Nose Burning: 6 Main Causes and What To Do

Several factors, such as climate changes, hay fever, sinus infection, and even menopause may cause a burning feeling in the nose. Feeling your nose burning is usually not serious, but it can cause discomfort. If the burning sensation comes with fever, dizziness, or nosebleeds, the best thing to do is to go to the doctor, so he can make a correct diagnosis.

As one of the defense mechanisms of the body, the nose heats and filters the air, stopping microorganisms and pollutant substances, such as dust from going in. However, some situations can cause the nasal mucosa to dry out and cause a feeling of stinging or burning. The six major causes of a burning nose sensation are:

Nose Burning: 6 Main Causes and What To Do

1. Climate changes

Dry weather is the main cause of the burning nose feeling. This is because air that is too hot or too dry, dries the airways, which makes you feel a nose burning when you breathe in.

In addition to dry weather, being exposed to air conditioning for a long time may also dry out the nasal mucosa and lead to a burning nose sensation.

What to do: One way to stop your nose from burning when there is dry weather is to put a bowl of water in your bedroom, as it helps to make the air more humid. In addition, it’s important to drink a lot of water and to clean your nose with a 0.9% saline solution.

2. Hay fever

Hay fever is an inflammation of the nasal mucosa caused by the presence of irritants, such as dust, pollen, pet hair, feathers, perfume, or disinfectants. These substances cause irritation in the mucosa, leading to rhinitis and itchiness, as well as a burning sensation in the nose.

What to do: To avoid getting hay fever, it’s important to clean the house well, identify the agent that causes the allergy, and avoid it. In more serious cases, an allergist may recommend you take anti-histamines or vaccines for allergies.

3. Sinus infection

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses which causes a headache, a heavy head feeling, rhinitis, and consequently a burning nose sensation. Sinusitis can be caused by a virus called Influenzae or by bacteria. It is important to identify the infectious agent so that the treatment established by the doctor can be effective.

What to do: your doctor will define the treatment for sinus infection according to the cause: antibiotics, or antivirals. In addition, you can take decongestants, to relieve the heavy head feeling.

4. Flu and colds

Both flu and colds can cause sneezing, rhinitis, and a burning nose sensation, because of the irritation of the nasal mucosa due to a virus in the airways. 

What to do: To fight both flu and colds, you may need to take medication to relieve the symptoms, such as Paracetamol, as well as drinking a lot of liquids, such as juice and water.

Nose Burning: 6 Main Causes and What To Do

5. Medication

Some medications have the side effect of causing the nasal mucosa to dry out. This is the case of sprays or nasal decongestants. Some sprays have substances that can irritate the nose, which can increase the susceptibility to infection. 

What to do: If a burning nose sensation is related to the use of medication, it’s important to go to a doctor so that the medication can be replaced. In the case of nasal decongestants, the doctor may prescribe a different type that does not have irritant chemical substances.

6. Sjögren Syndrome

Sjörgen syndrome is an auto-immune disease caused by inflammation of various body glands and that causes dry mouth, eyes, and, occasionally, nose.

What to do: As soon as there are symptoms such as dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, difficulty talking, dry eyes, and sensitivity to light, it’s important to go to a rheumatologist to get a diagnosis and start treatment.

When to go to the doctor

The best thing is to go to the doctor when the burning nose sensation lasts more than one week and when there are other symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Headache;
  • Throat ache;
  • Nose bleeding;
  • Fainting;
  • Dizziness;
  • Fever.

In addition, if the mucosas are dry, such as those of the eyes, mouth, and genitals, it is important to go to a doctor, as these could be related to more serious illnesses, such as Sjogren syndrome.

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