Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is also known as ‘stuffy nose’. It is also associated with other health problems such as the sinus, but it can be caused by the common cold too. Sometimes home remedies are an effective solution, particularly in the case of a common cold. Medical treatment is however needed if the problem persists long term.

Nasal Congestion Drugs

Nasal Congestion Symptoms

In nasal congestion, there is an obstruction to the airflow, in and out from your nose. Runny nose occurs when there is excessive discharge of fluid from your nasal passages.

  • Runny nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Swollen nasal tissues
  • Mucus buildup

Nasal Congestion Causes

Causes to this condition are commonly found to be minor illnesses such as, the flu, cold and the sinus. If it lasts for more than a week it indicates a serious problem, which can be due to the following reasons:

  • Hay fever
  • Allergies
  • Nasal polyps
  • Environmental irritants
  • Chemical exposures
  • Tumors usually noncancerous
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • A deviated septum (when both the sides of the nose do not have the partition located in their center)

Nasal congestion can also strike during pregnancy, usually when the first trimester is ending. This can be due to increased blood supply and hormonal fluctuations experienced during pregnancy.

Nasal Congestion Diagnosis

Diagnosis involves physical examination to screen out possible serious conditions. The most important test is Endoscopy for examining the nasal blockage.

  • Allergy tests
  • Clinical evaluation
  • CT scan for patients with immunocompromised, diabetes, or other serious symptoms.

Nasal Congestion Treatment

Home Remedy treatment for Nasal Congestion

  • Humidifiers – these comfort inflamed nasal passages by moisturizing the air. Doctor’s recommendation is advised for patients with asthma. Holding your head up on more pillows also helps mucus drain out from your nasal passages.
  • In non medicated solutions, consider using a saline spray. These can be inhaled all day, when needed.
  • Saline sprays can be used for all ages, however the babies need an aspirator afterwards to get rid of any remaining mucus in their nose.

Medical Treatment for Nasal Congestion

Prompt medical treatment is advised if home remedies do not work. Doctor’s consultation is required if you face the following problems:

  • Congestion has lasted more than 10 days
  • Fever and sinus pain along with green nasal discharge.
  • Congestion followed by high fever lasting more than 3 days.
  • Weak immune system, emphysema or asthma.
  • Constant flow of bloody or clear nasal discharge after having a fresh head injury.

Your doctor will recommend you a treatment plan once he determines the cause of your problem. These treatment plans usually include prescription medicines or over-the-counter drugs. Following are some of these medicines:

  • Oral antihistamines for allergies, e.g. cetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin)
  • Nasal sprays containing antihistamine, e.g. azelastine (Astelin, Astepro)
  • Nasal steroids, e.g. fluticasone (Flovent HFA , Flovent Diskus) or mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)
  • Antibiotics for infections like sinusitis
  • Prescription strength decongestants like Sudafed or over-the-counter drugs

Surgery might be advised by your doctor if you have nasal polyps or tumors.