How to Clear a Stuffy Nose

How to Clear a Stuffy Nose

We've all had a stuffy nose before, and we've all been annoyed by others who have had one. They make your nose drip, they make your voice sound like someone else. And then when you try to blow your nose, nothing wants to come out. Despite the common belief that a stuffy nose is caused by mucus buildup in the nasal passages, it's actually caused when your nasal tissues and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid.

Okay, so what? What everyone really wants to know is how to get rid of a stuffy nose. Read on to learn more.

Method #1: Take a Shower

You may not have noticed it before, but a hot shower will usually ease the symptoms of a stuffy nose. The reason is simple, the steam from the shower will thin you mucus membranes and help to reduce the inflammation in your nasal passages.

Method #2: Use a Portable Humidifier or Invest in a Central Humidifier

Humidifiers add moisture to the air by converting liquid water. You can either buy a small portable humidifier that you add water to, or you can have a professional install a central humidifier on your home's central HVAC system. The increased humidity from a humidifier will help to soothe your irritated nasal tissue and thin out any mucus.

Method #3: Use a Saline Nasal Spray

Saline sprays can help to increase the moisture in your nasal passages, similar to a hot shower or humidifier. This will decrease the inflammation and thin out the mucus in your nasal passages. Saline nasal spray can be purchased over-the-counter and you do not need a prescription for it. However, your doctor may recommend saline sprays with decongestants in them.

Method #4: Antihistamines and/or Allergy Medication

If your stuffy nose is the result of a seasonal allergy, you should consider an antihistamine or allergy medicine. Both of these can reduce the inflammation in your nasal passages and help to ease your symptoms. Antihistamines and allergy medication can be purchased over-the-counter. Follow the instructions of the medication or talk to your doctor for possible prescription medications.

Method #5: Flush your Sinuses with a Nasal Rinsing Device

It may not be the most pleasant experience of your life, but you have the option of flushing your clogged sinuses with a nasal rinsing device. One of the most used of these is the neti pot, but there are other manufacturers and devices. The FDA recommends that when using these devices, avoid tap water. Instead, use sterile or distilled water. Nasal rinsing devices work by rinsing debris and mucus that are clogging your nasal passages.


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