Why Does My Nose Hurt?

Pain in or on the nose can be quite excruciating and make you feel seriously concerned about your wellbeing. Most people become more concerned about pain and discomfort they experience on the head or anywhere on the face. They believe there has to be a serious underlying cause of their facial pain, but that is not true. Nasal pain could be the result of an acute injury to the face or directly to the nose. Only rarely, nasal pain indicates a serious condition such as cancer within the nose or lower parts of your brain.

Why Does My Nose Hurt?

Most of the times, you experience nasal pain for the same reason you experience pain in anywhere else in the body. Here are some possible explanations:

1. Nasal Injury

Any injury to the nose can cause severe pain. A broken nose can cause excruciating pain – you experience this pain because of a fracture of the nasal bones. You may experience bleeding as well as swelling because of a nasal injury or broken nose. Sometimes, you end up hurting your nose by wiping the nose too aggressively or too often. These injuries are usually acute and heal without serious complications.

However, you may have to deal with a nasal septal hematoma, which happens when blood accumulates in the septum after an injury. You should see your doctor immediately to have the blood drained.

2. Foreign Body in the Nose

The issue is more common in children, as they are more likely to insert pencil erasers, marbles, small beads, or other similar items into the nose during the course of play. It can cause swelling if it irritates the inner lining of the nose. The pain may be more concentrated inside the nose first but it may also make the outside of the nose painful too. If an object enters the paranasal sinuses, it can cause a runny nose, pain, nasal congestion, and a nasal tone to the voice. You may also experience difficulty smelling with bleeding. Be sure to visit the doctor to have a foreign body removed – do not try to do it yourself or you may end up pushing it deep into the nasal cavity.

3. Infection of the Nose

Why does my nose hurt? An infection may be the answer. Nasal pain is more common in viral infections – it is usually soreness and burning than pain. You may experience nasal pain if you have developed a bacterial infection of the sinuses or nose. A fungal infection is rarely the underlying cause of nasal pain, but it is a possibility nevertheless.

You may develop an infection at the entrance of the nostrils – it usually happens after a cold because of wiping your nose excessively. This may also lead to an infection of the root of your nose hairs – it is also possible to develop an abscess, called nasal furunculosis. You are more likely to develop these infections due to a weakened immune system, so you may want to take steps to boost your immunity to prevent infections and nasal pain.

4. Inflammation of the Nose

Non-infectious conditions may lead to inflammation of the nose that can also cause nasal pain. You may not experience any pain due to most types of rhinitis, such as hay fever, but the pain may be the result of chemical and mechanical irritation to your nasal lining. This may happen due to sniffing cocaine, dried nasal mucus, nose picking, excessive nasal drying, and inhaling irritant gases. Excessive use of nasal sprays may also cause inflammation of the nose and pain. Lethal midline granuloma and Wegener's granulomatosis are two inflammatory conditions that can also cause serious nose pain.

5. Cancer and Growths

A nasal polyp may well be the answer to your question, "Why does my nose hurt?" You may develop it because of chronic irritation of the lining inside your nasal passages. While the growth is not cancerous, it can cause pain, especially when it increases in size. Some of the most common symptoms are alternations in the sense of smell and a runny nose. Cancer of the nose is not a common condition, but some people develop nasal carcinoma because of metastasis from another site. Cancer can also develop in the nasopharynx and paranasal sinuses, which can cause severe pain along with bleeding and changes in the sense of smell.

6. Other Causes

  • Sometimes, you experience nasal pain because of dehydration and blowing your nose repeatedly.
  • A nose pimple can cause severe pain as well – it is hard to notice it because it usually does not have a head.
  • Spending too much time in dry or cold air and scratching your nose too often can also cause nasal pain.

What You Can Do?

Why does my nose hurt? Getting some information about the underlying cause can help you identify the best treatment option. Here is what you can do when you have nasal pain.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping your body hydrated is very important. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your body and skin hydrated, which also prevents the tightening of delicate membranes in your nose. You should aim to drink at least 8oz of water a day to prevent dehydration.

2. Avoid Dry Air

Spending too much time in dry environment can cause nasal pain. Breathing dry air can make the outside of your nostrils to hurt a lot. In this case, take a wet washcloth and dab it around the outside of your nose to clean and moisturize the area.

3. Apply a Warm Compress

A sore pimple on the outside or inside of your nose can cause severe pain. Applying a warm compress will help you find some relief though. Simply get a warm, wet washcloth and hold it against the affected area to relieve pain and clear up the pimple. Do not scratch the area.

4. Try a Humidifier or Steam

If cold, dry air is the cause of concern, you may feel better by breathing in a humidifier. Steam inhalation may also help keep your nasal passages moist and prevent pain. Simply sit close to a pot of boiling water and inhale steam. Take slow, deep breaths, but avoid breathing in too deeply. 

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