Suffering from nasal congestion can be miserable. It can be difficult to sleep or even breathe when your nasal passages are blocked. Nasal congestion is typically caused by allergies, the common cold, and sinus infections. Problems can also occur when there is damage to the nasal tissue or nose including a deviated septum and nasal polyps.
Knowing what is causing the underlying problem can help you eliminate a stuffy nose fast. For a stuffy nose caused by viral or bacterial infections, you can take over-the-counter medications or opt for home remedies. For allergy-induced stuffy noses, taking a nasal decongestant can help clear things up. Find out how to alleviate the symptoms of a stuffy nose and feel better fast.
Top Tips For Easing Nasal Congestion
Use A Nasal Spray
A nasal spray can be a medicated spray blend or a saline spray. Saline sprays work just like gargling with salt water at the back of the throat when treating a sore throat. Nasal sprays are injected directly into the affected nostrils and can provide relief from a stuffy nose or runny nose in minutes. Overuse of nasal sprays may make congestion worse so use sparingly and don’t use for more than 48 hours.
Try An Inhaler Stick
Inhaler sticks work similarly to nasal sprays to open up the sinuses. They’re particularly popular in Asia and amongst the natural remedy communities. These sticks typically feature an essential oil or ingredients such as peppermint or eucalyptus.
These ingredients feature a strong and invigorating aroma that encourages airways to open. These essential oils and herbs also help to decrease inflammation in blood vessels, which stimulates blood flow and reduces nasal congestion.
Use Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation is one of the best ways to clear a blocked nose from a cold or hay fever. The concept involves a mixture of saline solution that is used to drain the sinuses. The most popular type of nasal irrigation is known as the Neti pot. You can also use industry alternatives such as specialty large plastic syringes and bottles to drain the sinuses.
Fill your irrigation tool with saline solution and warm distilled water — not tap water. Tilt your head to the side and place the irrigation tool inside one nostril. Gently squeeze the bottle and let the liquid flow in one nostril and out the other. It helps to open your mouth a bit to create a better flow. Repeat as needed throughout the day.
Take A Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower or a long soak in the tub can help ease a stuffy nose and other cold symptoms such as a sore throat. The warm, moist air from the hot water can help to decrease inflammation and soothe the pain. The moist air also makes it easier to breathe and thins out excess mucus in the nasal passages. You can simply take a hot shower or bath or take things up a notch by adding essential oils such as peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.
Drink Some Tea
Drinking tea can help boost the immune system and soothe symptoms of a cold such as sore throat. You can choose to drink American sweet tea or opt for traditional varieties such as green tea and white tea depending on your flavor preferences. Just make sure to avoid any herbal teas that may cause an allergic reaction, especially if your stuffy nose is already caused by allergic rhinitis.
Tea contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that may help to fight off infections that cause you to get sick in the first place. They also boast anti-inflammatory properties that help to ease sinus pain from sinus headaches and loosen congestion.
Use A Warm Compress
A warm compress fights stuffy nose symptoms caused by viral infection and allergies on two fronts. First, a warm compress can help reduce sinus pressure that can cause pain. Second, a warm compress can work to loosen mucus buildup, making it easier to clear a stuffy nose. To make a warm compress, simply soak a towel in hot water or get a towel wet and heat it gently in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Reapply as needed.
Keep Air Moist With A Humidifier
Using a cool-mist humidifier can help clear a blocked nose by adding moisture to the air. Many locales in the United States feature dry air that can cause a stuffy nose or make one worse. Using a humidifier easily corrects this problem by adding much-needed moisture to the dry air. Make sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause harmful side effects.
Treat A Stuffy Nose and Feel Better Fast
Getting rid of a stuffy nose can make you feel like a million bucks. It’s also easy to do with these handy home remedies. Remember that eliminating a stuffy nose completely requires targeting the source of the problem. If your nasal discharge is clear, your stuffy nose is likely caused by allergies. If your nasal discharge is yellow or green, you likely have a viral or bacterial infection causing the problem.
Fortunately, these remedies work to alleviate a stuffy nose caused by both allergies and bacteria. For viral and bacterial infections, you may need to use medications to clear things up. generally, a stuffy nose should clear on its own in 7 to 10 days. Until then, these natural remedies can help you feel better throughout the day.