Nose congestion or discharge

Congestion of the nasal passages; Stuffy nose; Nasal congestion; Postnasal drip; Rhinorrhea; Running nose

When the tissues lining your nose swell, you may experience a stuffy or congested nose. An inflammation of the blood vessels is the cause of the swelling.

Nasal drainage or a "runny nose" could also be a symptom of the problem. Postnasal drip (the accumulation of mucus at the back of the throat) is a common cause of coughing and sore throats.

Nasal congestion

You're having that feeling again, where your nose is stuffed up, your head is pounding, and your sinuses are swollen and on fire. It looks like you're congested in the nose again. Many believe that thick mucus is to blame for their nasal congestion. However, when the tissues inside your nose get swollen, you typically experience stuffiness. Inflammation of the blood vessels causes the swelling. The common cold, the flu, and allergies are all potential causes of nasal congestion. Congestion can last for a week or more if you're sensitive to allergens like pollen, cigarette smoke, or pet dander, or for a few months out of the year if you're not. One remedy for a stuffy infant is saline drops, which can be made by dissolving a quarter teaspoon of salt in half a cup of lukewarm water. Place a rolled up towel under your child's shoulders, lay them on their back, and put two or three drops in each nostril. After 30 seconds, flip the child over onto his or her stomach to aid in fluid drainage. Alternatively, you can use a device designed specifically for use with infants, known as an aspirator, to suction out some of the nasal mucus. Children can also benefit from having the head of their bed raised, as well as from drinking plenty of fluids, sleeping with a cool-mist vaporizer in their room, and not using over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children younger than six. They aren't helpful and can actually harm children's health. Medicines available without a prescription can help stuffy nose in older children and adults. Vascular constriction occurs all over your body when you take an oral decongestant, including in the nasal mucosa. Targeted relief from nasal congestion is possible with decongestant nasal sprays, but their use should be limited to no more than three consecutive days. An antihistamine's drying effect on nasal secretions is a possible benefit. However, these drugs only mask the symptoms and do nothing to address the underlying issue. Some milder treatments include using a Neti pot, saline irrigation, saline nasal drops, a vaporizer or humidifier at night, and consuming plenty of fluids during the day and night, like hot tea or chicken soup. In most cases, a stuffy nose will clear up in a week. But if it doesn't, or if you only get stuffy at certain times of year or when you're around pets or smokers, your doctor can help you determine whether or not you have allergies and prescribe medication to make them more manageable.

Runny and stuffy nose

Colds, allergies, sinus infections, and the flu are all potential causes of a stuffy or runny nose. A runny nose is the result of an overproduction of mucus. The extra mucus and mucous membranes flow out of the nose's front or down its back (post-nasal drip). When blood vessels lining the nose become inflamed, swelling of the lining membranes (membranes) causes the sensation of a stuffy nose.

How to use nasal sprays

Hi I'm Dr Alan Greene and I have a suggestion for you regarding the use of medicated nasal sprays. This is particularly helpful for steroid nasal sprays used to treat allergies, but it is also relevant for those used to treat the common cold or other conditions. Now, nosebleeds typically originate in the septum, the bony partition between the nostrils that contains cartilage and many tiny blood vessels. Septal irritation, bleeding, and other complications may result if medication is injected directly into the nasal cavity. When using a nasal spray, most people will either spray one nostril at a time or use the hand that is not spraying to cover the other nostril. Instead, I propose you do the exact opposite of what you were planning. With one hand, you squirt the solution into the other nostril. By doing so, you will direct the flow away from your septum and thus reduce or eliminate any potential negative effects. It's a neat trick, and it does the job admirably.

Feelings of congestion in your nasal passages, a sluggish brain, and a burning sensation in your sinuses have returned. Nasal Congestion has returned for you. Many believe that thick mucus is the cause of their nasal congestion. However, when the tissues inside your nose swell, you typically experience nasal congestion. Swelling results from blood vessel inflammation. Causes of nasal congestion include the common cold, influenza, and allergic reactions. Congestion can last for a week or more if you're not allergic to things like pollen, tobacco smoke, or pet dander, or it can come and go at specific times of year. Using a quarter teaspoon of salt and half a cup of lukewarm water, you can make your own saline drops to help relieve your baby's congestion. Put a rolled up towel under your child's shoulders as you lay him or her on his or her back, and then put two or three drops of the solution into each nostril. Once the 30 seconds are up, flip the child over onto their stomach to aid in fluid drainage. A nasal bulb, also known as an aspirator, can be used on an infant to help clear their nose of mucus. Children can also benefit from having the head of their bed raised, as well as from drinking plenty of fluids, sleeping with a cool-mist vaporizer in their room, and not using over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children younger than six. They aren't helpful, and they can actually harm children's health. Medicines available without a prescription can help stuffy nose in older children and adults. Vascular constriction occurs all over your body when you take an oral decongestant, including in the nasal mucosa. Despite their efficiency, nasal decongestants should not be used for more than three days in a row. The use of antihistamines has been shown to lessen nasal secretions. However, these drugs only mask the symptoms and do not cure the underlying condition. A Neti pot, saline irrigation, saline nasal drops, a vaporizer or humidifier at night, and plenty of fluids like hot tea or chicken soup are gentler options. In most cases, a stuffy nose clears up after a week. But if it doesn't, or if you only get stuffy at certain times of year or when you're around pets or smokers, your doctor can help you figure out if you have allergies and get you on the right treatment to make them more manageable.

A runny or blocked nose could be due to:

  • A typical cold
  • Flu
  • Sinusitis infection

In most cases, a week is all it takes for congestion to clear up on its own.

It's important to note that:

  • For those suffering from hay fever or other allergic reactions
  • Overuse of over-the-counter nasal decongestants (for more than three days) may exacerbate stuffiness in the nose.
  • Nasal polyps are benign tumors that form in the lining of the nose or sinuses and often cause discomfort.
  • Pregnancy
  • The symptoms of a condition known as vasomotor rhinitis

When you can thin your mucus, it's easier for it to drain out of your nose and sinuses, which in turn reduces your symptoms. One way to accomplish this is to consume large quantities of clear fluids. Moreover, you can:

  • Several times a day, wipe your face with a warm, damp washcloth.
  • Two to four steam inhalations per day. Sitting under a running shower is one method for achieving this. Stay away from the steaming hot water.
  • Humidifiers and vaporizers can help.

The use of a nasal wash is useful for clearing the nasal passages of excess mucus.

  • A saline spray is readily available at drugstores and can be easily formulated at home. Make one with a cup (240 ml) of hot water, half a teaspoon (3 g) of salt, and a pinch of baking soda.
  • Spray your nasal passages with saline solution 3–4 times daily.

Having congestion while lying down is common. Maintain an erect position, or at least a head-up stance.

Nose strips are sold in some stores. They facilitate easier breathing by opening up the nasal passages.

Without a doctor's prescription, over-the-counter medications can alleviate your symptoms.

  • Drugs known as decongestants reduce nasal swelling and dry out mucus. Possible benefit for relieving nasal congestion and/or nasal discharge.
  • Allergy medication, known as antihistamines, work by blocking the release of histamine. Use caution, as some antihistamines can cause drowsiness.
  • Use of a nasal spray can help alleviate congestion. Except when directed by a doctor, every other day use of over-the-counter nasal sprays is sufficient.

Multiple medications are often combined into one bottle of cold, flu, and allergy medicine. Don't overdo it on any one drug; read the labels! If you're looking for advice on which cold remedies are secure to use, consult your doctor.

Allergy sufferers:

  • Nasal sprays for allergy relief may also be recommended by your doctor.
  • In order to alleviate the symptoms of your allergies, it is important to learn to recognize and avoid the factors that

For assistance with any of the following, please contact your service provider:

  • A runny nose accompanied by headache, blurred vision, or swelling of the forehead, eyes, side of the nose, or cheek
  • White or yellow spots on the tonsils or other parts of the throat, or increased throat pain
  • Any discharge from the nose that isn't white or yellow, has an unpleasant odor, or comes from only one side.
  • Long-lasting cough (more than ten days) or coughing up yellowish-green or grayish mucus
  • Severe bleeding from the nose after a head injury.
  • Constant symptoms for longer than three weeks
  • Fever and nasal drainage

The doctor may check your ears, throat, and sinuses as part of a full physical.

Potential examinations include:

We thank Drs. Bachert, Zhang, and Gevaert for their contributions. Inflammation of the sinuses and growth of polyps in the nose To be published in the edited collection by Burks AW, Holgate ST, O'Hehir RE, et al. Allergy: Principles and Practice, by Middleton 9th ed Chapter 41 Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2020

Togias A, Corren J, and Baroody FM Nasal inflammation can be caused by allergies or other factors. Authors (Burks, Holgate, O'Hehir, et al.) Allergic Reactions: Theory and Treatment by Middleton 9th ed Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA; 2020:chap 40

Cohen YZ Coughing and sneezing Bennett J.E., R.D. Dolin, and M.J. Blaser. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Edited by Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett 9th ed Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA, 2020:chap 58

Accessed on 7/19/2021

Presented for your consideration by: Linda J. Dr. Vorvick, Clinical Associate Professor in Family Medicine at UW Medicine, UW School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A. D A M Editorial staff

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