This condition occurs when the lining of the inside of the nose swells, which can make it difficult to breathe through your nose.
A stuffy nose, also called nasal congestion, is a symptom that occurs when lining of the inside of the nose swells. This swelling is usually caused by allergies, a sinus infection, or various viral infections (i.e., the common cold).
The presence of mucus can contribute to the stuffy feeling.
A stuffy nose can make it difficult to breathe through your nose.
A stuffy nose is uncomfortable. However, regardless of the cause, it usually resolves on its own without prescription medications. It typically lasts about a week and can cause you to feel like you are not hearing as well as you usually do. Also, your ears can be painful and feel congested. A frequent stuffy nose, or one that happens at certain times of the year, may be due to allergies. There are things you can do at home to help ease a stuffy nose.
Blow your nose into a clean tissue to clear any mucous.
Drink an adequate amount of fluids (i.e., water or warm fluids) to help keep secretions loose.
Use extra pillows under your head when you lie down.
Over-the-counter decongestants or antihistamines may shrink the swelling and dry up the mucus in your nose. Make sure you read the package instructions and do not these medications longer than the instructions say.
Be cautious of side effects from over the counter medications, especially if you are a man with an enlarged prostate.
When a stuffy nose may be caused by an allergy, assistance from your primary care physician or a specialist may be necessary.
While most stuffy noses go away on their own, there may be times you need to contact your healthcare provider.
Bring a copy of your medical history (allergies, past illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations).
Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
Write down any questions, symptoms or concerns you want to talk about.
If your healthcare provider wants you to take a medication, ask if an over-the-counter product is right for you.
If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication, ask for a generic one. If your doctor thinks that generics are not right for you, ask for medications on the lowest available tier of your Prescription Drug List (PDL).
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
What is causing my stuffy nose?
What treatment, if any, are you recommending? What options are available?
When an antibiotic is prescribed: What is the reason for the antibiotic prescription? Do I have a bacterial infection?
What tests do I need? What is the reason for those tests? Will the test results change my treatment plan?
What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?
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