Congestion: When should I consult a doctor?

Congestion can occur due to various reasons. The common cold, flu, allergies and other upper respiratory infections can lead to a feeling of being stuffed.

Even though it can be managed at home or with medications, there are instances in which it is best to seek medical care.

When to consult a doctor for nasal congestion?

A stuffed or runny nose is usually a nuisance but there are cases in which it might be a sign of an issue, especially if it is persistent or occurs among infants. A doctor must be seen if the following are present:

  • Congestion is accompanied by fever higher than 100.4 degrees F
  • Symptoms lasts more than 10 days
  • Nasal drainage is yellowish or greenish
  • Intense sinus pain
    congestion
    A stuffed or runny nose is usually a nuisance but there are cases in which it might be a sign of an issue, especially if it is persistent or occurs among infants.
  • Nasal symptoms have spread and causes sore throat or difficulty breathing
  • Child below 2 years old has fever
  • Congestion makes it hard for the child to breathe or feed

When to consult a doctor for the cold or flu?

If an individual has the flu or common cold, the doctor usually advises on bed rest, increased fluids and over-the-counter medications.

A doctor must be seen if the following are present:

  • Elderly or young child with severe symptoms of the flu or common cold
  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees F
  • Could not hold anything down
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Sore throat with difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent cough that is either productive or hacking
  • The symptoms worsen or persist for more than 5 days

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