Nasal congestion refers to a stuffy nose.
Nose - congested; Congested nose; Stuffy nose
Many people think that a nose gets congested (stuffy) from too much thick mucus. However, in most cases, the nose becomes congested when the tissues lining it become swollen. The swelling is due to inflamed blood vessels.
Newborn infants must breathe through the nose. Nasal congestion in an infant's first few months of life can interfere with nursing, and in rare cases can cause serious breathing problems. Nasal congestion in older children and adolescents is usually just an annoyance, but it can cause other difficulties.
Nasal congestion can interfere with the ears, hearing, and speech development. Significant congestion may interfere with sleep.
When nasal stuffiness is just on one side, the child may have inserted
A stuffy nose is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. Causes include:
Common cold Flu Sinus infection
The congestion typically goes away by itself within a week.
Congestion also can be caused by:
Hay feveror other allergies
- Use of some nasal sprays or drops for more than 3 days (may make nasal stuffiness worse)
Review Date: 11/02/2009
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.