My Nose Has Been Congested For 6 Months

Question:
I have been congested (stuffy nose) for over 6 months now. At first I thought I was getting a cold but when my cold meds weren’t working, I figured it was just allergies. After trying Claritin, nasal sprays, and the neti pot, I was realized nothing was working. My doctor also suggested that it was allergies, but I know that it is something more than that. I have chronic congestion, and it is keeping me awake at night, and its taking a toll on my life! I’ve tried online research but am not having any luck. Can you plase suggest some chronic congestion relief?

Answer:
Thanks for your note- It seems unlikely that your symptoms are from allergies, alone. Usually with allergies, a patient will have at least temporary relief of congestion with antihistamines. We certainly are proponents of using a neti pot- but if your congestion is persisting for 6 months, you should have a more thorough evaluation than your primary care physician can offer. Your chronic congestion may well be a sign of a low grade sinus infection, nasal polyps or other treatable problem. Sometimes, medications taken for other problems can cause nasal congestion as a side effect.

I would suggest that you have a thorough ENT evaluation which includes a complete history, but also looking at your nasal airway with a lighted telescope. This is an office procedure which will allow a doctor to find the cause of your problem and a treatment specifically for chronic congestion relief.

Robert Pincus MD
Co-director NY Sinus Center