Not being able to take a full, deep breath can be scary – for you or a child or loved one. Congestion can hamper breathing so much so that you want immediate relief. Congestion can result from a sinus infection, enlarged adenoids, hormonal changes, nasal polyps, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), allergies, a cold, or the flu.

Whether or not your congestion requires a trip to Clear Creek Emergency Room depends on the cause, any underlying medical conditions, and the severity of the compromised breathing. You need to know when congestion that hampers breathing truly needs immediate care, or when you can wait for a consult from your regular doctor or even care for it at home.

Clear Creek ER is a Village Emergency Center facility located in League City, Texas. We’re open for walk-in patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. As a private, freestanding emergency room, we offer the same services and care as a hospital ER, including treatments for breathing issues, but with little or no wait time.

Let’s break down what types of situations and symptoms require a visit for us to assess your congestion and breathing.

Involves labored breathing

Congestion rarely causes labored breathing in adults, but it might in an infant. If your child is turning blue or stops breathing, you need immediate medical help, so call 9-1-1.

Plan a trip to Clear Creek ER if your child flares their nostrils, breathes rapidly, or is using muscles that you can see under the ribs to take a breath. If your child is choking on their own mucus, this is an emergency, too.

Comes with additional symptoms

Severe congestion that is accompanied by certain other symptoms may also deserve a trip to Clear Creek ER. If you or your child have dizziness, confusion, severe chest pain, or persistent vomiting, head to our office right away. Congestion that hampers breathing accompanied by a fever and chills should also be evaluated by an ER doctor.

Accompanies another condition

Congestion that hinders breathing in people with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), should be addressed immediately by the staff at Clear Creek ER. These patients already have a hindrance to their breathing, and added congestion can cause complications.

It’s a good idea to visit Clear Creek ER if you’re having trouble breathing due to congestion and also have endocrine problems, heart disease, or kidney disorders.

Serious congestion

If you’re seriously congested and can only breathe with your mouth open, it causes serious misery – but as long as your coloring is good and you aren’t breathing too fast, you can consult your regular doctor about treatment.

Moderate congestion

A runny nose that requires you sit with a box of tissues nearby is annoying, but will likely pass with normal at-home care. Over-the-counter cold medicine and breathing in hot steam can help alleviate your symptoms until the infection passes. Drinking plenty of water thins mucus, too, so congestion eases. If you suspect congestion is allergy related, taking over-the-counter antihistamines can help.

Congestion in adults that makes breathing difficult can usually be handled at home or with a trip to your regular doctor. Infants, babies, children, seniors, and adults with some chronic conditions, however, should be seen at Clear Creek Emergency Room if they have congestion that interferes with their ability to breathe.

If you’re just not sure, call the ER and consult with someone on the staff who can help you determine how to proceed. You can use the online booking button to schedule an appointment or just walk in.