Although it is one of the most prominent and bothersome symptoms of colds and allergies, nasal congestion is a commonly misunderstood phenomenon.
Many people believe their congestion is caused by excess mucus trying to flush out the cause of illness. But nasal congestion is a swelling of the blood vessels that line the nasal cavity, often as a result of inflammation (just as sinus congestion is the swelling of tissues within the sinuses).
It’s possible to treat the root of nasal congestion – using a decongestant such as Advil Cold & Sinus – without affecting the ability of your body to defend itself.
Nasal inflammation is often caused by the body’s response to what it identifies as foreign agents. Certain cells begin to message one another to increase blood flow to the site of concern, carrying cells with the ability to attack an invader. These cells secrete substances to fight the attack, causing inflammation. As a result, the blood vessels in the tissues lining your nose and sinuses literally swell up. Inflammation in the nose and sinuses, like that occurring anywhere else in the body, is part of a healthy body’s immune efforts, not the work of harmful pathogens.
That being said, many of the threats the body reacts to may be harmless. Our bodies have been engineered to remain on high alert at all times. It’s possible to treat the root of nasal congestion – using a decongestant such as Advil Cold & Sinus – without affecting the ability of your body to defend itself. The decongestant will shrink swollen nasal passages to open up your airways, making it easier to breathe. And in truth, by the time you begin taking a decongestant to treat congestion, the virus that caused it may have already run its course.