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Last modified: Tuesday, 18-Jul-2017 22:39:05 EDT

University Health Service (UHS)
Health Promotion Office

Nasal Congestion

There are two main causes for nasal congestion. When you have a cold, flu, or other infection, your body uses it as a mechanism to help fight against viral or bacterial infections. You can help alleviate the discomfort of nasal congestion. Self-care for nasal congestion due to a cold is important not only because it relieves your discomfort, but also because it helps prevent the spread of infection to other people.

When you have an allergy to food, chemicals, or other substances like pollen or dust, your body is producing too much histamine. This substance causes your nose to run and your eyes to water. If your nasal congestion is caused by an allergen, the best way to clear up congestion is to avoid the allergen. If allergy symptoms persist for a couple of weeks, you may want to see a health care provider. Otherwise, nasal congestion may clear up on its own.

Self care for nasal congestion

Seek medical care if...

For more information, contact Linda Dudman in the UHS Health Promotion Office at (585) 273-5770 or