This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Is it Normal for One Nostril to be Blocked?

It may happen that you breathe heavily from one nostril in comparison to the other one. You notice this only at the time you are sick. A stuffed nose is very frustrating and it is a common complaint by most people. It may indicate many diseases and disorders. This process is automated through the autonomic nervous system, it is that same system which controls the things done by your body like heart rate and digestion. For the nose, this nasal system controls the nasal cycle in order that each nostril works in an effective manner. The nasal system functions several times in a day and this gets noticed only when the nose is blocked more than the normal.

Is it Normal for One Nostril to be Blocked?

Is it Normal for One Nostril to be Blocked?

Yes, it is very common to experience one nostril to get blocked. To open one nostril and close the other one, the body inflates the tissue with blood just like the way the man gets the erection. Enhanced blood flow results in the congestion of one nostril for 3-6 hours before moving over to the other side. Increased congestion is also noticed when a person lies down and if the head is turned to one side. This cycle is helpful for the sense of smell. Some smells can be picked up better because of fast moving air around the nose. Some other smells take time and get detected through the slow-moving air.

If one side of the nostril is open wide while the other is closed slightly, you can get all the smells. This process gives every side of the nose a break because a constant stream of flowing air can dry and kill the small hairs that give protection from the foreign elements. However, when you get sick, the clogged-up feeling just gets amplified.

Reasons for One Nostril to be Blocked

Different conditions can result in the blocked nose starting from allergies to a deviated septum. With so many reasons it is highly important to find the root cause for the effective treatment. Some common causes for blocked one nostril include the following:

  • Allergies as a Reason for One Nostril to be Blocked: Allergic reactions to the dust, pollen, mites, pets can cause the blockage. This can cause nose blockage in the short run and can cause long-term blockage when you are continuously surrounded by an allergen. If the blocked nose gets worse in certain seasons, then allergic rhinitis may be the cause.
  • Food Intolerance: Intolerance to any kind of food may lead to inflammation of mucous membranes present in the nasal passage. Some of the intolerance products are gluten and dairy.
  • Nasal Polyps Can Also Cause One Nostril to be Blocked: These are small tissue that has grown in the nasal passage and this obstructs the air flow. These develop in case you suffer from the chronic allergic rhinitis. Polyps do not cause any harm by themselves but the blocked nose shall not clear till the time the polyps get reduced in size.
  • Deviated Septum Can Cause One Nostril to be Blocked: The nasal septum is a cartilage that sits between the two nostrils. It divides the nose in the center. There are people where septum lies to a side. This makes the nostril more blocked than the other as the airflow is less in the smaller nostril.
  • Smoking: Smoking can cause mucous membrane inflammation in the nose. When you smoke, the nose feels blocked.

Home Remedies to Clear One Nostril That is Blocked

The nasal polyps that causes one nostril to get blocked are treated with the nasal sprays that contain steroids. In severe cases, a minor surgery is needed to remove them. For treating deviated septum, the nasal steroid sprays are needed. There are many home remedies to clear one nostril that is blocked:

  • Keep the Head Elevated: Raise the upper half part of the body while sleeping and this can help to drain out the mucus from the nasal passages.
  • Identify the Allergens: Reduce exposure to allergens and observe whether the symptom improves. If you do not allow the pet to the bedroom, it can make a difference.
  • Reduce Dairy Products Intake: If you reduce the dairy foods from your diet, you will benefit from the blocked nose.
  • Herbal Nasal Spray: You can use the herbal sprays for a much longer time period because it keeps the natural function of mucus lining intact.

Other treatment to clear one nostril that is blocked may include using medications like nasal steroids, antibiotics, decongestants, and saline sprays. The adhesive nasal strips also provide help. If the problem is with the nasal anatomy, it can interfere with sleeping, breathing, or surgery.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Deviated Septum. Read More
  2. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergic Rhinitis. Read More

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 7, 2023

Recent Posts

Related Posts