Nasal Congestion

What Is Nasal Congestion?

Nasal congestion, also known as a blocked nose, is a stuffy nose caused by inflammation of the nasal passages. It is a common health symptom that affects millions of people worldwide.

Nasal congestion can be mild or severe, and is often caused by a cold or allergies. It may also be due to sinus infections, tobacco smoke, and other irritants. Nasal congestion, in its mild form, can be bothersome. When severe, it can cause difficulty breathing and affect a person's quality of life.


The symptoms of nasal congestion include:

  • A feeling of fullness in the nose
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Sinus pain and pressure
  • Headaches
  • Decrease in smell and taste


The cause of nasal congestion can vary. The most common causes are:

  • A cold
  • Allergies
  • Infection from a virus (such as the common cold)
  • Sinus infections
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Other irritants


Most cases of nasal congestion can be treated at home with over-the-counter nose sprays, decongestants, or antihistamines, as recommended by your doctor. Nasal irrigation, steam inhalation, and warm compresses are also beneficial. In more severe cases, antibiotics or steroids may be needed.