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What is nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion or nose block is defined as a blockage of the nose due to a swelling in the inner lining of your nose. It is one of the most commonly seen symptoms with a cold. This condition is generally a minor ailment and resolves within a short time period even without medication. It can affect people of all age groups and is particularly common in children. Nasal block is often associated with other disease conditions like allergies or a cold.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

You may experience the following symptoms along with a nasal congestion:

Rarely, you may experience symptoms like:

These rare symptoms are associated with other causes like sinusitis and asthma.

What are the main causes?

You may feel a nasal block due to swelling of the blood vessels inside the nose, tissue swelling and increased secretion of mucus in the nostrils. Conditions that can irritate the inner lining of your nose and cause swelling are:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Cold
  • Nasal polyps
  • Foreign body
  • Otitis media (ear infection)
  • Asthma

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Your doctor will ask you some questions regarding history of any disease conditions recently like respiratory tract infections or allergies. Your doctor will also examine your nose to look for causes of blockage like polyps.

Treatment includes decongestants which can be taken orally or used topically as sprays or nasal drops. Along with decongestants, other medications are given by your doctor based on the cause of the nasal block.

In case of nasal polyps, drugs are usually given to reduce the size of this outgrowth. If not found to be effective, surgery is recommended.

  1. Medicines for Blocked Nose (Nasal Congestion)
  2. Doctors for Blocked Nose (Nasal Congestion)
Dr. Chintan Nishar

Dr. Chintan Nishar

10 Years of Experience

Dr. K. K. Handa

Dr. K. K. Handa

21 Years of Experience

Dr. Aru Chhabra Handa

Dr. Aru Chhabra Handa

24 Years of Experience

Dr. Jitendra Patel

Dr. Jitendra Patel

22 Years of Experience


  1. American Thoracic Society [Internet]. New York,United States of America; Subjective Nasal Fullness and Objective Congestion.
  2. Naclerio RM, Bachert C, Baraniuk JN. Pathophysiology of nasal congestion. Int J Gen Med. 2010 Apr 8;3:47-57. PMID: 20463823
  3. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Stuffy or runny nose - adult.
  4. Stewart M, Ferguson B, Fromer L. Epidemiology and burden of nasal congestion. Int J Gen Med. 2010 Apr 8;3:37-45. PMID: 20463822
  5. National Institutes of Health; [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine. The Effect of Nasal Carbon Dioxide (CO2) on Nasal Congestion in Subjects With Perennial Allergic Rhinitis.

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