Stuffy Nose (Nasal Congestion)


Your nose gets stuffy when blood vessels in the inner lining of your nose become inflamed. You may have a runny nose, too, which makes breathing even harder. For most people, a stuffy nose isn't a serious problem. But it can be a nuisance.


What causes a stuffy nose? Well, anything that irritates the tissue in your nose can cause it. Often, it develops when you have a cold or the flu. It can be linked to a sinus infection or allergies. Some women get a stuffy nose during pregnancy. A stuffy nose can be linked to nasal polyps, or a condition called "vasomotor rhinitis." And, it may be triggered by some medications.


In most cases, you can treat a stuffy nose at home. Nasal sprays may help. Breathe moist air in the shower, or use a vaporizer or humidifier. Decongestants and antihistamines may help, too. If these aren't working, see your healthcare provider.