Doctor, doctor: Why does my nose get blocked?

My nose gets blocked for long periods and I often can't smell or taste anything – or breathe easily. I have asthma, and am allergic to animal fur. I want to work as a voice actor, and find oxymetazoline spray (used for hayfever) very effective, but know that if I use it more often, it will lose its effect. I worry that it will end my career plans. I've tried steaming my face with olbas oil, and sitting with my head over ice, but they don't work. Any ideas?
The clue lies in your asthma, which suggests you have allergic rhinitis. Oxymetazoline will help initially, but is not a long-term answer. You need to know two things about the state of the inside of your nose. Are the passages blocked by swollen and inflamed lining membranes? Do you have structures, such as polyps or a deviated septum, that need surgery? For that you need an expert opinion – your GP will advise. Treatments range from antihistamines, and/or steroid and decongestant sprays, to surgery.

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