or bone. Symptoms of a broken nose include:
- Pain in or around your nose
- A bent or crooked nose
- A swollen nose or swelling around your nose, which can cause your nose to look bent or crooked even if it’s not broken
- Bleeding from your nose
- A stuffy nose that won’t drain, which can mean your nasal passages are blocked
- Bruising around your nose and eyes, which usually disappears after two or three days
- A rubbing or grating sound or feeling when you move your nose
9. Sinus Infection/Swollen Nasal Passages
Sinusitis is an inflammation, thickening, and swelling of the normal tissue called mucosa, which lines all the sinuses. This same type of tissue lines all the passages of your nose as well as the small channels which connect the nose and sinuses.
These channels can become blocked by swollen tissue. The causes of such swelling may relate to allergy, viruses, bacteria, or fungus.
10. Staph Infection
Staph in the nose is caused by a bacterium named Staphylococcus aureus, commonly called Staph. In most individuals, colonization generally does not lead to infection; however, infection and colonization are often confused. Many symptoms caused by Staph in the nose are at sites away from the nose.
The presence of yellow to green mucus in the nasal discharge and throat is an indication of an active immune response. Other symptoms are nasal congestion or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, fever and pain and swelling of the nasal membranes. With further invasion and inflammation, the sinuses become involved which results in headache, fever, chills, pressure along the sinus cavities.
11. Allergies and swelling inside nose
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is swelling of the inside of your nose. The swelling is a reaction to allergens in the air. An allergen can be anything that causes an allergic reaction. Allergies to weeds, grass, trees, or mold often cause seasonal allergic rhinitis. Indoor dust mites, cockroaches, pet dander, or mold can also cause allergic rhinitis.
12. Inflamed nose due to cold
You can think that the virus that gave you that nasty cold is to blame for the sinus pain and pressure you’re feeling, that causes a swollen nose. That pesky cold virus attacks the membranes of your nasal passages and your sinuses, making them swell up.
Those irritated nasal passages send mucus production into overdrive, and all that extra mucus is clogging up your normally air-filled sinuses. Instead of draining out, the mucus gets trapped inside your swollen sinuses. That’s when you start to have the sinus pain and pressure that make you so miserable.
13. After jaw surgery
When one undergoes jaw surgery, a swollen face and by extension a swollen nose. Swelling after going through jaw surgery is a common and normal after effect. Nasal congestion may occur both from the tube(s) placed in the nostrils during surgery and also from surgical procedures involving the upper jaw.
When this occurs, the congestion can be managed by using nasal sprays and cleansing the nostrils. Cotton buds soaked in warm water may be used to remove nasal secretions. The nasal congestion will usually resolve 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
14. After Nose Job or Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty swelling is common immediately after surgery. he amount of swelling and how long it persists after rhinoplasty depends on several factors such as the surgeon’s technique, open versus closed approach, whether the nasal bones were broken, and the number of prior nasal surgeries.
Patients in whom open rhinoplasty techniques were used, cases in which the nasal bones were broken, and a history of one or more previous nasal surgeries often will have more prolonged swelling.
During the first week, most patients will have moderate swelling . Usually, by the end of the second week, much of the bruising and swelling have subsided to the point that it is not obvious to the casual observer that the patient has had surgery. Tip of the nose swelling is usually the last to resolve.
Rosacea is a condition that causes a red swollen nose. A rosacea nose has the extra complication that one might end up suffering from rhinophyma. Although rare, rhinophyma is also a much hated symptom of rosacea. While we don’t know for sure how any particular rosacea sufferer’s symptoms will progress, reducing your inflammation and flushing is a good start to winning the battle.
How to Treat Nasal Swellings
- If your nose is congested due to allergies or sinusitis, nasal decongestants, nasal sprays and antihistamines may be helpful. However, when you have taken these for more than 3 days but the symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
- Use an extra pillow to elevate your head when lying down. This will help drain the mucus and allow you to breathe and sleep more comfortably.
- Avoid smoking or taking alcohol which may aggravate the symptoms. Avoid inhaling dust, pollen or other irritants that can trigger allergic reactions.
- For sinusitis corticosteroids drops or sprays can help reduce inflammation. If your symptoms don’t improve despite trying the treatments mentioned above, a type of surgery called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) may be recommended. This is a procedure to improve the drainage of mucus from your sinuses.
Home Remedies for a Swollen Nose
Home remedies can be used to reduce the inflammation. There are natural remedies against sinusitis. You will find simple easy steps that are safe to use at home for fast relief from the symptoms. Some of the easy procedures that you can do by yourself include:
- Steam Inhalation: Often considered the most reliable remedy, it provides a simple and quick solution. All you have to do is boil water and inhale the steam released.
You may also add the following essential oils to the boiled water for faster treatment.
Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil: The benefits of these oils include their antibacterial properties. It has elements that fight any virus and bacteria blocking the nasal passage. To prepare the treatment, you need to add 4 drops of tea tree oil to hot boiled water and use the mixture for steaming on a daily basis. We highly recommend Essential Oil Labs Tea Tree Oil (Check price on Amazon)
- Drink extra fluids especially tea and broths.
- Rinse your nasal passages with a gentle saline solution using a neti pot, a squeeze bottle or a syringe. Tilt your head sideways as you carefully and slowly squirt or pour the saline into the upper nostril, letting the water course through the passageways and out the other nostril.