What Is Congestion?
Congestion, also known as a stuffy nose, occurs when nasal tissue and blood vessels become swollen. This results in a plugged feeling. A study found that one in four U.S. adults experiences chronic nasal congestion symptoms daily.
Though a stuffy nose often clears up within a few days, you should seek medical attention if it persists for more than a week. Our team at Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat will provide treatment to allow you to engage with your favorite activities rather than dealing with discomfort from your symptoms.
What Causes Congestion?
- Infections, such as colds, flu or sinusitis
- Allergens, including dust, pollen, mold or pet dander
- Structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum, nasal polyps and enlarged adenoids or tonsils
- Cluster headaches
- Hormonal changes
- Thyroid problems
- Irritants like tobacco smoke
When Should I See a Doctor?
A stuffy nose will frequently clear up on its own after several days, but if it lasts longer than a week, it may be a sign of an underlying condition. You should seek medical attention if your symptoms persist for more than 10 days, you have a fever or your mucus is green, yellow or bloody.
How Do I Get Rid of a Stuffy Nose?
During your appointment, our ENT nose specialist will discuss your symptoms, including their length and impact on your life. They will examine your nose, ears and throat. Additional diagnostic tests might include:
- Nasal endoscopy, which refers to using a camera to examine the interior of the nose.
- Throat culture, during which your provider will use a cotton swab to check for bacteria in your throat.
Depending on what’s causing your congestion, treatment options include decongestants, antihistamines, nasal sprays or saline sprays. Your doctor will work with you to create a customized treatment plan based on your needs and lifestyle.
What Can I Do at Home to Relieve My Symptoms?
Some home remedies for congestion include drinking fluids, using nasal spray or humidifiers or over-the-counter medications.
Specialized Treatment From Specialists Who Care
If you’re experiencing persistent nasal congestion, Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat can help you find relief from your symptoms. Whether your stuffy nose is the result of allergies or an infection, our team will determine what treatment will work best for you. Contact us today to get started.