Dry Nasal Passages Can Be a Symptom of COVID-19
COVID-19 is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. The symptoms of COVID-19 vary, but the most common ones include:
- Fever or chills
Dry nasal passages may be a symptom of COVID infection. However, it may also be a symptom of other respiratory conditions. Therefore, experiencing a dry nose in the absence of other COVID symptoms may not necessarily be a sign of infection.
In this article, we’ll see how COVID-19 dries up the nasal passages and other nasal symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19 infection.
Are dry nasal passages a primary symptom of COVID-19 infection?
Nasal passages become dry when your sinuses cannot produce enough mucus to moisten them. It is important to note that SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, can inhibit mucus production.
The SARS-Co-V-2 virus enters the cells through angiotensin-converting hormone 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is found in many body tissues, including mucus-producing goblet cells and the epithelial cells lining your nasal cells.
COVID-19 affects the nasal passages and can be similar to other upper respiratory tract symptoms. Among these symptoms are nasal dryness and nasal burning. However, we do not fully understand how common these symptoms are.
According to a 2020 study, a group of subjects (35 people affected by COVID-19) felt a strange sensation in their noses. They also experienced a high level of nasal dryness compared to people without COVID-19 infection. In addition, at least 52% of subjects in the COVID-19 group believed they felt a nasal douche compared with just three percent of people in the control group.
According to the research, nasal dryness occurred alongside the partial or complete loss of taste and smell and manifested before other COVID-19 symptoms.
Of course, there’s a need for more research to confirm these findings.
Does COVID-19 cause nosebleeds?
It is not clear if nosebleeds occur in COVID situations. However, some research suggests that nosebleeds may be more common among individuals with COVID-19 than those without. For instance, 2020 research found that over 11 percent of a group consisting of 54 individuals with COVID-19 lost their sense of smell and nosebleeds.
Stuffy nose and dry nasal passages
A 2020 review found that over 4.1 percent of people in a group of 1,773 COVID-19 patients had a stuffy nose. A stuffy nose can be resolved with a decongestant medication. However, this can potentially cause dry nasal passages.
Is a dry throat and nose a symptom of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can cause a dry, sore throat and a dry nose. For example, a 2020 study found that over 16.1 percent of 223 COVID-19 patients had developed a dry throat.
Common nasal symptoms of COVID-19
The most typical nasal symptom of COVID-19 is a change in your ability to smell. Many COVID-19 patients have reported a partial or total loss of smell, plus a distorted sense of smell. Studies have shown that these symptoms may be present in over 50 percent of people with COVID-19.
Runny nose and nasal congestion have been reported in COVID-19 patients. A 2020 review of studies found that in a group of 1,773 COVID infected people, at least 4.1 percent had nasal congestion while 2.1 percent developed a runny nose.
Common COVID-19 symptoms
Medical researchers now better understand COVID-19 symptoms as they’ve had more time to study the virus. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
What is the prognosis for patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19?
It is important to note that some symptoms persist long after infection. For instance, several studies report a loss of smell or changes in the sense of smell for at least three months after recovery.
Presently, there is no evidence that dry nasal passages may persist after infection.
According to a review of 2021 studies, at least 50 long-term symptoms were identified in people recovering from COVID-19. However, a dry nasal passage wasn’t recognized as one of them.
Other potential causes of dry nasal passages
Apart from COVID-19, other potential causes of dry nasal passages include:
- Infections like sinus infections or common cold can lead to inflammation, dryness, and burning.
- Seasonal allergies
- Dehydration – can burn out your mucous membranes, especially if you are prone to it already.
- Dry air
- Prolonged mask-wearing.
A word from MBBCH
SARS-CoV-2 can disrupt the production of mucus and dry out your nasal passages. It is important to note that dry nasal passages in the absence of flu-like symptoms may not necessarily be a symptom of COVID-19. Fatigue, fever, and cough are more typical symptoms.
Dry nasal passages may be caused by other factors that include allergies, prolonged mask-wearing, and dry air.