Nose - congested; Congested nose; Stuffy nose
Nasal congestion refers to a 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 something into the nose.
A stuffy nose is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. Causes include:
The congestion typically goes away by itself within a week.
Congestion also can be caused by:
Manning S. Medical management of nasosinus infectious and inflammatory disease. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2005:chap 52.
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