Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why is my nose always stuffy, even if I'm not sick?"
I'm a 24-year-old woman, and I feel like I have a perpetual cold. My nose is almost always stuffy, and I always have a ton of phlegm in the back of my throat. It's really nauseating, and I feel like I constant have to spit out the snot clogging up my throat. It's so gross! I don't have any allergies that I know of. What's wrong with me?
You sound like you are having a miserable winter/early spring so far! While you don't mention how long this has been going on for, the symptoms that you are describing could be the last remnants of an upper respiratory tract infection (URI) that are clinging to you in the most unfortunate way. Alternatively, as it is early spring, the early plants and blossoms that come (in some parts of the world!) could be giving you just a touch of extra secretions that are causing all of your problems. While there are other things that could be adding to or causing this unfortunate symptom, these are the 2 leading culprits. Some URIs can either last for too long, or can lead to increased mucous that then becomes secondarily infected with bacteria. Usually people will also complain of headaches or facial pressure when they have a sinus infection, but not always. As for allergies, it would be important to know if you have any new pets or are around anything new that could be causing these symptoms, or even just if the flowers and grasses have started to appear where you live. A simple trial of an over the counter anti-histamine such as claritin or zyrtec might offer some relief, and could let you know if allergies are to blame. Please speak with your doctor if your symptoms persist.