The feeling of head congestion is not uncommon. Most people may have experienced it sometime or the other during their lifetime. Your head feels congested during an attack of cold when the lining of nasal passage is swollen and nose is blocked due to increased secretion of mucus.
Head congestion is also a concomitant symptom when any of the four paranasal sinuses block. The four pairs of paranasal sinuses situated around the nose, eyes and forehead work together to filter, moisten and warm the air we breathe in. However, due to cold the sinuses tend to get blocked leading to pressure and congestion in head.
Over the counter decongestants are effective in shrinking the blood vessels as well as swollen nasal lining. But these decongestant nasal sprays and medicine can sometimes aggravate the symptom. Head congestion is temporary problem, which can be dealt easily with home remedies.
Signs And Symptoms Of Head Congestion
The symptoms of head congestion can vary from person to person. It may be accompanied with host of other symptoms that may vary in duration and severity. The feeling of pain and heaviness in head is accompanied with:
- Difficulty in breathing: Patient experiences difficulty in breathing as the nasal passage is congested with mucus. Together with stuffy nose, he may also suffer from mild to moderate pain around the cheeks, and bridge of nose due to blockage of sinuses with mucus.
- Pain around the eyes: Pain and watering around the eyes is commonly associated with sinus blockage.
- Ear problems: The ear, nose and throat are connected with each other. A problem in one organ can affect the other. Patient with head congestion may find difficulty in proper hearing. It causes pressure in the inner ear which can give rise to earache.
- Sore throat: Some patients with head congestion may have pain and discomfort in throat as the mucus is drained from the back of nose causes irritation.
- Cough: Sore throat and cough are common associated symptoms of head congestion.
- Headache: Patient may suffer from frontal and temporal headache due to sinus congestion. It can become worse with coughing, sneezing or bending forwards etc.
What Causes Constant Head Congestion?
There are number of factors that can trigger congestion of head. One of the frequent causes is cold caused due to virus infection. Allergies to dust, smoke and fumes, chemicals, etc can irritate the sinuses leading to heaviness and headache. Some people are also allergic to certain food items.
Structural deformity in the nose such as deviated nasal septum and polyps in nose can cause congestion in nose. This may lead to head congestion in long term. Head congestion is not limited only to nasal ailments. Sometimes, a person may feel heaviness in his head if he has not slept well. It may also occur in people consuming too much of caffeinated drinks.
Home Remedies To Relieve Head Congestion
Head congestion can be treated with over the counter nasal decongestants as well as home remedies. Usually the condition is short lived and can be cured with home remedies which do not have severe side effects. On the other hand decongestant nasal drops and medicines although beneficial can worsen the condition if overused.
- Homemade nasal drops prepared by mixing warm water and a pinch of salt is extremely important for alleviating congestion of nose as well as head. Put few saline drops in nose. It helps to reduce inflammation of the nasal lining. It also liquefies the thick mucus and facilitates easy drainage.
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom. It helps to reduce congestion of nose as well as head.
- Inhale steam to alleviate head congestion. Take a bowl of hot water. Inhale the steam that is released from it. A hot shower can also work in the same way. Steam inhalation clears mucus and thus reduces head congestion.
- Add garlic in your food or in the soup. Garlic has anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties. Both are useful to deal with sinusitis leading to head congestion.
- Avoid allergic foods and other substances if there is previous history of allergy.
- Alternate therapies such as aromatherapy and acupressure are also effective to cure head congestion.