Symptoms of Head Congestion

Updated April 17, 2017

Head congestion is commonly known as a head cold, but may actually have several causes other than the cold virus. A congested head may result in a myriad of unpleasant symptoms involving the eyes, ears, nose and throat. Thankfully, these are usually short-lived and easy to treat at home. A bacterial infection may warrant a trip to the doctor, and antibiotics should clear the congestion up. If you experience any combination of the below symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to verify if your head congestion is bacterial or viral, and to get the relief you deserve.

Head Congestion and Your Eyes

Pain around the eye socket is a common symptom of head congestion. The pain is actually the result of clogged sinuses. This pain is usually accompanied by watery eyes. If you experience watery eyes and pain, contact your doctor to be sure that it is not caused by conjunctivitis, otherwise known as pink-eye.

Head Congestion and the Ears

Head congestion may cause pain in the ears. This pain may be accompanied by a feeling of pressure deep inside the ear. You may also experience bouts of dizziness if the congestion puts pressure on the inner ear.

Head Congestion and the Nose

Head congestion may present as a stuffy nose. You may also feel pain in your sinuses. This pain will be exacerbated by pressing on the sinus area with your fingertips or leaning forward. Your nose may also be runny and itchy.

Head Congestion and The Throat

Head congestion may cause pain in the throat. This pain may radiate from the throat to the ears. If the pain is accompanied by a stuffy nose, post nasal drip may be causing a secondary infection in your throat.

Head Congestion Caused by Virus

Viral head congestion does not respond to antibiotics. If your head congestion is caused by a virus, the mucus in your nose will be thin and clear. A cold will usually clear up in a week. In the meantime, take care to wash your hands thoroughly and often to prevent spreading the virus to others. A virus usually produces a low-grade fever.

Head Congestion Caused by Bacterial Infection

Head congestion caused by bacterial infection will be accompanied by a high fever and thick mucus from the nose that is brown or green. The throat will be extremely irritated. A bacterial infection in the eyes, ears, nose or throat responds well to antibiotics.


Head congestion should be treated symptomatically. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Fever can be treated with over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol. These medications will also relieve your headache. If your sinuses are infected, a saline nose spray will provide relief. A humidifier will help thin out the mucus in your sinuses so it is easier to drain from the body. For a sore throat, drink peppermint and chamomile tea as hot as you can bare it. Drink as much water as possible to keep yourself hydrated.

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About the Author

Heather Monroe has been writing for Demand Studios since March, 2009. Heather enjoys blogging about California's beautiful Inland Empire and its rich history. She has also published her own line of greeting cards and tee-shirts. Although she got a bit of a late start, Heather is pursuing a degree in Journalism.