Choose your most prominent symptom

Sinus pain


Airway obstrucion



When congestion is primarily one sided

Certain problems are less likely if only one side is involved. For example, you generally expect allergies and viral infections to affect people on both sides of their nose almost equally.

If the problem is one sided and chronic, then the possibilities are very similar to that of chronic congestion that affects both sides.

Crooked nasal septal bones, cysts, polyps, and tumors are examples of anatomic abnormalities. Anatomic abnormalities are a frequent source of one sided chronic congestion. Often anatomic abnormalities can work in concert with infection and allergy to give a one sided problem.

Acute bacterial infections can cause one sided congestion, and if the problem is of recent onset and associated with facial or upper dental pain; acute bacterial sinusitis is likely.

Viral infections can begin on one side, but they usually involve both sides of the nose equally after a couple of days. In patients with a nasal septal deviation, or other anatomic abnormality, viral infections can be more symptomatic on one side.

Some thoughts

When one sided airway obstruction is also present, nasal septal deviations come to mind. This is especially true if there isn't much drainage and the problem is long standing and of consistent severity.

When problems have lingered on one side after an acute illness, one sided chronic sinusitis should be considered.

Mild chronic symptoms with pressure between the eyes can be from a concha bullosa, nasal septal deviation, low grade chronic infection, or occasionally such symptoms originate from different types of headaches.

What to do ? If this sounds like your situation. First, you should explore the section on treating Chronic Problems with OTC medicines. Consider trying some of these recommendations if you haven't already.

If that doesn't help, a visit to the doctor may be in order. If your problem has persisted for 6 weeks, and hasn't responded well to OTC medicines, it is time to find out what is going on. Chronic sinusitis and nasal septal deviations often need the attention of a specialist to diagnose and treat them efficiently.

Your Congestion...

Is it swelling from allergy?
That would be both sides.

A bad cold?
That's usually both sides.

A nasal septal deviation?
Chronic or acute sinusitis?

Let us help you understand
your congestion.
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