Stuffy nose also known as nasal congestion, occurs as a result of mucus build up, inflammation in the nose, through certain allergic substance or environmental irritants, hay fever or sinusitis.
Stuffy nose is not caused by excess mucus in your nose, but is actually caused by swollen blood vessels in your sinuses. These inflamed blood vessels are mostly triggered by flu, allergies, cold or sinus infection.
Having a stuffy nose can be really annoying and bothersome. You feel your nose run and drip; when you talk your voice sounds funny and just when you decide to blow your nose to clear the air way, nothing comes out.
Stuffy nose can be treated using natural remedies or over-the counter drugs such as nasal sprays. If your stuffy nose persists for a long time its best you seek medical attention.
Here Is How To Get rid of a stuffy nose
Blow your nose: stuffy nose occurs due to excess mucus or much fluid in your nasal passage and throat. One effective method to release this fluid or mucus is to release the excess mucus and fluid from your stuffy nose. Gently blow your nose with a soft tissue or clean handkerchief to avoid having skin irritation. Do not blow your nose too often, so skin around your nose doesn’t turn red or burn
Steam Inhalation: This is one of the best treatment for stuffy nose. Get a tablespoonful of ajwain (carom seed), crush it and turn into a bowl of hot water. You can add few drops of peppermint oil, Vicks rub or a bit of chamomile tea in hot water. Bend your head over the hot water and throw a towel so as to prevent water from getting cold. Repeat this at least two to three times daily. Be careful so you don’t burn your face with hot water or steam.
Take a warm shower: Just like humidifier, steam from a warm shower would help ease out mucus in your nose and sinuses and also help lessen the swelling. This way your breathing would go back to normal, for a short period of time. It has similar effect as steam inhalation
Keep yourself hydrated: When you have a stuffy nose keep yourself hydrated a lot. Drink lots of hot tea, soup, health drinks or fruit juice, this would help keep you hydrated and also help reduce the pressure in your nose, ease the flow of fluids from your nose and thin the mucus in your nasal passage. This way inflammation and irritation will reduce once pressure is reduced in your nose.
Sleep by lying upright and keep your head elevated: Nasal congestion caused by vasomotor rhinitis can move to one side of your nose airway when you lie on your side, this would worsen stuffiness. Using a couple of pillow to support your head when lying down and sleep on your back.
Over-the counter decongestants: Most decongestants contains phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine as an active ingredients. These active ingredient are good at hiding symptoms but oftentimes they don’t really treat your cold.
Some decongestant sprays such as oxymetazoline (Dristan, Duramist, Afrin), Phenylephrine (Sinex, Neo-Synephrine, Rhinall) or Naphazoline (Privine) are used through the nose. Decongestant spray shouldn’t be used for more than three days, its best to follow your doctor’s prescription. Sprays could worsen symptoms and result in more congestion, thereby resulting in a condition known as rhinitis medicamentosa. Decongestants can also be taken in form of drugs such as pseudoephedrine (Sudogest, Sudafed) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE, Lusonal, Sudogest PE).
Allergy drugs or Antihistamines: If you have a stuffy nose as a result of allergy, you can try taking an allergy medicine or antihistamine. These drugs would help reduce inflammation and swelling in your nasal airway, which will help ease stuffed up nose. Make sure you follow instructions on the pack of these medicine or according to your doctor’s prescription. If not this may worse your condition and not make it better.
Antihistamines make you feel drowsy, if you do not know how it would work on your body system do not take when you have to be productive or active.
Hot towel remedy: Using lukewarm water, wet a clean towel, fold into a small size then place in microwave and warm the towel for 20 to 30 seconds or till towel is warm. Take the warm towel and place over your nose (on the bridge of your nose) leave towel there for about ten minutes. Blow your nose and lie down in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes.
Acupressure: With the tip of your index fingers, gently apply pressure and rub both corners of your nose in small circular motion. Your nose would feel really close as you do this. You can do about 20 circular motions on each side of the nose, immediately after this blow your nose.
Little or mild exercise: At times just a mild exercise such as taking a walk round your house or taking your dog for a walk will help get rid of a stuffy nose. While doing this, continue to blow your nostrils.
Irrigate: Make a mixture of salt and water, pour salt water into a neti pot, syringe or product specially designed for nose irrigation. This will help flush out your nasal passages, thereby easing up mucus buildup and other impurities in the nose.
You can use ordinary water to flush nasal passages gently, but ensure water has been filtered or boiled to be certain it is clean. Make sure you do not inhale water.
Eucalyptus oil swab: Put 5 teaspoonful of olive oil in small cup or bowl. Do not use plastic bowl, use glass bowl or ceramic bowl or cup. Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil and mix both oil together properly. Roll up a tissue and dip one end in the oil mixture and insert in one side of the nose, Repeat the same with the other side of the nose using the other end of the rolled up tissue.
This should be done about 2 hours before going to sleep every night. You can do it as well if you experience a stuffy nose throughout the day. Eucalyptus oil, is very effective at clearing out the nasal passages. You can place the cup or bowl containing the oil mixture on your bedside, the oil scent will help you breathe well at night.
Useful tips to prevent stuffy nose
Avoid Irritants or Allergies: stuffy nose can be gotten from allergic reactions to pets, dust mites, latex, food and pollens. If you are constantly exposed to plant, material or animal you are allergic to, it will most likely cause you to develop a stuffy nose often.
Always keep your home clean to get rid of dust mites and also keep a far distance from plant and food you are allergic to. If you have a pet that you have allergic reactions to, quickly get rid of the pet or take allergy drugs. Stuffy nose can also be caused by cold weather or dry weather. You can use a humidifier to restore moisture in the air in your house.
Pinpoint cause of your stuffy nose: Stuffy nose can be caused by flus, cold weather, common colds, exposure to tobacco or cigarette smoke, whooping cough and chicken pox. If you experience other symptoms such as sore throat or fever alongside a stuffy nose, it is advisable you see your doctor to know exactly if you have a viral or bacterial infection which requires medical attention.