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What is Nasal Congestion?

The question everyone is asking during cold & flu season; what is nasal congestion and how can you get rid of it and feel better, fast?

Man with congested nose

So, what is congestion?

There are many types of congestion, including chest, sinus and nasal congestion. We will be covering nasal congestion only, so if you’re looking for the other types of congestion, you’re in the wrong place.

  • Nasal congestion is that uncomfortable feeling of having a stuffy nose or feeling “stuffed up”.
  • It happens when nasal mucous membranes become inflamed or swollen.
  • It is often accompanied by thick, sticky mucus in your nasal passage.
Woman with nasal congestion symptoms

What are nasal congestion symptoms?

Symptoms include:

  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Sinus pain
  • Swollen nasal tissue
  • Mucus buildup in the nasal passage
  • Sounding like a cartoon version of yourself

What causes nasal congestion?

Common causes include:

  • The common cold. The most common nasal congestion cause, colds can trigger nasal tissues to become inflamed and swollen, restricting the flow of air in your nasal passage. This is caused by coming in contact with a cold virus or bacteria. Add that to the increase in mucus your body is experiencing and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. If you think you’ve got a cold, look out for these other symptoms too: runny nose, sore throat, mild fever, coughing, chest congestion and mild fatigue. 
  • The flu. If your nasal congestion is paired with a high fever, bodyaches, headache and extreme fatigue, then you likely have influenza. The flu can knock you out for 1-4 days so be prepared and have some Buckley’s products on hand.
  • Sinus infections. Sinusitis, while not only giving you a stuffed-up nose, will come with pressure or pain in the sinus cavities around your nose, eyes and face. You’ll often have a fever, headache, sore throat and cough. If the infection is bacterial, you’ll likely need to see a doctor for antibiotics. 
  • Allergies. Allergies come on fast and strong, often include sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes within minutes of being exposed to an allergen. If your nasal congestion comes out of nowhere, it’s likely due to allergies. 
Glass of Water

Drink fluids. This is the easiest thing you can do to help thin out your mucus.

Treating Congestion Naturally

There are many ways to treat nasal congestion symptoms naturally, including:

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer while you sleep to add moisture to the air. This can help break up mucus and soothe swollen nasal passageways. 
  • Drink fluids. This is the easiest thing you can do to help thin out your mucus.
  • Apply a warm cloth around your nose to help loosen mucus.
  • Steam it out. Hit the steam room or create your own using a bowl of hot water and towel over your head. This will loosen mucus and feel great while you’re at it.

Recommended Buckley’s Products

With Buckley’s products, relief comes in any form you want; liquids, pills and lozenges.  If you’re experiencing nasal congestion from a cold or flu, these Buckley’s products all contain nasal decongestants. Try them, they work. 

Buckley's Cold & Sinus Liquid Gels - Day/Night

Box of Buckley’s Cold & Sinus Liquid Gels - Day/Night
  • Sore Throat Pain
  • Headache
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Fever & Chills
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Body Aches & Pain

Buckley's Original Mixture

Box of Buckley's Original Mixture
  • Cough
  • Nasal Congestion

Buckley's Complete + Mucus Liquid Gels – Day/Night

Box of  Buckley's Complete + Mucus Liquid Gels – Day/Night
  • Dry Cough
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Runny Nose

Buckley's Complete

Box of Buckley's Complete
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fever & Chills
  • Sore Throat Pain
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Body Aches and Pain

Buckley's Complete Cough, Cold & Flu Extra Strength - Day/Night

Box of Buckley's Complete Cough, Cold & Flu Extra Strength - Day/Night
  • Cough
  • Mucus & Phlegm
  • Sore Throat Pain
  • Headache
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Fever & Chills
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Body Aches & Pain

If you’re still unsure, try our Product Finder and select your symptoms to find relief that’s right for you.

Treating Congestion with Medication

Some people like to treat their nasal congestion symptoms with medication right away.

  • If your nasal congestion symptoms are caused by allergies, take a intranasal corticosteroid spray or an antihistamine (allergy medicine) to help alleviate symptoms. 
  • Nasal decongestants are available over-the-counter in pills, liquids and sprays, and provide quick relief from that stuffy nose feeling. They shrink the inflamed blood vessels in your nasal passages, reducing pressure and allowing mucus to flow out. They can only be used for short-term (3 days) to avoid rebound congestion.

See a Doctor

Sometimes there’s something more serious going on. See a doctor if:

  • Nasal congestion lasts longer than a week.
  • Nasal congestion is accompanied by a high fever for more than three days.
  • Your nasal congestion symptoms include green mucus discharge with sinus pain and fever.
  • You’ve got a weakened immune system, asthma or emphysema.