A stuffy nose is definitely annoying, your nose drips, you sound funny when you talk, and just when you want to blow your nose to finally breathe again, nothing comes out. The common conception is that a stuffy nose is the result of too much mucus in the nasal passages. However, a congested nose is actually caused by inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. These irritated vessels are usually activated by a cold, the flu, allergies, or a sinus infection.
Regardless of the reason for your stuffed-up nose, there are easy ways to relieve it. Here are 7 tips which helps clear a stuffy nose and to feel and breathe better.
Use a humidifier
A humidifier provides a quick, easy way to reduce sinus pain and relieve a stuffy nose. The machine converts water to moisture that slowly fills the air, increasing the humidity in a room. Breathing in this moist air can soothe irritated tissues and swollen blood vessels in your nose and sinuses. Humidifiers also helps thin the mucus in your sinuses which will empty the fluids in your nose and return breathing to normal. Put a humidifier in your room to ease the inflammation causing your congestion.
Take a shower
A hot shower has lots of benefits for your stuffy nose. The steam from the shower helps to thin out the mucus in your nose and decrease inflammation. The helpful steam helps your breathing return to normal, at least for a little while.
You can get the same effect by breathing in steam from hot water in a sink. Turn on the hot water in your bathroom sink. Once the temperature is right, place a towel over your head and put your head over the sink. Allow the steam to build, and take in deep breaths. Be careful not to burn your face on the hot water or steam.
Keep a steady intake of fluids when your nose feels stuffed up. Almost all liquids can help keep you hydrated when you’re sick. These include water, sports drinks, and even juice. They help thin the mucus in your nasal passages, pushing the fluids out of your nose and decreasing the pressure in your sinuses. Less pressure means less inflammation and irritation. The nose will not feel so stuffed up.
If your stuffy nose is accompanied by a sore throat, warm tea and soup will help ease the discomfort in your throat, too.
Use a saline spray
Take additional steps to keep yourself hydrated with saline, a salt-water solution. Using a nasal saline spray can increase the moisture in your nostrils. The spray helps thin the mucus in your nasal passages. This decreases the inflammation of your blood vessels and helps empty fluids from your nose. Numerous saline sprays are available over the counter.
Some saline sprays also include decongestant medication. Talk to your doctor before you begin using saline sprays with decongestants. They may actually make your congestion worse if used for more than three days. They can also cause side effects when used along with other medications.
Drain your sinuses
Though not the most stylish task, but you can flush your clogged nostrils with a neti pot. A neti pot is a container designed to flush mucus and fluids out of your nasal passages. Using distilled or sterile water instead of tap water clear out your stuffy nose.
Stand with your head over a sink. Place the spout of the neti pot in one nostril. Tilt the neti pot until water enters your nasal passage. Once the water flows into your nostril, it will come out through your other nostril and empty into the sink. Do this for about one minute, and then switch sides.
Use a warm compress
A warm compress may help unclog a stuffy nose by opening the nasal passages from the outside. To make a warm compress, first soak a towel in warm water. Squeeze the water out of the towel, then fold it and place it over your nose and forehead. The warmth can provide comfort from any pain and help relieve the inflammation in the nostrils. Repeat this as often as necessary.
A decongestant medication can help reduce swelling and ease pain associated with irritated nasal passages. Many decongestants are available without a doctor’s prescription. They come in two forms: nasal spray and pill. Many of these medicines are easily available at the pharmacy.
Use all decongestants correctly and safely. You shouldn’t take a decongestant for more than three days without a doctor’s supervision. After three days, a nasal decongestant may actually make your congestion and stuffiness worse.
Take antihistamines or allergy medicine
Antihistamines or allergy medicine can help your stuffy nose if it is the result of an allergic reaction. Both types of medications can reduce the swelling in your nasal passages, helping to unblock your stuffy nose. Combination medicines that contain both an antihistamine and a decongestant can relieve the sinus pressure and swelling caused by allergic reactions.