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When You Should Be Concerned About Nasal Congestion

Most everyone experiences nasal congestion from time to time, for perfectly normal — and mostly temporary — reasons, such as colds, allergic reactions, or pregnancy.

Ongoing problems with nasal congestion, however, may be a sign of a larger problem that requires the expertise of an experienced otolaryngologist, such as Houston Sinus Surgery’s own Cecil Yeung, MD, and Marcus Hershey, MD.

To help you determine whether your nasal congestion is a cause for concern, let’s take a look at why your nose becomes stuffy in the first place, and what an ongoing problem with congestion may signal.

Mucus and congestion

One of the first steps toward understanding why your nose is congested is to better understand why your body reacts in a way that leaves your nasal passages clogged.

The culprit behind your congestion is excess mucus. Under normal circumstances, your mucus plays an invaluable role in protecting and nourishing moist tissues in your body. The slippery consistency of mucus provides moisturization at the same as it traps irritants.

While you may think of mucus as being associated with your nose alone, it can be found in many places, such as in your eyes, your lungs, and gastrointestinal tract.

Getting back to your nose, when there’s something that irritates your nasal passages, they become inflamed, and your body produces more mucus in an attempt to protect the sensitive tissues inside.

The causes of nasal congestion

You enter a house with a cat and, within minutes, your nose is stuffed. Or, your child brought home a cold that all members in the family now share, and nasal congestion is preventing everyone from breathing easily.

These are examples of times when nasal congestion isn’t unexpected or a cause for concern, since you know that the congestion is simply in response to an allergen or virus.

If you have ongoing issues with nasal congestion and you’re unsure why, however, there may be some cause for concern. Some of the problems that can lead to chronic nasal congestion, include:


  • Enlarged adenoids
  • Structural problems in your nose, such as a deviated septum
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Enlarged nasal turbinates (turbinate hypertrophy)

These structural and chronic problems not only lead to ongoing nasal congestion that prevents you from breathing easily, but you can also develop headaches, snoring, dry mouth, and post-nasal drip.

The road to breathing easier

The Yeung Institute offers Houston’s leading experts in endoscopy. This nonsurgical procedure allows your physician to identify problems inside your nasal passageways and/or sinuses. Using a small camera that’s equipped with a light, your physician can get a much closer look at the internal structures of your nose and adjoining sinus cavities.

Once he identifies the underlying problem that’s causing your nasal congestion, he can recommend the best option for relieving your congestion.

If you want to say goodbye to constant nasal congestion, we can help. To learn more, call or book an appointment online with Houston Sinus Surgery today.

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