Are Dry Nasal Passages a Symptom of COVID-19?
Some people also experience dryness in their noses. This condition occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough mucus in your sinuses to keep your nasal passages lubricated.
COVID-19 can cause this problem by interfering with an enzyme called angiotensin-converting hormone 2 (ACE2). This enzyme is in different types of cells including goblet cells that produce mucus.
However, if you have dry nasal passages but no other COVID-19 symptoms, the dryness probably isn’t an indicator of the illness.
A “Strange Sensation” in the Nose
Research indicates that some people who contract COVID-19 report a “strange sensation” in their nose or noticeable nasal dryness. These symptoms commonly occur with the diminishing or complete loss of the senses of smell and taste, and they tend to appear before other COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, COVID-19 may cause dryness and soreness in the throat.
Does Nasal Dryness Continue After COVID-19?
Getting Vaccinated is the Best Protection
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection and end the pandemic. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19, but it can help protect you from serious illness. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and make a first, third, or booster vaccination appointment at a location near you.
Other Causes of Nasal Dryness
Besides COVID-19, several other conditions can cause drying of the nasal membranes, including:
- Seasonal allergies
- Using decongestants (as noted above)
- Wearing a mask (N95 respirators, in particular) for an extended period
- Ongoing exposure to dry air
- Other respiratory infections
You might also try carefully inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water, taking a hot shower or bath, or spending time in a sauna (as long as you aren’t putting others at risk of infection). In addition, saline nasal sprays, and nasal irrigation devices like a bulb syringe or neti pot can be used as directed to keep the nasal passages lubricated.
If your nose is consistently uncomfortably dry, you should contact your doctor. They can talk with you about potential causes and treatments.
Isolate if You Think or Know That You Have COVID-19
COVID-19 is highly contagious in general, with more-recently discovered variants like Omicron even more contagious than the original strain. If you think you have COVID-19, or have tested positive for it, you should isolate yourself from others for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
If you experience trouble breathing, confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, or blue or gray color in your fingernails, skin, or lips, you should seek prompt medical attention for these serious COVID-19 symptoms.
For non-emergency questions or concerns about nasal dryness and COVID-19, contact your Baptist Health physician. You can find a provider near you in our online provider directory if you don’t yet have one.
Next Steps and Useful Resources