Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
Men think certain way and women think a certain way, and these are not always the same. There are multiple words in the English language that have double meanings and more than one meaning. For example a ball is a round object and it also is a dance. A bat is a flying mammal and a bat is a wooden thing to play baseball.
In medicine, congestion is a word that has different meanings to doctors and to patients. There has been a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in 2019 which revealed that patients refer to congestion as meaning one thing and doctors another. When doctors hear the word congestion they think of nasal blockage or obstruction or poor air flow through the nose. When patients think of congestion, they think of more of a sense of fluid stuck in the nose or sinuses or fluid in the back of the throat or nose that is hard to clear (commonly known as post-nasal drip). When defining congestion, some patients actually meant excessive fluid in the lungs or lower airway.
The Importance of Communication
Communication is very important for the pratitioner who is trying to help the patient. If a doctor hears a patient has congestion he may write prescriptions for nasal obstruction. This may not help the patient who has excessive mucous (the patient version of the meaning congestion) and no blockage. Misinterpretation of symptoms leads to a wrong diagnosis and a wrong treatment plan. When this happens, the results can be an unhappy patient, an unhappy doctor and a less-than-ideal outcome.
Bottom line, for doctors and for pateints, be clear in what you say and what you mean.