What causes throat congestion?

There are several factors that can contribute to throat congestion, including seasonal allergies, chronic bronchitis, and upper respiratory infections. Asthma, a disease known to constrict the upper airways, can also cause symptoms of congestion in the throat. Post nasal drip due to sinusitis can lead to throat congestion in many cases. Acid reflux disease can cause acid to build up in the throat, leading to congestion. Although not as common, throat cancer can also cause throat congestion.

When an individual suffers from seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, accompanying symptoms often include an excessive buildup of mucus, which can cause congestion in the throat. What is known as post nasal drip can occur when the sinuses drain. Often when the individual is lying down or sleeping, mucus or phlegm will drip down and cause throat irritation.

The same symptoms can occur when a person develops a common cold or other upper respiratory infection. A viral infection is a common culprit. A bacterial infection, such as strep throat, can also cause throat congestion in many people. Other infections, both viral and bacterial, can cause a stuffy feeling in the throat, including acute bronchitis. Tonsillitis, which is an inflammation of the tonsils, can cause a severe sore throat along with congestion.

Asthma is a condition that causes a narrowing of the bronchi and airways. During an asthma attack, the patient may experience congestion in the chest and throat. This can occur due to severe coughing, particularly from excessive mucus which can then settle in the throat. In fact, the cough itself can be a common factor in causing throat congestion.

Pneumonia can cause congestion in the chest and throat. This is a serious disease that affects the lungs. Fluids can build up and in an effort to expel contaminants, the patient may cough up thick phlegm which can lead to throat congestion. Caused by a viral or bacterial infection, pneumonia can lead to life-threatening complications if not treated early.

In rare cases, a feeling of tightness or congestion in the throat may be due to heart disease or congestive heart failure. Lung disease can also be a cause of congestion. Proper diagnosis is crucial in determining the cause of symptoms, especially if heart problems are suspected.

Professional singers can develop throat congestion due to the buildup of acid that is deposited in the esophagus. Public speakers may also experience chest congestion from time to time. Another condition known as hiatal hernia, which singers and others develop, can cause congestion in the lining of the throat, as well as other symptoms such as heartburn and pressure.

Go up