What is a stuffed nose?

A stuffed nose or nasal congestion generally means that you are not able to move air through your nasal passages easily. In some cases, your nasal passages may be completely blocked, while in other cases they are only partly blocked.

A stuffed nose can also affect your ears and cause them to feel clogged. This can lead to difficulty hearing. Because your sense of smell affects how you taste food, nasal congestion can cause changes in taste. A stuffed nose can also interfere with learning and speech development in children and with sleep in people all ages.

A stuffed nose is a common complaint and can occur in all ages and populations. For most people, a stuffed nose is just an annoyance. However, it can cause significant discomfort and may lead to serious problems in certain populations, such as newborn babies and children.

A stuffed nose can be caused by infection, allergic rhinitis (allergies), vasomotor rhinitis (nonallergic causes), blockage by a foreign object, or structural problems within the nasal passages.

In some cases, a stuffed nose (nasal congestion) may be a symptom of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have a stuffed nose or nasal congestion along with other symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as itching, hives, shortness of breath, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

Seek prompt medical care if your stuffed nose is persistent or causes you concern.


What other symptoms might occur with a stuffed nose?

A stuffed nose may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms may also involve other body systems.

Respiratory symptoms that may occur along with a stuffed nose

A stuffed nose may accompany other symptoms affecting the respiratory system including:


What causes a stuffed nose?

A variety of diseases, disorders and conditions can cause a stuffed nose, including infection, allergies, and deformities or abnormalities in the structure of the nose.

The inside of your nose is covered with mucous membranes that are supplied with blood by arteries, veins and capillaries. These superfic... Read more about stuffed nosecauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: May 7, 0203 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Ear, Nose and Throat

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