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Congestion - Know More About It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Radhika A (Md) 89% (13 ratings)
MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi  •  13 years experience

Congestion
Congestion can occur in any part of the human body. Nasal congestion, throat congestion, and head congestion are some of the common types of congestion. Know about these congestions in details:

Nasal congestion: Nasal congestion is also referred to as a stuffy nose. It happens when the nose and alongside tissues and vessels that carry blood get swollen due to the inadequate fluid leading to the feeling of stuffiness. There is a possibility that you have nasal congestion but there is no sign of running nose or nasal discharge. Older children and adults generally get annoyed with nasal congestion. Nasal congestion can create a serious problem for children. The sleep of children may get disturbed due to nasal congestion. You may have a hard time to feed infants when they have nasal congestion.

Congestion Causes: 
Nasal congestion can occur due to anything that inflames or irritates the tissues of nasal. The various possible causes of nasal congestion that can lead to a runny nose are infections including flusinusitis, or cold, allergies and irritants including tobacco smoke. Some people may have a chronic runny nose for no reason. This situation is known as vasomotor rhinitis or nonallergic rhinitis. A tumor or polyps can lead to nasal congestion, but it is less common. Check out various possible causes of nasal congestion:

- Ceratin medications including high blood pressure medicines can lead to nasal congestion.

- Tobacco smoke and drug addiction can lead to nasal congestion.

- A common cold is the common cause of nasal congestion.

- Overuse of decongestant nasal spray may lead to nasal congestion.

- Chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis both can be the cause of nasal congestion.

- A foreign object in the nose can lead to nasal congestion.

- Nasal polyps can be a cause of nasal congestion, though it is rare.

- Nonallergic rhinitis and allergies are the potential causes of a runny nose.

Thyroid disorderspregnancystress, enlarged adenoids, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), occupational asthma, influenza (flu), hormonal changes, deviated septum, Churg-Strauss syndrome, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis are some of the other possible causes of nasal congestion.

Is it important to see a doctor in case of nasal congestion?

A runny or stuffy nose generally irritates people. Sometimes it can lead to a serious problem especially when an infant is suffering from nasal congestion. You should see a doctor in the following cases:

- If you have nasal congestion for more than 10 days.

- If you are having a high temperature or fever.

- If the color of nasal discharge is green or yellow accompanies by fever or sinus pain. This can be a symptom of infection from bacteria.

- If there is blood in the nasal discharge or continuous clear discharge after an injury to the head.

- If your child has not even completed 2 months and is suffering from a fever.

- If your baby is facing difficulty in breathing due to nasal congestion or a runny nose.

Throat congestion: Throat congestion generally occurs when the throat lining gets swollen and inflamed. There can be many causes of throat congestion including bacterial or viral infection, sinus infection or a common cold. Due to throat congestion, you may face problem in drinking, eating, and breathing. An infection in the respiratory tract or allergy can cause the mucus to increase in the chest, which reaches the throat making it sore. It is a common problem and can affect both adults and children.

Check out the various possible cause of throat congestion:

- A common cold or the flu can lead to throat congestion easily.

- Viral infections including mononucleosis, measles, whooping cough, chicken pox, or croup can be the causes of congestion in the throat.

- Environmental factors are also responsible for causing throat congestion. These factors include inhaling chemical fumes or polluted or smoke-filled air. It can lead to an increase in phlegm or mucus in the throat.

Congestion Treatment:
In order to treat the problem of throat congestion, you should drink a lot of fluids including juice, water, or honey tea. Gargling with warm salt water would help you to reduce the congestion in the throat. For draining and clearing the mucus in the throat and chest, you should inhale steam from a basin of boiling water with some oil of eucalyptus in it. A lot of prescription medications and over-the-counter medications are available that will provide you relief from the pain. Though, there can be some side effects of these medications. Check out some other tips that will help you to reduce the symptoms of congestion in the throat:

- You should eat a healthy and balanced diet. You should not eat foods which are high in fat.

- You should drink plenty of water in order to re-hydrate the membranes of the mucus in the throat and keep the throat moist.

- You should avoid those areas which have smoke-filled or polluted air.

- You should have the juice of vegetables and fruits.

- You should increase the intake of bioflavonoids and vitamin C in order to boost the immune system.

- You should wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water especially before starting a meal and after coming from outside.

- You should gargle with warm salt water to give relief to your throat.

- You may use products like Mucus-Clear. They help you to get temporary relief from signs or symptoms of inadequate mucus or throat congestion.

- You should not share your personal items with others including towels, drinking and eating utensils, and toothbrushes.

- You should inhale steam from a bowl of boiling water with some eucalyptus oil in it to eliminate mucus in the throat and throat congestion.

- You should avoid dairy products as they can make the mucus thick which can make your throat congestion worse.

Head Congestion:
 Head congestion can make your life miserable; it is seriously a bad condition. Due to head congestion, people are not able to breathe properly which can disturb their daily activities as well as sleep. You can have an abnormally heavy feeling in your head which may lead to sinus pain and aches in the head. As soon as you discover that you have head congestion, you should reach out to the best doctor. Early diagnosis will help you to get early treatment. There are four pairs of sinuses inside the head. The job of them is to filter, warm, and moisten the air that you are taking in. It helps to protect your body from viruses, bacteria, and various allergens. In this system, sinuses use the mucus. The mucus can become thick and inadequate due to a number of factors and after some time creates a blockage in the sinuses leading to head congestion.

Congestion Symptoms:
There can be various symptoms or signs of head congestion including:

- Due to head congestion, you can face a difficulty in breathing which may lead to coughing also.

- Due to an accumulation of mucus, there is a possibility that you may feel a sore throat as the mucus goes down your throat and annoys your flesh.

- Due to an infection in the sinuses, the accumulated mucus may spread the infection to the ears while reaching down the throat.

- The pressure of clogged sinuses may lead to headaches. This pain can reach to the cheeks and even the jaw.

- You may face a problem with the nose breathing due to head congestion.

Home remedies and medical treatments for Congestion:
Check out various home remedies and treatment options that may help you to clear your sinuses and breathe properly without any difficulty:

- You should use a humidifier, especially when you are sleeping. It helps to break up the mucus which would help in clearing and draining out congestion in the head.

- There are some herbal teas that will help you to get relief from the symptoms of head congestion including ginseng and green. The nutrients that are present in the tea help to break up the mucus. Also, the steam and heat that you get from tea are helpful in melting your mucus.

- Vitamin C is generally used for preventing a common cold. It is also used when you have head congestion to resolve the congestion.

- You can use the nasal strips as they help you to open the passages of the nose. They will help to drain the sinuses.

- Many aromatherapy oils are available that can be really helpful in head congestion. Tea tree, eucalyptus oils, and peppermint are some of the effective aromatherapy oils. You can ingest them and they can also be used by adding to a humidifier, bath, or bowl of boiling water for steam treatment.

Garlic is helpful in relieving the congestion from your head. You can do this by having a few raw garlic cloves every day, taking supplements of garlic, or putting garlic in the meals.

- You can use the warm saline solution to flush your sinuses and nasal passages which will loose and drain the mucus in the sinuses. It can be done with the help of a syringe, neti pot or other similar devices.

- Some over-the-counter decongestants are available in the market that will help you to clear your congestion in the head.

- If your head congestion is severe and occurring again and again then acupuncture may help you to relieve some of the problems associated with your congestion.

- Steam is very helpful as it relieves you from head congestion. You can take the steam in various ways. You can take a hot bath or shower. You can also use a direct route via a bowl of boiling water.

 

Conclusion:
There are various types of congestion including nasal congestion, throat congestion, head congestion and more. Nasal congestion or stuffy nose can happen due to anything that inflames the nasal tissues. Tobacco smoke, drug addiction, foreign body in the nose, certain medications, a common cold, pregnancy, stress, nasal polyps and more are some of the possible causes of nasal congestion. If your infant is having nasal congestion then you should see a doctor as sometimes it can get serious. Throat congestion generally happens when the lining of the throat gets swollen and inflamed. Due to head congestion, you may face difficulty in drinking, eating, and breathing. Bacterial or viral infection, sinus infection or a common cold are some of the potential causes of throat congestion. Environmental factors can also lead to throat congestion. You should drink a lot of fluids preferably water if you have congestion in the throat. Head congestion is the worst; it can make your life miserable as it hinders your daily activities as well as sleep. Due to head congestion, you have a heavy feeling in the head. Earaches, headache, coughing, stuffiness and sore throat are some of the signs or symptoms of head congestion. A lot of home remedies and medical treatments are available that will help you to get relief from the congested head.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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