You may write off your stuffy nose and congestion as seasonal allergies, but that’s not always the case. Your congestion may be a result of a sinus infection, the common cold, nonallergic irritants, or a sinus disorder.

If allergy medications don’t help, or your stuffy nose persists regardless of the time of year, it’s probably time to rule out allergies and get to the root cause of your nasal issues.

Read on to learn the signs of sinus disorders that deserve a doctor’s care.

You experience nasal congestion only when in contact with certain substances

If your congestion flares up or increases when you come into contact with things such as cigarette smoke, industrial pollutants, or certain food smells, you may have nonallergic rhinitis. Our team can help you identify triggers so you can avoid them and reduce instances of congestion.

You have nosebleeds along with the congestion

If your congestion is accompanied by nosebleeds, it may indicate that a structural issue is causing your congestion, not allergies. Structural issues include a deviated septum, external nasal deformity, or a nasal valve collapse. We can diagnose and treat these structural issues so you breathe clearly again.

Your stuffiness comes with fever, sore throat, and coughing

If you have fever and chills, body aches, or a sore throat and cough along with congestion, you probably have the flu or a severe cold. These infections affect your upper respiratory system and trigger a stuffy nose. Make an appointment if the symptoms don’t clear up on their own after a few days. It could progress to a sinus infection or bronchitis if left untreated.

Your congestion doesn’t respond to allergy medications

If you’ve self-diagnosed yourself with an allergy and bought over-the-counter medications, but they’re not doing the trick, you may have another sinus issue causing your congestion. Nasal polyps are benign growths that develop in the lining of your nose due to prolonged irritation or inflammation. If we find polyps, we can offer medications to relieve the irritation or perform minor surgery to remove them.

You also have ear problems and swollen glands

When your stuffiness is accompanied by other symptoms — sleeping issues, snoring, ear pain and infections, a chronic sore throat, and swelling in your neck — your congestion may be due to problems with your adenoids. These small patches of skin at the back of your throat assist the immune system and are similar to tonsils. But sometimes they become irritated, inflamed, and enlarged, causing nasal problems and other symptoms. The adenoids can be removed surgically without negatively affecting your immune system.

A chronic stuffy nose shouldn’t just be written off as allergies. We can provide real solutions to your stuffiness, which can be a nuisance, but may also progress into a more serious condition.

If you’re ready to breathe better, make an appointment with one of our ENT specialists who can help you get to the bottom of your nasal congestion. Call use at Lakeshore Ear, Nose, and Throat Center or book using our online scheduler.