Doctors and patients see 'congestion' differently

It’s important to get on the same page as treatments differ, authors say.

Care may be needed when asking about a patient’s “congestion” as it appears the lay person’s interpretation of the word is different to a doctor’s, research suggests.

nasal congestion

When patients hear the term 'congestion', most define it as having a runny nose and pressure-related symptoms, while doctors tend to refer to obstruction and blockages of the nose, a survey finds.

“The definition of congestion appears to be highly variable and ambiguous for many patients,” the US authors write in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.