Nasal congestion can be caused by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. Infections — such as colds, influenza or sinusitis — allergies and various irritants, such as tobacco smoke, may all cause a runny nose. Some people have a chronically runny nose for no apparent reason — a condition called nonallergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis (VMR).

Less commonly, nasal congestion can be caused by polyps or a tumor. Other potential causes of nasal congestion include:

  1. Acute sinusitis
  2. Bright lights
  3. Chronic sinusitis
  4. Churg-Strauss syndrome
  5. Cluster headache
  6. Cold temperature
  7. Common cold
  8. Decongestant nasal spray overuse
  9. Deviated septum
  10. Drug addiction
  11. Dry air
  12. Dust mite allergy
  13. Enlarged adenoids
  14. Food allergy
  15. Foreign body in the nose
  16. Hay fever
  17. High blood pressure medications
  18. Hormonal changes
  19. Influenza (flu)
  20. Latex allergy
  21. Medications
  22. Milk allergy
  23. Mold allergy
  24. Nasal polyps
  25. Nonallergic rhinitis
  26. Occupational asthma
  27. Other infections
  28. Peanut allergy
  29. Perfume
  30. Pet allergy
  31. Pregnancy
  32. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  33. Shellfish allergy
  34. Soy allergy
  35. Spicy foods
  36. Stress
  37. Thyroid problems
  38. Tobacco smoke
  39. Wegener's granulomatosis
  40. Wheat allergy

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Mar. 27, 2013