WHAT IS NASAL CONGESTION?
If you’ve got a cold or the flu and you’re having trouble breathing through your nose, chances are you’re suffering from nasal congestion. Nasal congestion, or “stuffy nose,” occurs when nasal and adjacent tissues are inflamed and become swollen with excess fluid.1
Nasal congestion is marked by2:
- stuffy or runny nose
- sinus discomfort
- mucus buildup
- swollen nasal tissue
What causes nasal congestion?
Nasal congestion can be caused by anything that irritates the nasal cavity – usually viruses or bacteria if you have a cold or the flu. These irritants cause the nasal passageways to become inflamed, making it more difficult to breathe.1,2
How do you treat a stuffy nose?
Generally, a stuffy nose is really just an annoyance. They tend to resolve themselves about the same time as when your cold or flu goes away. However, there are some things you can try to make life a little more bearable while you're waiting.
Home remedies for nasal congestion1,3:
- Frequently but gently blow your nose
- Use saline sprays and/or a humidifier to help open breathing passages
- Keep your head elevated by propping your head up on a pillow to encourage mucus flow out of your nasal passages, or try Breathe Right Nasal Strips for nighttime nasal congestion
You can also try over-the-counter decongestants containing pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine HCI. Theraflu® Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Hot Liquid Powder contains phenylephrine HCl to help relieve nasal congestion, as well as a variety of other cold and flu symptoms, including cough, body aches, sore throat, fever, headache, and sinus congestion.
Again, a stuffy nose is usually just a nuisance; however, if you have experienced any of the following, see your doctor right away3:
- Congestion lasting longer than 7 days
- Congestion accompanied by a high fever that has lasted more than 3 days
- Green nasal discharge along with sinus pain and fever
1. MedlinePlus (2015, August 14). Stuffy or runny nose—adult. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003049.htm
2. Mayo Clinic (2016, February 26). Nasal congestion: Causes. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/causes/sym-20050644
3. Mayo Clinic (2016, February 26). Nasal congestion: When to see a doctor. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050644
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