7 Symptoms of Chronic Congestion

Chronic congestion has a variety of different causes, including the flu, the common cold, sinus infections, rhinitis and more. Symptoms of chronic congestion include feelings of stuffiness in the nose and chest, fatigue, pain in the chest or head, difficulty breathing and coughing among others. Probably the most common cause of chronic congestion is allergic rhinitis, which is also the most common type of rhinitis. Allergies can be difficult to pinpoint in some cases as they can be caused seasonally by different types of pollen, or they can be triggered largely by indoor irritants like dust, pet dander and mold. It may be hard to identify allergies as the cause, especially if the person has recently suffered from a viral illness like the flu or common cold.

Signs of chronic congestion typically come after the usual run of a viral illness and persist beyond the end of other symptoms. However, in the case of allergies, they may simply begin randomly and persist for days or weeks. Treatments of chronic congestion can include nasal saline wash, antihistamines, decongestants, nasal steroids, antibiotics in the case of bacterial infection, and environmental controls.

1. Rhinitis

Rhinitis is a condition that happens when the mucous membrane in the nasal cavity becomes irritated and inflamed. Symptoms of this condition include stuffy nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip and a runny nose. Rhinitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria, but most commonly it is caused by allergens such as pollen, mold, dust or animal dander. Allergic rhinitis has additional symptoms along with the base symptoms and those include coughing, headache, fatigue, nasal itching, watery eyes or itching eyes and malaise. Inflammation in this case is caused by mast cells in the nose degranulating, which causes histamines to be released. Infectious versions can actually lead to pneumonia of both the viral and bacterial varieties.

Rhinitis is an extremely common condition with as many as 30 percent of American adults being affected every year. There are several types of rhinitis, including infectious, nonallergic, allergic, medicamentosa, chronic atrophic, sicca and polypous. Nonallergic cases can have a variety of causes, including smoking and reactions to alcohol. Medicamentosa is caused by the overuse of various oral medications, while chronic atrophic is caused by the glands and mucous membranes in the nose experiencing atrophy. Rhinitis sicca is caused by chronic mucous membrane dryness and polypous rhinitis is caused by nasal polyps.