Nose pain: causes and treatment
Nose pain never occurs on its own. This sensation always indicates a certain disease or disorder in the body. Depending on the degree of its severity, a person needs emergency or planned medical care. You should not ignore the pain in the nose, it is important to find out the cause of its occurrence. If it appears against the background of rhinitis, then you should not hesitate to see a doctor.
Inflammation inside the nose will be indicated by the pain that a person has on inhalation. Separately, painful sensations occur extremely rarely. Most often they are accompanied by itching, burning sensation, and an inflammatory reaction. Sometimes pain indicates the formation of a neoplastic neoplasm (both malignant and benign). Only a doctor can find out the exact cause of the pain.
- What structures can become inflamed in the nose?
- Diseases causing pain in the nose
- Causes and symptoms of nose pain
- Diagnosis of the causes of pain in the nose
- Nose pain treatment
- Overview of pharmaceutical products
What structures can become inflamed in the nose?
It is the inflammatory process that most often leads to the appearance of pain in the nose. Almost any part of the organ can be affected. Many diseases are accompanied by simultaneous inflammation of several nasal structures at once.
A pathological reaction can spread to areas of the nose such as:
- Skin and subcutaneous tissue.
- Cartilage tissue.
- Bone structures.
- Mucous membrane.
- Nerve fibers.
- Paranasal sinuses.
Diseases causing pain in the nose
Pathologies that can provoke pain in the nose:
- Various infections: tuberculosis or nasal syphilis, boils, measles, etc.
- Cancer neoplasms.
- Injuries to the nose.
- Neurological pathologies: Charlin's syndrome, Slader's syndrome.
- Diseases with an unspecified etiological factor: eczema, Wegener's granulomatosis.
Many infectious processes are able to become chronic, causing constant pain. During the period of remission, the discomfort will be barely noticeable. With exacerbation, it increases significantly.
Often, structures located near the nose are involved in the pathological process, for example, the sinuses. This picture is typical for polysinusitis.
Causes and symptoms of nose pain
There are various diseases that can lead to pain in the nose.
Rhinitis or a runny nose often causes discomfort rather than pain. With this problem, a person develops profuse nasal discharge, his mucous membranes become inflamed. The disease is acute and responds well to therapy.
Inflammation is caused by viruses and bacteria that enter the nasal mucosa. By itself, rhinitis does not cause pain, but when a person starts blowing his nose, the irritation increases, which means that discomfort increases. It also occurs due to frequent friction of the wings of the nose.
If allergens are the cause of rhinitis, itching and burning occurs in the nose. A person complains of tearing and headache. A wide variety of substances can act as allergens, from house dust and animal hair to food. To cope with such a violation, you will need to eliminate contact with the allergen.
The otolaryngologist deals with the treatment of rhinitis. A runny nose itself is not a serious health threat. However, if you do not get rid of it in time, then it can lead to serious complications. So, chronic rhinitis often causes sinusitis (inflammation of one or several paranasal sinuses).
Read more: Runny nose - causes and symptoms, how and what to treat? ➤
Sinusitis is an inflammatory response that is concentrated in the sinuses. The most common causes of sinusitis are: allergic rhinitis, infectious diseases of the ENT organs of viral or microbial origin, colds.
If sinusitis is left untreated, then all the paranasal sinuses will be involved in the inflammatory process. This will lead to the development of pansinusitis.
The main symptom of sinusitis is pain. It intensifies when pressure is applied to the tip of the nose, often radiates to the bridge of the nose, to the face, to the back of the head, etc. Other symptoms of sinusitis depend on where the pathological process is concentrated. If inflammation develops in the maxillary sinuses, then the pain is localized on the sides of the wings of the nose, on both sides. Frontitis is characterized by painful sensations in the bridge of the nose. With ethmoiditis, pain occurs under the eyes, and with sphenoiditis, in the region of the skull.
Read more: Sinusitis in adults - causes, symptoms, how to treat? ➤
A furuncle is a bulge that rises above the surface of the skin or mucous membranes. Such an abscess is painful. Most often, it forms in the area of the tip of the nose, or on the eve of it.
A boil occurs due to an infection in the sebaceous gland, or in the hair follicle. The reproduction of pathogenic flora leads to inflammation and suppuration. Most often, boils are provoked by staphylococci and streptococci.
Read more: Furuncle - causes, signs and symptoms ➤
Any, even minor, injury to the nose leads to severe pain. The most common injury is contusion and blow. Mainly children receive such injuries during active games.
The nose can be injured by a foreign object that the child places in the nostril. Therefore, parents need to pay attention to the complaints of children about pain in the nose.
Minor injuries cause minor pain. It passes quickly, and the tissues are restored. If a person has a fracture of the septum of the nose or other severe damage, the pain will be very severe.
In addition to pain against the background of a fracture, edema develops, a hematoma is formed. Thermal and chemical damage to the nose leads to acute pain.
Regardless of the type of injury, the person who received it needs to go to the hospital.
Neoplasms of the nasal cavity
Regardless of whether a tumor grows in a person's nose - benign or malignant, there will be no pain in the early stages of its development. It occurs after the tumor begins to press on the nerve fibers and tissues located nearby. Even this pain can remain insignificant for a long time, so the person will not seek medical help. This leads to the fact that the tumor is detected at the moment when it reaches an impressive size.
Cysts growing in the nose are often suppurating. Also, pain will occur due to decay and tissue necrosis. Polyps in the nose respond with pain.
The main danger of malignant tumors is their asymptomatic development. A person begins to experience discomfort when the neoplasm reaches an impressive size. In addition to pain, purulent discharge appears, from which it smells unpleasant. The sense of smell is impaired. Discomfort is often concentrated not only in the nose, but also in the upper part of the head, in the face. This indicates that the tumor has begun to press on the nerve fibers.
Tuberculosis of the nose
Tuberculosis of the nose is a chronic sluggish disease. Gradually, the patient deforms all elements of the nose. In the affected area, areas of ulceration, painful nodules, and infiltrates are formed. Both the skin and mucous membranes are affected. The person begins to worry about regular nosebleeds. At the last stage of the development of the disease, the tissues of the nose melt, areas of necrosis, abscesses, and fistulas become visible. Bone and cartilaginous structures will be pierced through with channels.
Tuberculosis is caused by Koch's bacillus. This mycobacterium enters the nose from the primary site of infection. Initially, either the lungs or the bones are affected. Less commonly, nasal tuberculosis develops as a primary infection when Koch's bacillus in large quantities gets on damaged organ tissues.
Herpes in the nose
When herpes sores appear in the nose, the person will experience pain. Most often, the bubbles are located inside the nose, so the discomfort increases when you press on its wings. In addition to pain, the person will suffer from itching and burning in the characteristic area.
The herpes virus is activated when immunity decreases.
Factors such as the following can provoke the appearance of rashes:
- Hypothermia of the body.
- Exacerbation of chronic pathologies.
- Iron-deficiency anemia.
- Injuries to the nose.
If there is no treatment for herpes in the nose, then the viral infection can spread to the eyes. The rash will appear on the conjunctiva.
Syphilis of the nose
The causative agent of nasal syphilis is treponema pale. This infection enters the nasal cavity mechanically. Infection can occur by picking your nose with dirty fingers. Also, the infection can spread through the blood. Therefore, pale treponema can penetrate into the nasal cavity from the focus of primary infection, which occurs in the absence of treatment, or with the selection of inadequate therapy.
At an early stage of the disease, a red patch of skin or mucous membrane forms in the nose. The affected area is characterized by soreness, the tissues swell. Due to edema and thickening of the mucous membranes, a person will suffer from nasal congestion. The multiplication of bacteria leads to melting of the nasal canals. During this period, purulent discharge appears.
In Charlene syndrome, a person has pain in the nose and in the area of the eyeballs. They intensify at night. Violation of mucous discharge from the nose is accompanied.
Charlene's syndrome develops against a background of nasal nerve neuritis. It is represented by the finest fiber that departs from the optic nerve. Inflammatory diseases of the mucous membranes of the nose, their injury, etc., are the impetus for the development of Charlin's syndrome.
Ganglioneuritis (Slader syndrome)
Slander's syndrome is characterized by inflammation of the pterygopalatine ganglion. This node is represented by nerve fibers that are responsible for the innervation of the nose. Therefore, a person has pains of the corresponding localization.
The pain is concentrated in the region of the bridge of the nose, in the region of the dorsum of the nose, near its lateral walls. There are painful sensations of the type of seizures that happen unexpectedly for a person. They last up to several days. In addition to pain, redness is observed on the side of the face from which inflammation occurs. A transparent exudate begins to secrete from the nose.
Diagnosis of the causes of pain in the nose
To find out the cause of pain in the nose, you need to contact an otolaryngologist.
The main diagnostic methods to establish the etiological factor of pain:
- Taking anamnesis.
- Visual inspection.
- X-ray and CT.
- Microbiological research to identify pathogenic flora.
- Blood donation for general analysis.
Anamnesis. The doctor interviews the patient. He finds out how long he has been worried about painful sensations in the nose, whether there are any other health problems, whether there were injuries to the nose, etc. Analysis of the collected information suggests what caused the pain in the nose.
Visual inspection. During the examination, the doctor assesses the color of the skin of the nose, the symmetry of its sides, its size, the presence of defects, areas of inflammation. Palpation allows you to clarify the location of the pain, edematous areas, the temperature of the skin.
Rhinoscopy. This study is carried out using a rhinoscope. The doctor can visualize the condition of the internal nasal structures: mucous membrane, nasal concha, nasal septum. It is rhinoscopy that is the main method for diagnosing diseases of the nose.
Endoscopy. An examination is performed using an endoscope. This device allows you to detect neoplasms in the nasal cavity. Endoscopy is used when the doctor needs to harvest tissue. The resulting material is sent for cytological examination.
Diaphanoscopy. This research method allows you to assess the patency of the sinuses in the presence of pathological neoplasms, for example, cysts. The procedure is carried out using a special device - a diaphanoscope.
Radiography. Taking X-rays allows the doctor to obtain information about the condition of the bony structures of the nose. Their location is assessed. If there are large neoplasms in the nose, they can also be visualized on an X-ray. We are talking about cysts, hematomas and abscesses.
Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography. MRI and CT are used if the cause of the pain could not be identified using other methods of examination. These diagnostic procedures provide maximum information about the condition of the nasal tissues, but their significant disadvantage is their high cost.
Ultrasonography. Ultrasound allows you to diagnose inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, detect fluid accumulation in them, as well as neoplasms, if any.
Microbiological research. If the pain in the nose was provoked by an infectious flora, then a microbiological study allows you to establish which pathogen caused the inflammation. In the future, the doctor will be able to prescribe etiotropic treatment.
General blood analysis. Its results make it possible to assess the composition of the blood, to establish the severity of the inflammatory reaction. UAC is prescribed for patients with infectious diseases, with suspected cancer.
Nose pain treatment
A patient with pain in the nose may be prescribed medication or surgery. It all depends on the cause of their occurrence. Most often, discomfort is associated with respiratory diseases, which can be dealt with with the help of drugs.
Drugs that can be prescribed to the patient:
- Palliative drugs. They will get rid of the symptoms of the disorder and improve the quality of human life.
- Etiotropic drugs. They allow you to destroy the pathogenic flora, thereby ensuring the patient's recovery.
- Physiotherapy. These methods help to improve the nutrition of the affected tissues and accelerate their regeneration, stimulate the discharge of viscous secretions.
Normalizing the outflow of mucus from the nose helps to reduce the inflammatory response. For this, the patient is prescribed anti-inflammatory and decongestant drugs. The thick exudate liquefies and easily leaves the sinuses.
The doctor prescribes medicines after the infectious agent has been identified. Viral disease is treated with antiviral drugs, and bacterial inflammation requires antibiotics.
Physical therapy methods allow you to quickly cope with the inflammatory response and accelerate recovery.
A patient with pain in the nose may be prescribed procedures such as:
- Electrophoresis. The drugs enter the upper respiratory tract under the influence of electric fields. This allows you to reduce the intensity of the inflammatory reaction and accelerate the regeneration of the mucous membranes.
- Phonophoresis. During the procedure, the patient's body is affected by ultrasonic waves, which allow the necessary drug to be delivered to the deep parts of the nose. Working out the focus of inflammation accelerates recovery.
- Amplipulse therapy. The physiotherapist works through the tissues of the nasopharynx with low frequency currents. This procedure has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect.
Breathing exercises improve the microcirculation in the sinuses. It is not difficult to fulfill them. It is enough to breathe alternately between the right and left nostrils for 10 minutes. Repeat the exercises at least 3 times a day. They allow you to saturate the blood with oxygen, thanks to which the recovery processes are launched with a vengeance.
The operation is resorted to when it is necessary to mechanically remove a pathological neoplasm in the nose. Sometimes the surgeon's help is reduced to restoring damaged structures of the nose.
Indications for surgical intervention:
- Tissue abscess. The doctor aspirates pus from the nasal cavities, carries out their sanitation using antiseptics and antibiotics.
- Hematomas. Surgical care is reduced to removing excess blood from the nasal cavity.
- Injuries. The operation will be aimed at stopping bleeding, relieving pain and correcting broken segments of the nose.
- Foreign body in the nose. The doctor will try to remove the foreign object from the nasal passages as carefully as possible.
- Cyst of the nose. During the operation, the pathological neoplasm is removed.
- Anomalies in the structure of the nose. The surgeon's help will be limited to restoring organ structures to generally accepted standards.
- Tumor. Thanks to surgical intervention, the doctor removes pathological growth.
- Carbuncle. During the operation, the doctor removes dead tissue and sanitizes the affected area.
Any purulent formations that have appeared not only in the nose, but also next to it, cannot be squeezed out on their own. This can cause serious complications. First of all, this applies to boils and carbuncles.
Overview of pharmaceutical products
Antiseptics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to patients with pain in the nose.
The table will show the drugs that are most often prescribed for the treatment of influenza, rhinitis and other acute respiratory viral infections.
Type of drug
How the drug works
Amoxiclav, Erythromycin, Ceftriaxone
Eliminates bacteria, prevents the accumulation of pus, reduces pain
Sinupret, Fluimucil, Mucodin
The drugs thin thick phlegm and speed up its removal from the respiratory tract
Tamiflu, Relenza, Lavomax
The drugs help to increase the immune forces, destroy viruses
Beconase, Fliksonase, Nazarel
The drugs reduce the intensity of inflammation and relieve swelling from the nasopharynx
Vasoconstrictor nasal agents
Tizine, Galazolin, Knoxprey
Drugs make nasal breathing easier
Lupocet, Tylenol, Ajikold
The drugs act on the central nervous system, blocking the work of pain receptors in the nose
Aspirin, Paracetamol, Nurofen
The drugs lower body temperature, increase sweating
Lazolvan, Chlorophyllipt, Furacilin
The drugs relieve inflammation, normalize the outflow of mucus from the sinuses
Solutions for washing the sinuses
Chlorhexidine, Quicks, Humer
Means help to cleanse the nasal passages of pathogenic flora, contributing to a speedy recovery
The main recommendation for the prevention of pain in the nose is to increase the human immunity. Most infections will bypass a person with a strong immune system. Even if the disease develops, it will not be difficult for the body to cope with it.
Sports activities, hardening, proper nutrition contribute to an increase in protective forces. People with allergies should avoid contact with possible allergens.
The author of the article: Lazarev Oleg Vladimirovich | ENT
Education: In 2009, he received a diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" at the Petrozavodsk State University. After completing an internship at the Murmansk Regional Clinical Hospital, he received a diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (2010)