Differences between Nasal Dryness and Nasal Congestion


Nasal dryness and nasal congestion are two separate problems that share some things in common – like how irritating they can be for those who are suffering from them!

In this quick overview, we’ll look at the differences between the two conditions, how they are caused, and what their symptoms are, and what to do to feel better.

First, what is Nasal Dryness and how is it different from Nasal Congestion?

Nasal dryness?[1]

When the inner walls of our nasal passages stop producing and secreting mucus – a viscous fluid that lubricates our nasal cavity and traps dust, germs, or irritants - our noses and nasal passages dry out and our breathing becomes difficult. This can also cause us to breathe through the mouth, which further dehydrates the throat and mouth.

Nasal Congestion[2]

The feeling of a stuffy and blocked nose, which we’ve all probably experienced at some point, happens when something irritates the tissues lining the inside of our nose, which causes a reaction of inflammation, swelling and mucus production, making it hard to take in air through the nose. If left untreated, nasal congestion may cause other issues like sinusitis, nasal polyps, or middle ear infections.

How is Nasal Dryness Caused?

Nasal dryness is a common condition characterized by a lack of sufficient moisture in the nasal passages. Managing nasal dryness often involves addressing these underlying causes and taking measures to maintain adequate nasal moisture.

There are several factors that can cause Nasal Dryness [3]. The most common among them are: 

  • Living in a dry and arid area 
  • Dry air during cold climate 
  • Animal dander from dogs, cats or other animals we may encounter 
  • Traveling and flying often 
  • Exposure to mold or mildew 
  • Certain flowers and pollen 
  • Smoke, pollution, or chemical exposure

How is Nasal Congestion Caused[4]

Nasal congestion, commonly known as a stuffy nose, occurs when the nasal passages become swollen or blocked. The swelling of blood vessels in the nasal tissues leads to difficulty breathing through the nose.

Nasal Congestion can be caused by anything that inflames or irritates the nasal tissues. These include:

  • Infections like the cold, flu, or sinusitis 
  • Allergies  
  • Irritants like tobacco smoke or vehicular pollution 
  • Deviated Septum 
  • Dry air 
  • Nasal Polyps  

What are the symptoms of Nasal Dryness and how are they different from the symptoms of Nasal Congestion?

Nasal dryness and nasal congestion, though related to the nasal passages, present distinct conditions impacting nasal wellness. Explore the differing symptoms associated with each to better understand their effects.

Nasal Dryness can be accompanied by some of the following symptoms[5]

  • Altered sense of smell  
  • Formation of crusts  
  • Swelling and redness of the nose 
  • Nasal congestion (usually in the morning) 
  • Itchiness 
  • Recurrent sneezing 
  • Excessive secretions 
  • Bleeding from the nasal cavity 
  • Fissures

Nasal Congestion, on the other hand, can have the following symptoms[6]

  • Runny Nose   
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste 
  • Cough 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Ear pain, Headache, facial pain or mild body aches 
  • Upper jaw or tooth pain 
  • Itchy eyes, nose, mouth or throat 
  • Sneezing 
  • Snoring 
  • Sore throat

And lastly, let’s look at what would be done when you or a loved one is facing nasal dryness or build-up in the nose.

Find relief from nasal congestion at home by incorporating simple measures such as staying hydrated, using humidifiers, trying nasal saline rinses, applying warm compresses, engaging in steam inhalation, elevating your head during sleep, and participating in light exercise. It's advisable to avoid spicy foods and irritants. 

Additionally, over-the-counter medications and nasal decongestant sprays can complement these easy tips for enhanced relief and overall nasal wellness. Rhinaris® easy self-application solutions could be the answer that you’re looking for! 

For Nasal Dryness in adults and children over 2 years, Rhinaris® Nasal Mist provides immediate relief and helps moisturize and lubricate dry nasal passages for long-lasting relief from dry nose. It comes as a metered-dose spray and has no addictive or rebound effects.[7] 

For gentle relief, Rhinaris® Nasal Gel is a solution that moisturizes, coats and soothes nasal passages, relieving dryness and irritation, and reducing nasal build-up that can interfere with sleep. Great for kids and adults, it’s handy and easy to use for long-lasting relief! [8] 

For immediate treatment and relief from blocked noses in adults and children over 12 years old, Rhinaris® Nozoil® Nasal Spray is a unique lubricant made from sesame oil that eases breathing by helping to reduce uncomfortable, dried build-up in the nostrils while it lubricates dry and tender nasal passages.[9]  

For daily nasal hygiene,  Rhinaris® Gentle Saline Solution nasal spray is an isotonic seawater solution clinically proven to moisturize nasal passages to help relieve dryness symptoms. It can be used regularly by adults and Children over 12 years old, with no dependency or rebound effects.[10]

For Nasal Congestion in adults and children over 12 years old, Rhinaris® Saline Solution is 100% natural source seawater that cleans and decongests nasal cavities by helping to drain and clear mucus from nasal passage[11] 

These products may not be right for you. Always read and follow the labels. 

RHINARIS® is a registered trademark owned by Norwell Consumer Healthcare Inc. 


[1] Steven Kmucha, MD, Otolaryngologist - How to Relieve Nasal Dryness at Home: https://www.emedihealth.com/ent/nose/dry-nose 

[2] Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17980-nasal-congestion#:~:text=Nasal%20congestion%20happens%20when%20something,polyps%20or%20middle%20ear%20infections 

[3] New York ENT: https://www.newyorkent.com/ent-conditions/nose-allergy-sinus/dry-sinuses/ 

[4] Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/causes/sym-20050644#:~:text=Nasal%20congestion%20can%20be%20caused,tobacco%20smoke%20and%20car%20exhaust 

[5] Steven Kmucha, MD, Otolaryngologist - How to Relieve Nasal Dryness at Home: https://www.emedihealth.com/ent/nose/dry-nose#contributing_factors_for_nasal_dryness 

[6] Mayo Clinic Symptom Checker: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/nasal-congestion-in-adults-adult/related-factors/itt-20009075 

[7] Rhinaris website: https://rhinaris.com/en/nasal-and-sinus-saline-solution/moisturizing-lubricating-nasal-mist/ 

[8] Rhinaris Website: https://rhinaris.com/en/nasal-and-sinus-saline-solution/moisturizing-lubricating-nasal-gel/ 

[9] Rhinaris website: https://rhinaris.com/en/nasal-and-sinus-saline-solution/moisturizing-lubricating-nozoil-nasal-spray/ 

[10] Rhinaris website: https://rhinaris.com/en/nasal-and-sinus-saline-solution/gentle-daily-nasal-hygiene-spray/ 

[11] Rhinaris website: https://rhinaris.com/en/nasal-and-sinus-saline-solution/concentrated-nasal-congestion-spray/ 

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