Congestion is a general term which refers to a feeling of stuffiness in the nasal or breathing passageways. Nasal and sinus conditions can occur together or separately. Both may correlate with excess mucus or phlegm.
Nasal congestion symptoms:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Infection caused by viruses
- Allergies to grass, pet dander, foods, or other substances
The common cold virus RSV can cause severe congestion and pneumonia in small children. While many small children are hospitalized with RSV each year, in adults, RSV usually causes regular cold symptoms that go away in a week or two.
Sinus congestion symptoms:
- Feeling of fullness around eyes, cheeks and forehead
- May cause severe headaches
- May cause post-nasal drip
Treatment for both nasal and sinus congestion:
- Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain
- Applying a warm washcloth to your face several times a day
- Drink plenty of water
- Use a cool mist humidifier
- Keep your head elevated
- Try a Neti pot, nasal irrigator or bulb syringe. Use distilled, sterile or boiled water, that has been cooled, to make up the irrigation solution.
- Over the counter nasal sprays
See your doctor if you have nasal congestion and/or sinus pressure for more than 7 days. Make the call sooner if your symptoms become severe.