Head Congestion Symptoms


Head congestion is also referred to as nasal congestion or a stuffy nose, and is usually a short-term annoyance for most people. Although anyone can develop a congested head, people with allergies, those who use certain medications or who are exposed to chemicals, smoke or other pollutants may be more likely to develop the condition. Consider this information derived from the Mayo Clinic and the National Library of Medicine about head congestion symptoms.


People with head congestion caused by sinusitis may experience coughing, which may be worse at night when trying to sleep. People with congestion might expel mucus from their mouths or throats while coughing. Frequent coughing may cause people to develop chest discomfort and a hoarse voice if the coughing lasts for more than a few days.

Difficulty Breathing

Head congestion may cause people to have difficulty breathing through the nose. They may feel as if the nostrils are plugged up, although blowing the nose may not help the problem. People with congestion may need to breathe through the mouth, which can interfere with tasting and eating food.


People with head congestion caused by sinusitis or sinus infections may develop an earache. Congestion that persists for several weeks or longer may lead to an ear infection, especially in babies and children. An earache and ear infection caused by congestion can interfere with normal hearing and may make people feel as if they are not speaking loudly enough.

Facial Pain

Head congestion may cause people to experience pain around their upper cheeks, nose and forehead. The pain may be accompanied by feelings of pressure, and the face may look swollen or puffy. Facial pain caused by congestion may be reduced by applying warm compresses to the sore areas or taking a pain reliever as recommended by a doctor.


People with head congestion may develop a headache, which usually affect both sides of the head and may extend into the temples. The headache may be worse in people whose congestion is caused by a virus, such as influenza or the common cold, or by a sinus infection. People who develop a headache as a result of congestion may get relief by breathing in steam, getting enough rest and staying hydrated.

Sore Throat

People with congestion might develop a sore throat as a result of mucus draining from the nasal passages. People with a sore throat may have difficulty swallowing liquids or foods, and babies with head congestion may refuse to nurse or take a bottle. People with a sore throat may find that lozenges, hot tea or cocoa or gargling with salt water reduces their symptoms.

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