You know that stuffed up feeling. Your sinuses are clogged, breathing becomes difficult, and pressure builds causing headaches and sinus pain. A stuffy nose is one of the most common symptoms of the common cold and flu. It is also a frequent symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Whatever the cause, the feeling can be uncomfortable and even unbearable.
On the bright side, a stuffy nose can be cleared quickly by using over-the-counter medications and home remedies. Find out how to clear a stuffy nose and alleviate nasal congestion with these 8 tips.
How To Clear A Stuffy Nose
1. Nasal Spray
Nasal sprays are available over-the-counter and contain small amounts of medication that help to open up airways. These nasal sprays work to reduce congestion by decreasing inflammation that causes a stuffed-up feeling.
Nasal saline sprays are inserted directly into the nasal passages to provide quick relief from a stuffy nose. It’s important to note that overuse of these sprays can actually cause congestion to worsen. Use as directed on the label and don’t use for more than 2-3 days straight.
2. Nasal Irrigation
Using a nasal irrigation system such as a Neti pot can help to clear out sinuses fast. Nasal irrigation involves using a mixture of distilled water and saline to help eliminate mucus that may be blocking your nasal passages. Nasal irrigation tools range from the classic Neti pot to syringes and bottles designed to make the irrigation process simpler.
It’s important to use only distilled water to prevent the potential for infection. We also recommend doing nasal irrigation in the shower as it can get messy the first few times you try it. Fill the bottle with warm distilled water and add a packet of saline. Shake well before use.
Tilt your head to one side, gently pointing your chin in a 45 degree angle. Insert the nasal irrigation tool into the nostril opposite from the side you tilted your head. Squeeze gently and let the water run in one nostril and out the other. It helps to keep your mouth open slightly to improve the flow of the solution. It may take a few times to get the technique down.
3. Take A Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower can help to loosen sinus congestion and improve symptoms associated with a sinus infection. The warm, moist air helps to decrease inflammation in blood vessels and loosens stubborn congestion. A hot shower or bath can also help to induce relaxation, helping you feel better despite your symptoms. You can also add a few drops of essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil to maximize the benefits of a hot soak.
4. Drink Tea
Drinking tea can help soothe a sore throat and open up nasal passages. The warm steam that slowly rises from a piping hot cup of tea can help to clear a stuffy or runny nose. Tea also contains antioxidants and vitamins that can help boost the immune system and make it easier for your body to fight infections. Try peppermint tea to help open up sinuses or opt for a chamomile tea that can help you relax when you’re feeling under the weather.
5. Try A Warm Compress
If you have a blocked nose, applying a warm compress can help to loosen congestion. Heat a bowl of water in the microwave. Dip a towel into the warm water and wring until the towel is damp. Apply the warm compress directly to your forehead and nose area. If you drape the towel over your nose a mouth, breathe the steam deeply to help open the sinuses and airways. Reheat the towel and repeat as needed.
6. Use A Humidifier
When you have a stuffy nose, moist air is your best friend. Using a cool-mist humidifier can help add moisture to the air, making it easier to get rid of a stuffy nose. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent build-up of harmful bacteria.
7. Do A Facial Steam Bath
A facial steam bath can help get rid of a stuffy nose fast thanks to the warm moist air it creates. Bring water to a rapid boil in a large pot on the stove. Turn the heat off and remove the boiling water from the burner. Drape a towel around your head and neck and lean over the warm water. Breathe deeply focusing on drawing breaths from your nose as much as possible. As your nose begins to clear, use a tissue to expel mucus. Repeat the steam bath as needed throughout the day to relieve sinus pressure and nasal congestion.
8. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water can help your body fight off an infection that cause a stuffy nose. Increased water intake can also help to thin out mucus, making it easier to clear a stuffy nose. Aim to drink a glass of water every 2-3 hours. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar to help target bacteria and restore healthy gut function. You can also opt for sports drinks with electrolytes to help replenish your body’s vitamins and minerals if you’re suffering from other cold symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Clear A Stuffy Nose Fast
Nasal congestion is one of the most common cold symptoms. A stuffy nose frequently accompanies allergies, the common cold, flu, and sinus infections. These natural cold remedies can help you alleviate nasal congestion fast, using items you probably already have around your home.
The next time you have allergic rhinitis or catch a cold, reach for these remedies to feel better fast. They’re easy to whip up and have few side effects. Use a bit of salt water to help soothe a sore throat or a saline solution nasal rinse to clear a blocked nose and alleviate sinus pain. These remedies also help to reduce inflammation, which can reduce blood pressure and improve relaxation. For serious infections of a stuffy nose that doesn’t clear up in a few days, seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional.