One of the most common problems for people who are affected by sinusitis is a stuffy nose. This condition is very annoying for everyone, because when you suffer from a stuffy nose, you may have difficulty to sleep at night, as well as when your nose gets congested, you have to breathe constantly through your mouth.
In the medical world, a stuffy nose condition is known by various names, such as nasal congestion, nasal obstruction, nasal blockage, plugged nose and blocked nose.
What is Nasal Congestion?
A stuffy nose occurs when there is obstruction of air flow into and out of the nose. It is very common thing in human’s health, which most of us have experienced at some period of our lives.
Your nose gets jammed, when the swelling occurs in the blood vessels inside the membrane that lines inside of your nostrils.
How do the blood vessels become swollen? It occurs due to several reasons such as colds, flu, sinus infection or allergies including seasonal allergies.
Your body defense system produces excessive mucus whenever there are viruses, bacteria and other pathogens invade your body. This excessive mucus is used to catch and kill these pathogens as it cause the nose gets blocked.
Adults are certainly able to continue their lives with the condition of a stuffy nose, as they able to breathe using their mouth for breathing substitution. However, a stuffy nose can be fatal for the newborns.
Newborns do not have the ability to breathe through their mouth; hence, the only airflow is their nose, this condition makes them often known as “obligatory nose breathers“. When the nose of newborns gets blocked, they will have difficulty in breathing so that their lives could be in harm because of such condition.
Before we continue this discussion, let us see what the causes of a blocked nose are.
What Causes Nasal Congestion?
Thick mucus in the nostrils are believed to be the major cause of nasal congestion issues, however this is not completely true. In many cases, the primary reason for the occurrence of nasal congestion is the membrane that lines the inside of nose swells, and this swelling occurs due to irritation and inflammation of the nasal tissues.
Your immune system sends more blood to the affected area when the irritation and inflammation occurs. This extra blood causes swelling of the blood vessels and block the airflow in your nose, thus making it difficult to breathing normally.
The Causes of a Stuffy Nose also Including:
- Hay Fever
- Nasal Polyp
- Common Cold
- Septum Abnormality
- Other Potential Causes of Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion can be caused by sinus inflammation and known as sinusitis. The cause from sinusitis is an infection from bacteria, viruses and fungi.
The causes of hay fever are allergens such as dust, pollen etc. Hay fever symptoms are similar to symptoms of influenza in general, only the difference is in the reason.
Nasal polyp is a tissue that grows in the lining of the nasal cavity that has a soft, non-cancerous and painless in nature. Nasal polyp generally occurs in people which suffer from an allergic reaction and chronic asthma. Air flow through the nose will be blocked by nasal polyp thereby causing nasal stuffiness.
Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing are the result of the common cold.
Flu is a disease which is caused by influenza virus, resulting in infection of the lungs, throat and nose.
Your nose is divided into two equal rooms by a thin wall called the nasal septum. If an abnormality occurs, the nasal septum can be deviated to one side, resulting in one part of the nostrils are smaller than the others and blockage of airflow occurs on one side of the nasal cavity.
Some other things that having a role in the emergence of a stuffy nose are Churg-Strauss syndrome, cold temperatures, drugs, dry air, excessive use of decongestant nasal spray, high blood pressure medication, hormonal changes, pregnancy, thyroid disorders, stress, asthma chronic etc.
How to Identify the Symptoms of a Stuffy Nose
There are many ways to identify the presence of a stuffy nose, some of the following symptoms you may recognize as the beginning of the rise of a stuffy nose include:
- Thick mucus that appears as a consequence of catarrh drained through the nostril or the back of the throat, and this process is called nasal drainage, known as the symptoms of a stuffy nose.
- When you have nasal congestion, you may find it hard to breathe quietly.
- When doing heavy jobs such as heavy lifting or exercising, you are likely to struggle for breath. This symptom is quite common for fat guy who suffer from nasal congestion.
- Blocked nose causes you always to feel that there is something stuck in the throat, it is thick the mucus produced by the mucus membranes in the nose.
- Nasal congestion causes obstructed airflow in the nose, and causes the body to lacks of oxygen. This condition leads to the headache pain.
- If you suffer from severe stuffy nose, likely the wheezing sound may appear from inside the nose during breathing.
- You have to breathe through your mouth instead of nose when gets clogged.
- Always trying to blow the stuffy nose but have no effect at all.
- You always hear the sound of crackling inside your ears.
- When someone experiences nasal congestion due to sinusitis, he/she must also experience facial pain.
Mucus buildup in the sinuses may cause pressure on the face, especially around the eyes, cheeks and forehead resulting in facial pain. These areas turn to be more sensitive when they are touched, and in some cases, the jaw and teeth may also feel the pain as well.
- Nasal congestion affects your sense of taste and smell.
Measuring The Nasal Congestion
Is there any specific way to measure the intensity of nasal congestion? To answer this question, we need to know that nasal congestion is a condition that is very difficult to measure the level of it’s severity, in other words, doctors could not determine the intensity of nasal congestion based on the patient’s only complaint.
Nasal congestion occurs when there is swelling of the nasal cavity that blockage incoming and outgoing air flow from the nose, thereby the method used by doctors is measuring the intensity of air flow through the nasal cavity so that nasal obstruction can be measured.
Sometimes the measurement using this method is not entirely accurate because doctor’s assessment of obstructed nasal may differ from those complained by the patient.
How to Get Rid Of a Stuffy Nose Fast and Naturally
There are many ways for helping to get rid of nasal congestion, and I highlight a few simple methods which you can use to ease the symptoms of nasal congestion. Please pick one of them that suits your need.
Natural Decongestants for Relieving a Stuffy Nose
The most common homemade decongestants you can follow are:
The Solution of Warm Water and Salt
The solution which is made of salt and warm water can help to relieve the nasal congestion, a very effective way and recommended by most ENT doctors specialists.
This method works by reducing the swelling of membranes inside the nose. Salt water is dripped into the nose until mixed with mucus and draws water from the swollen membranes.
The Decongestant Solution Recipe:
- Mix 250 ml of warm water with ½ teaspoon salt and stir evenly.
- Take the mixture with a medicinal dropper.
- Tilt your head and drops the solution into one nostril, allow the solution to flow in until mixed with mucus.
- Leave for half a minute and lean your head forward, let the salt water out of your nostril completely.
- Repeat this process for the other nostril.
Eucalyptus Oil and Steam for Nasal Congestion
Eucalyptus oil has been widely known as a natural remedy for a variety of sickness and it produces a distinctive odor that can alleviate your breath.
Because it has natural properties as a decongestant, eucalyptus oil can be used to reduce the congestion of a stuffy nose. When it comes in contact with inflamed nasal membranes, the breaking will occur within the blockage of mucus.
The use of eucalyptus oil is combined with steam that can help to loosen the mucus, a blend of these two ingredients will give a magical effect for a stuffy nose
Eucalyptus Oil and Steam Recipe:
- Prepare a bowl of hot water to produce the hot steam.
- Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the bowl (just 2-4 drops or as needed).
- Point your nostrils over the bowl and cover your face and bowl using a towel.
- Inhale the steam and breathe slowly for a few minutes.
- When the mucus feels to loosen in the nose, blow your nose slowly and dispose the mucus into the sink.
- Repeat this process if necessary.
Note » If you feel the steam is too hot, I suggest that you should take a break for a while.
Onion Juice as Decongestant for a Stuffy Nose
Onions are one of the natural remedies that have been widely known as a treatment for various health problems such as for relieving nasal congestion, due to decongestant properties that onions have.
The onion has decongestant properties that can afford to relieve nasal congestion. In addition, the onions also contain sulfur, which is able to draw out the mucus and fluids inside the body. Not only that, but the onion also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties so that it can use to treat the infection in the nose as well as sinus cavities due to nasal congestion.
Try inhaling while slicing a raw onion to loosen up the mucus inside the sinus cavities. Alternatively, you can also eat raw onions as salads or in soups to acquire positive effect on congestion. If you need something powerful to overcome a bad stuffy nose, you try the following recipe:
Onion Juice Recipe:
- Prepare 1-2 onions and ½ teaspoon of honey (optional).
- Grate or crush the onion until smooth and then squeeze out the juice.
- Take 2-3 tablespoons of onion juice, then warm up the juice.
- Add the honey into the juice in case you can’t afford with raw onion juice.
- Swallow the onion juice immediately and let it work as a decongestant.
- The mixture will show quick action and you will be pleased with the obtained results.
Note » Do not this medication to babies and newborns
Spicy Foods for Nasal Congestion Removal
If you are a fan of spicy food, then consuming spicy foods is an effective way to relieve nasal congestion, because the spicy food is an excellent natural decongestant. Spicy foods contain chilies in them. Chilies contain a chemical called capsaicin that serves as a decongestant properties.
Capsaicin causes inflammation in the nerves, leading to increased production of thin mucus in the nose, thus eliminating the thick mucus. Capsaicin is similar to a chemical drug called guaifenesin and usually used for prescription cold remedy.
Spicy Food Recipe:
Cook a bowl of chicken soup, then add ten drops of chili-pepper sauce, more if necessary. Eat while it is hot to get a greater decongestant effect. When suffering from a stuffy nose, I suggest you consume broth and spicy soups frequently.
Besides, you can also make a chili tea. Make a mixture of two dried chili flakes, two teaspoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey, then put them into hot water, leave it for five minutes. Strain and drink it while still warm to help relieve the blocked nose.
Citrus Fruits for Nasal Congestion Removal
Orange, mandarin, lime and lemon is a bunch of citruses that have been widely known to be effective in loosening the mucous.
Among these citruses, the mandarin oranges are referred to as the most excellent in dealing with nasal congestion. Mandarin orange contains Synephrine, which is a compound that has decongestant properties 7 times more than another citrus.
List of Citrus Fruits for Getting Rid of Blocked Nose:
- Mandarin Oranges
- Lime and Lemon
You can eat the citrus, drink the juice or used them as aroma therapy, and consume until you get relief from nasal congestion.
Ginger Root for Relieving the Nasal Congestion
Ginger root is a natural anti-inflammation that can be used to reduce the blockage in the nasal congestion.
Ginger Root Recipe:
- Prepare a piece of ginger root.
- Clean up the outer skin of the ginger root and crush the ginger root.
- Pour boiling hot water and put ginger root into hot water.
- Add sugar as flavor enhancer let it for a few minutes and drink ginger when it’s still warm.
Aromatic Herbs as Natural Nasal Decongestant
Aromatic herbs usually contain essential oils. These oils can act as a natural decongestant, thus making it excellent to get rid of a stuffy nose.
In addition, essential oils also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help to cure the infection due to mucus that accumulates inside the nasal cavity.
You can use these herbs as tea, chew them, or as additional to your primary food. Whereas the most convenient way is inhaling the vapors from these herbs, just add one or two herbs into hot water and inhale the steam. You will get relief from nasal congestion fast.
Aromatic Herbs as Nasal Congestion Remedies
Bellow you will find some of aromatic herbs for relieve of nasal congestion:
- Wild bee balm
- Yerba mansa
How to Relieve Nasal Congestion Using Additional Methods
The following ways are some of methods that you can use to get rid of nasal congestion:
This method is very easy to do, the heat that you get from a warm compress can help to reduce the inflammation inside your nose and reduce any pain that you may have around your nose.
Warm Compress for Blocked Nose:
- Prepare a bowl of water and a washcloth.
- Heat up the water to a certain temperature which is convenient for the skin.
- Soak the washcloth into the water and wait a few moments, then squeeze the excessive water from the washcloth.
- Place the washcloth over your face, it’s better to do while lying down.
- If you feel uncomfortable, just put the washcloth only around your nose area and do not cover your nostrils.
- If the washcloth getting cold, soak into the warm water again.
- Perform this process over and over again until you get relief from nasal congestion.
Humidifiers for Relieving Blocked Nose
A humidifier is a machine that is used to increase the humidity of the room. The increasing moist air due to humidifiers helps a lot to relieve a stuffy nose, because the moist air is able to soothe irritation of the nasal tissue.
In addition, it is also reduces inflammation in the blood vessels of the nose and sinuses, hence it is very good for getting rid of a stuffy nose.
Humidifiers also help break up the thick mucus in your nasal cavity, so that the fluids inside the nasal cavity will be easily removed, therefore you will be clear up a stuffy nose easily. Humidifiers are very good if used in cold weather.
Drink a Lot of Fluids to Keep Hydrated
Your body is composed of 80% water, keeping your body hydrated is essential for dilute thick mucus which blocking your nasal cavity.
The best fluid you can consume is water; however you may drink liquids in other forms as well. Drinking tea, juice, soup or other liquid which helps you stay hydrated. Try to avoid the carbonated drinks as they have high sugar content.
This fluid dilutes the thick mucus in the nasal cavity so that the pressure inside your sinuses reduced. Mucus may easily removed, and your nose obstruction free eventually. Decreasing pressure which causes irritation and swelling are also reduce.
What Kind of Drinks You May Consume
- Warm soup
- Hot Tea
- Juice (Any Kind of Juice)
Nasal Congestion Removal using Inhale Steam
This treatment is a traditional method, but it is very effective to get rid of a stuffy nose. The heat and moisture generated by the steam may reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in your nasal cavity.
Inhale System Method:
- Take a bowl of hot water and a towel.
- Place the bowl on the table and then navigate your nose over the bowl by slightly leaning your body.
- Cover your head with the towel so that there are no leakages from the steam.
- Inhale the steam which coming out of the bowl for a few minutes until you get relief from a stuffy nose.
- Steam inhalation at night will make you have a good sleep.
The Benefit of Steamy Shower for Breaking Stuffy Nose
If you are a kind of busy person, perhaps the steamy shower method can help you escape from a stuffy nose. This method is very easy, and you can use it while bathing.
The Steamy Shower Method:
- Put a towel on the bottom of your bathroom’s door, so that the steam does not come out of the bottom of the door.
- Now increase the temperature, and inhale in and out the steam which generated by the bathroom.
- The steam will help thin out thick mucus within your nose and reduce inflammation therein.
- Using this method will get rid of your stuffy nose quickly.
The Traditional Acupressure to Relieve Nasal Congestion
Acupressure is an ancient technique that is very effective method for healing any complaints on the body, including nasal congestion.
By pressing the appropriate point on the face, you can easily eliminate blocked nose and certainly does not need any help of specialists.
How to Do Acupressure Technique:
To relieve a stuffy nose, use both of your index finger and place them at the end of upper nasal cavity near both corner of your eyes.
- Gently massage this area with both fingers in a circular motions for about 30 seconds.
- Gently massage your ear lobes using your thumbs and index fingers in a circular motions for 30 seconds as well.
- Finally, massage your cheekbones with your thumbs in a circular motions for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this massages for 10 times, you will quickly get relief from a stuffy nose.
Drain Your Sinus Using Neti Pot to Relieve Nasal Congestion
Neti pot is a traditional equipment that has been widely used for a long time to get rid of a stuffy nose.
The design of neti pots is very effective to push the water out through your nasal passages. You require saline water filled into the neti pot to relieve nasal congestion.
The deeply understanding on how to use the neti pot properly prior doing this saline irrigation is required. However, when you have learned it, the saline irrigation techniques may be the best method to relieve a stuffy nose.
The Neti Pots Technique:
- Take ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1-2 cups warm water (preferably sterile or distilled water) and a neti pot.
- Add salt into the neti pot and fill with warm water, stir them evenly.
- Tilt your head over the sink, one nostril facing the ceiling and the other one facing into the sink.
- Breathe through your mouth, then put the spout of the neti pot into the nostril which facing upward.
- Tilt slightly the neti pot so that the salt water flowing into the nostril.
- Make sure the salt water flowing out from other nostril by changing the tilt of your head.
- Move the spout of the neti pot into the other nostril when you feel that half of the salt water is empty.
- Finally, you must drain all water out from both nostril by breathe through the nostrils repeatedly after the process is complete.
Using Antihistamine Drugs to Get Rid of a Stuffy Nose
Antihistamine is a type of drugs that is capable of obstructing a chemical called histamine. The human body produces histamine naturally, whenever there is an allergic reaction inside the body. Therefore, the treatment using antihistamines for a stuffy nose can only be done when the cause is an allergic reaction.
When there is an allergic reaction, the body immediately produces the histamine. Histamine causes swelling of the nasal cavity. When you take an antihistamine, it obstructs the histamine, thereby reducing the swelling of the nasal cavity.
You can obtain an antihistamine drug in a local drug store, but you should choose antihistamine drugs that have been combined with decongestants because these kind of medications are much better in dealing with nasal congestion. Antihistamines come in the form of pills or nasal spray.
Nasal Decongestants for Relieving Stuffy Nose
You can provide short-term relief of a stuffy nose with nasal decongestants medication. However, these drugs do not cure the primary cause of nasal congestion, instead of just giving quick relief for your blocked nose.
Nasal decongestants are available in the form of pills, liquids or nasal spray and usually include chemicals such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.
When you use nasal spray inside the nasal cavity, they are in direct contact with the membranes lining the nasal area that swelling. The spray helps to reduce the swelling of the nasal area, making you breathe free from tension.
You should not use nasal decongestants medication to the children under 12 years of age, women who are breastfeeding or people with high blood pressure, and avoid the use nasal decongestants for more than 7 days because they can worsen such condition.
Avoid The Following Things When You Get a Stuffy Nose
√ Avoid blowing your nose, because it will worsen the situation.
√ Avoid smoking because it will increase the inflammation inside the nostrils.
√ Avoid lying down on your side while have a sleep, because it will aggravate the blockage. Try to make your head upright or elevated.
√ Avoid variety of dairy products such as cheese, ice cream and milk because they worsen the condition as these products increase the mucus secretion.
However, keep in mind that a stuffy nose can be a symptom of something bigger inside your body, from sinus infections to nasal polyps, whereas a stuffy nose remedies can only provide temporary relief at times. If you encounter one of the symptoms below, then you are certainly need the help of a doctor.
1. Forehead, eyes and cheeks swell when you get a stuffy nose.
2. Yellow or white spots appear on your throat.
3. Blurred vision when you suffer from a stuffy nose.
4. When coughing, the greenish or grayish mucus come out of your nostrils.
5. If you suffer from a stuffy nose for more than 15 days
If you experience the above symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor for further treatments.
Hopefully the information presented above can help you identify and how to do the treatments for a stuffy nose in easy ways. Have a nice day.