What to do If You Have Lingering Congestion

March 14, 2024

Congestion is one of the most irritating illness symptoms. It can make it difficult to breath and disrupt your sleep. Congestion can occur due to a variety of different factors. However, there are cases where congestion can linger or develop into a secondary infection that requires medical care. If you’re experiencing lingering congestion, visit AFC Urgent Care Bedford today for same-day diagnosis and treatment of your symptoms.

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What Causes Congestion

Congestion occurs when your sinuses produce too much mucus and it becomes trapped. Your body naturally produces mucus as a means to defend itself. Mucus is used to trap pathogens like viruses and bacteria, but also environmental irritants like allergens and smoke. However, sometimes when you are sick your body tries to use the mucus to remove the infection, which causes an overflow of mucus to be created. Due to the swelling that an infection can cause in your sinuses, the mucus can become trapped.

Congestion can make it hard to breathe through your nose. In turn, this can cause your throat to dry out from breathing only through your mouth. Congestion also common causes dry skin around the nose from blowing your nose. Congestion is commonly caused by an infection, although other factors such as breathing in cold or very dry air can cause you to be temporarily congested.

How Long Does Congestion Usually Last?

How long congestion lasts depends on what is causing you to be congested. If you are suffering from an infection by a virus or bacteria, congestion can last weeks. This is because your body is using mucus to try to fight off the infection, despite the fact that your sinuses are swollen and trapping the mucus in your body.

If you’re suffering from congestion as the result of an allergen or environmental irritant, congestion tends to be short lived. It often disappears shortly after you remove the irritant that is causing you to become congested. However, in the case of spring allergies where you are more frequently exposed to an allergen or irritant, congestion could last longer.

When to Seek Medical Care for Congestion

Congestion is a relatively harmless symptom. Although it causes discomfort, congestion is natural and will typically resolve on its own once your body fights off the infection or once the irritant causing you to be congested is removed. If your congestion lingers longer than your other illness symptoms, it may be a sign that you’re suffering from a more serious infection that requires medical treatment.

It is important to monitor congestion. There are some cases where congestion can develop into a painful secondary infection like a sinus infection. Sinus infections occur when the trapped mucus grows bacteria. Bacterial infections can be serious and always require medical treatment to resolve.

Congestion Treatment Near Bedford, MA

If you’re suffering from congestion, seeking medical care can help ensure you recover quickly. The course of treatment for congestion depends largely on what is causing you to be congested. If you’re suffering from a viral infection, medical treatment may not help clear the infection. However, a medical professional will be able to suggest at-home care that will help you be more comfortable and clear your congestion faster.

If your congestion is being caused by a bacterial infection, your medical provider may prescribe medication to help clear the infection and treat your symptoms. Diagnosing the source of congestion requires diagnostic testing to check for the presence of bacteria and viruses. In some cases, congestion can be caused by environmental irritants. Your medical provider will be able to help you identify what you are allergic to and how to best manage your allergies moving forward.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Bedford for Same-Day Congestion Relief

At AFC Urgent Care Bedford, we understand that illness symptoms can disrupt your daily life. If you’re suffering from congestion, seeking medical care while your symptoms are mild can help you begin treatment before your symptoms worsen. AFC Urgent Care Bedford offers walk-in illness diagnosis and treatment every day from 8am-8pm. We never require that you schedule an appointment in advance, simply walk into the clinic.

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Our clinic maintains short wait times, so that it’s easy and convenient to get the care that you need. Our medical staff is board-certified and trained to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat your symptoms. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer affordable care. For more information, contact us directly by calling  (781) 430-8161.

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