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Catarrh is the medical term for the excessive accumulation of mucus in one of the airways or cavities of the human body. In the majority of cases, it occurs in the nose. Nevertheless, it can appear also in the throat, ears and chest.

One must know that catarrh is not a disease or a condition, but just a symptom of some other disease. For example, catarrh may be a symptom through which certain conditions manifest itself, such as the common cold or some infection, hay fever and other types of allergic rhinitis. Furthermore, catarrh may also appear as a warning sign of non-allergic rhinitis and nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are the fleshy swellings that occur inside the nose.

Types of catarrh

Catarrh can vary in the severity degree; therefore it can be acute and chronic, though mostly acute catarrh occurs. This type of catarrh lasts shortly, only a couple of days. If acute catarrh prolongs, it progresses and becomes chronic or persistent. This happens due to some allergy or due to certain abnormalities in the nose, for example, nasal polyps.

When acute catarrh occurs, it can be easily treated with decongestants. On the other side, the treatment of chronic catarrh depends on the cause which led to the occurrence of catarrh.

Symptoms of catarrh

Catarrh has its characteristic signs that warn a person about its presence. The most common symptoms are a blocked and stuffy nose, headache and persistent cough caused because of excessive mucus stored at the back of the throat. Many people with catarrh may also experience a runny nose or mucus with a sensation of running down at the back of the throat. Furthermore, a loss of taste and smell and facial pain caused by the blocked nose or blocked sinuses are also regarded to be the symptoms of catarrh. There are also many people who temporarily lose hearing or have a crackling sensation in the middle ear. Tiredness and fatigue may also occur.

Causes of catarrh

Catarrh occurs as a result of the body’s immune system response to an infection or irritation that appears in one of the body’s cavities, for example, the nose cavity. When it detects the foreign bodies, the immune system sends the white blood cells to the location where infection or irritation occurs. These blood cells cause swelling of the linings of the cavity and also cause the production of mucus. The cavity is narrowed because of this swelling and decongestion occurs. Catarrh is not very serious condition. However, it should not be neglected, but treated promptly.

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