Nasal Congestion

A congested, stuffy nose is a nuisance that can affect your child’s ability to smell, taste and breathe. It is one of the most common complaints, especially when it persists or is accompanied by nasal discharge.


Young girl blowing her nose - Nasal congestion
Congestion occurs when nasal tissues and blood vessels become swollen and inflamed. It has little to do with excess mucus, as many people believe. This swelling causes obstructed breathing.

Anything that irritates the nasal tissues can cause congestion. The list of possible causes is lengthy and includes infections (colds, influenza and acute or chronic sinusitis), allergies, structural abnormalities (deviated septum, enlarged adenoids/tonsils, nasal polyps or tumors), non-allergic rhinitis, dry air, cold temperatures, bright lights, cluster headaches, hormonal changes, medications, thyroid problems, spicy foods, tobacco smoke and stress.

Treating Congestion

For infants and younger children – who rely on their nose for breathing – a stuffy nose can be dangerous. Try removing mucus from the nose with a nasal bulb (aspirator) and having your child lie on his or her stomach to help mucus drain. Try saline nose drops (either purchased from a drugstore or homemade by mixing one-quarter teaspoon salt with one-half cup lukewarm water).

Contact Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat for more information or to schedule an appointment.