Nasal Congestion 101

  Man Sneezing

Nasal congestion affects everyone from time to time. It can be a mild symptom of a common cold, or it can be a miserable experience for those who suffer from allergies or chronic sinusitis. Understanding what nasal congestion is and how you can lessen its impact can help you deal with this unwanted experience when it occurs.

Nasal congestion is the blockage of nasal breathing, usually due to membranes lining the nose become swollen from inflamed blood vessels. Most of us describe nasal congestion as having a “stuffy nose” that does not allow us to breathe easily. Nasal congestion is marked by having a stuffy nose, a constantly runny nose, sinus pain, mucus buildup, and swollen nasal tissues.

Most people experience nasal congestion that is related to a cold, the flu, and sinus infections. These illness-related conditions will typically be gone in about a week, perhaps with a few lingering tissues being used here and there. However, if nasal congestion lasts longer than a week, it is often a symptom of an underlying health issue. The most common are:

  • Allergies
  • Chemical exposure
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Deviated septum
  • Environmental irritants
  • Hay fever
  • Non-cancerous growths, called nasal polyps

There are many home remedies that people have used for centuries to help with nasal congestion. Humidifiers add moisture to the air that can help break up mucus and soothe inflamed nasal passageways. Those with stuffy noses can use saline sprays to break up mucus and clear the nasal passage. Propping your head up on pillows can encourage gravity to pull mucus downward and flow out of your nasal passageways.

Of course, for those who continually or repeatedly suffer from nasal congestion, visiting a doctor who specializes in sinus treatment will help them find relief. Dr. Greg Levitin can provide comprehensive treatments that offer effective relief for those who suffer from frequent congestion or sinus infections. Contact our practice today.