Nasal congestion is a condition that causes you to feel an obstacle or difficulty in breathing from your nose. This condition is also known as a stuffy nose, which is different from a runny nose.
Most commonly, the reason for nasal congestion is swelling and inflammation of the lining tissue in the sinuses and nasal passages. In contrast to this, the less common cause of nasal congestion is anatomical obstruction. Nasal congestion can get worse with prolonged use of nasal decongestant drops or sprays.
Common Causes of Nasal Congestion
When your nose is stuffed and inflamed, you may experience congestion. Many minor illnesses like sinus infections, colds, flu, etc. can lead to a stuffy nose. If you have congestion-related injuries, they may improve within one week. But if they last longer, you may have some severe health issues. In rare cases, nasal congestion can be a result of chronic medical conditions or nasal passage tumors. Some long-term nasal conditions associated with congestion are as follows:
- Nasal Polyps
- Environmental Irritants
- Nasal passage tumors
- Vasomotor Rhinitis
- Enlarged Adenoid
- Nasal passage blocked by some foreign element
- Injury/Trauma to the sinuses or nose
- Various Medications
- Viral Infections
Pregnancy can also be a cause of nasal congestion. An increase in blood supply and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy may cause nasal congestion. Nasal membrane affects these changes due to dry, inflamed, or bleeding nose.
Home remedies for nasal congestion
You may also get relief from nasal congestion by using home remedies. For instance, a humidifier adding moisture to the air may help clear up the mucus and ease you from the inflammation of the nasal passage. However, asthma patients should discuss with their doctors before using a humidifier. You can also prop your head with the pillow to let mucus flow out from the nasal passage.
Saline sprays can also show benefits for all ages, whereas you should use aspirator for babies. An aspirator helps in removing mucus from the baby’s nose. You can also follow below home remedies to get relief from nasal congestion:
- Place warm and wet towel on the face
- Prop your head
- Avoid chlorinated pools
- Use bulb syringe, neti pot, or a nasal irrigator
- A nasal saline spray may also help
- Use vaporizer or humidifier
- Take a long shower
- Taking steam from a hot water pot may also help in opening up your nasal passage
- Drinking lots of fluid may also help
When to Visit a Doctor
When your congestion is due to some serious health conditions, home remedies might not work, and you will need to visit a doctor. You may need proper treatment, especially when your situation is causing you pain and disturbing your everyday activities. If you see the following symptoms, immediately visit an ENT specialist:
- Congesting along with high fever for more than three days
- Congesting lasting for ten days
- Emphysema, or asthma
- Fever and sinus pain with green nasal discharge
If you have a head injury recently and are having a bloody nasal discharge with a continuous flow of clear discharge, visit an ENT surgeon right away.
Infants and children
Nasal congestion is highly threatening for infants. If an infant is having trouble during feeding due to nose blockage, this may cause severe breathing problems. Furthermore, this may also cause difficulty in hearing and speech development.
If you find any symptoms of nasal congestion in infants, you need to contact a doctor immediately. You can contact Dr. Michael Burnett, who is one of the best ENT specialists in New York. He can work on your baby’s nasal congestion to provide the best treatment options.
Treatment for congestion
Once the doctor determines the leading cause of nasal congestion, he/she will give you a treatment plan to follow. Treatments include OTC or prescription medication to resolve the symptoms. Medicine for nasal congestion may include:
- Oral antihistamines for allergies, such as Zyrtec and Claritin.
- Nasal steroids
- Nasal sprays containing antihistamines
- OTC or prescribed decongestants
Schedule an ENT Telemedicine Appointment with Dr. Michael Burnett
It is better to visit a doctor before you try any medication and home remedy, as the cause of your nasal congestion might be a bacterial infection or some other complication of a medical condition.
Call today to schedule an ENT Telemedicine appointment with ENT specialist Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813