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Overview

Nasal congestion occurs in which extra fluid causes the nasal airways, surrounding tissues, and blood vessels to enlarge, causing a “stuffy” blocked sensation in the nose. Nasal congestion may or may not be accompanied by nasal discharge, which is referred to as a “runny nose.”

Nasal congestion is a common discomfort that older children and adults may ignore. Nasal congestion, on the other hand, maybe troublesome for children, who may have sleep disturbances, and newborns, who may have difficulty feeding as a result of their nasal congestion. Baby stuffy nose at night may lead to suffocation in serious instances.

A stuffy nose is a sign of another health concern when you have nasal congestion, which is also known as a stuffy nose. A sinus infection is one example of such a condition. Additionally, it might be caused by the common cold. Nasal congestion manifests itself via the following symptoms:

·         stuffy or runny nose

·         headache

·         sinusitis

·         buildup of swollen mucus nasal tissue

In some cases, home treatments are sufficient to relieve nasal congestion, especially if the congestion is caused by the common cold. However, if you have persistent congestion, you may need medical treatment.

Based on the symptoms and a physical examination, the doctor will diagnose nasal congestion. To establish the source of the blocked airway, the doctor will check the nose, ears, and throat. ENT specialists may examine the inside of the nose using an endoscope. If a physical barrier is discovered or thought to be present, a CT scan may be required.

A doctor may conduct tests such as an X-ray or a throat culture to rule out other medical diseases that might be causing the congestion in rare circumstances.

Causes

Nasal congestion may be produced by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. Congestion in the nose and a runny nose is often caused by diseases such as influenza, colds or sinusitis, as well as allergies and hay fever. In rare cases, irritating elements such as cigarette smoke and automotive exhaust may cause a blocked and runny nose. It is often referred to as vasomotor or non-allergic rhinitis.

Nasal congestion may also be caused by a tumor, albeit this happens less often.

It may also occur during pregnancy, most often at the end of the first trimester. Congestion in the nasal passages during pregnancy may be caused by hormonal fluctuations and an increased blood supply, both of which occur throughout the pregnancy. These changes may result in inflammation, dryness, and bleeding of the nasal membranes.

Common causes of nasal congestion are described as:

Common Cold: Congestion in the nose is a frequent symptom of the common cold. The nasal discharge is clear, yellow, or green. It might be very liquid or thick and sticky, depending on the consistency. Symptoms normally subside after a few days of onset. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help. If you have a stuffy nose, a decongestant may be beneficial.

Influenza (Flu): Nasal congestion is a very frequent flu symptom. The flu is a viral infection with high fevers, exhaustion, and aches and pains.

Sinusitis: Sinuses are tiny air-filled chambers that drain into the nose and are located between the cheekbones and brow. Sinusitis is an inflammatory disorder involving the sinuses. An infection is the most common cause of sinusitis. Nasal congestion and discomfort in the infected sinus are the most common symptoms of sinusitis. This is most often seen on one or both sides of the nose, and more frequently on the forehead or cheeks. Analgesics and decongestants are often used to relieve the discomfort of sinusitis. Antibiotics may be required sometimes.

Nasal Polyps: Nasal polyps are fleshy, noncancerous swellings that form inside the nose or sinuses and produce no symptoms or pain. They are most often associated with a stuffy, runny nose, but they may also cause other symptoms. They may result in a congested nose. Typically, polyps are decreased in size when steroid nasal drops are used. Occasionally, surgery is required. When polyps reappear after therapy, steroid nasal sprays are sometimes used to prevent them from reoccurring.

Hay Fever: Pollen allergies induce hay fever, which manifests as a stuffy nasal tube for the clogged nose. As a result affected individuals have itchy, watery eyes and a lot of sneezing.

Other causes of nasal congestion are:

·         Dry air

·         Enlarged adenoids

·         Spicy food

·         Tobacco smoke

·         Sleep apnea

·         Asthma

When to see a doctor

Consultation with a physician is not always essential in the case of nasal congestion. For instance, if you have a cold without complications or hay fever, you may be able to self-manage thesymptom. However, if your symptoms last more than ten days, get medical attention. In case of the following symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention:

·         High fever

·         Yellow or green nasal discharge

·         Sinus pain

·         Blood in nasal discharge

·         Prolonged clear flow from nose after a head injury