If you have woken up in the middle of the night because you are unable to breathe through your blocked nose, you know how annoying a blocked or stuffy nose can be. Though nasal congestion is often harmless and goes away on its own, it does momentarily affect your day-to-day activities.
Nasal congestion occurs when the body encounters an unknown substance – an allergen such as dust or pollen, and launches an immune response, due to which an inflammation can arise within the nasal tissues. A stuffy nose can be caused by a cold, flu, or sinusitis, in which there is a fluid build-up in the nasal/sinus passages.
A stuffy nose can be relieved through simple home remedies or medications and does not usually require medical attention. Let us look at some remedies through which we can obtain blocked nose relief:
Use a humidifier
Using a humidifier is a quick and easy way to relieve sinus pain and nasal congestion, as the apparatus releases water vapours/steam to increase moisture levels in the air, increasing humidity in the room. Breathing in moist air can help soothe the irritated tissues in the nose and sinuses, thus providing relief to nose blocked due to cold or sinusitis.
Inhaling steam from hot water can help thin the mucus, thus enabling easy drainage. The warmth and moisture from the steam may also help soothe the membranes inside the nose, providing temporary relief. Taking a hot shower can also help loosen the fluid in the nasal passages.
Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids can help thin the mucus in the nasal passages, which in turn makes it easier to expel the fluids/excess mucus.
In nasal irrigation, you must pour a saltwater solution (saline solution) into one nostril, and let it flow through the nasal cavity to the other nostril. This helps wash out the mucus and allergens in your nasal passages. You can either use a prefilled spray container, a bulb syringe, or a neti pot for the same.
Decongestant Nasal Sprays
Decongestants such as the Naselin nasal spray also helps narrow the blood vessels in the nose, reducing the inflammation and feeling of stuffiness. However, you should make sure that you don’t use nasal sprays continuously, for more than 5-7 days. Long-term usage of the decongestant sprays can also cause rebound congestion and worsen the condition. If the condition is not too severe, you can also use saline sprays for relief. Saline sprays are sterile saltwater solutions that help reduce congestion in the nose. Saline sprays are safe as they contain no medications that cause side effects.
Despite treating stuffy nose at home, if it persists for a longer period, it is necessary to consult your doctor as it may the indication on an underlying health condition or disease that may require treatment.