There is nothing worse than having a stuffy nose. Limiting your ability to breathe and talk, it is something that is irritating during the day and can be unbearable at night. There are many things that can cause a stuffy nose, which is much different from a runny nose. The way to get rid of it is largely dependent upon what it is that caused it to begin with.
What is a stuffy nose?
Often people lump stuffy noses with runny noses when they are very different conditions. A stuffy nose is when your nasal passages are either occluded or they are swollen. It limits your ability to breathe in through your nose, and if severe enough, it can affect the sinuses leading to a host of other issues. The worst thing that you can do for a stuffy nose is to continue to blow and irritate the nasal passages. If there is nothing coming from your nose, it is best to stop agitating it. The more you fuss with it, the more inflamed it will become. It is best to try other forms of control than to try to clear it.
Stuffy noses that are caused by colds or flu
When you have a cold or the flu, your nasal passages respond by sending a large amount of mucus to fight off the virus, or bacterial agent. That is what leads to a stuffy nose. At first, you probably can clear it through blowing your nose, but the more often you try, the more it becomes endemic leading to the perpetuation of the problem.
12 ways to treat a stuffy nose
There are many products that contain the ingredient menthol. It can do a great job at reducing swelling in the nose and opening up the nasal passages. Do not apply it directly to the nasal cavity, but instead around the chest or other areas that are less sensitive. Being very caustic you want to avoid contact with any mucus membranes.
2. Vicks rub or vapor
Vicks is an over the counter panacea for sinus and nasal congestion. You can either use it by rubbing it on your chest or under the nose for the suave. Another alternative is to add vicks to your humidifier in it’s liquid form. That gives you the advantage of humidity for additional relief.
Adding Eucalyptus to a vaporizer is a great way to relieve swelling due to stuffy noses. Adding just a teaspoon of it in its liquid form to the water you are adding to your vaporizer, can have you breathing easily all night long. The combination of the vapor and eucalyptus is amazing at keeping your clear all night long.
Using hot steam to alleviate the swelling from a stuffy nose can open up the passages and allow you to get some relief. Heat some water in a pot and hold your face over the pan with a towel over your head. Breathe as you normally would for about 5 to 10 minutes. To get an even greater effect, add eucalyptus or menthol to the pot.
5. Saline or salt water
Saline wash is an excellent panacea to whatever is causing your stuffy nose. Saline can be purchased over the counter, and so can its equivalent, sea salt water. Turn your head upside down and allow a couple of drops of saline to seep into your nose. After allowing it to reach your sinuses, you can sit up and blow the remaining water with a tissue. The salt should help to heal the inflammation and give you some immediate relief..
6. Spicy foods or Tabasco
There is a reason you feel like you get a great sinus clean out when you eat hot foods, it opens up the nasal passages to compensate for the racing of blood throughout the body. If you want to clear up your stuffy nose, try some hot peppers or some tabasco. It is a great way to get your taste back, and to clear up your sinus congestion. Add just a dash or two to your favorite steaming hot bowl of soup. The combination of the two will help to give you some real relief.
7. Chicken or other hot soups
When you eat hot soups, your nose begins to run. That can help to open up a stuffy nose and to allow you to breathe again. The heat from the soup will help to open your sinuses and help you to breathe more normally. A great overall cure for the flu or colds, hot soups, and chicken can help you to fight the inflammation from a cold.
8. Hot shower
In the same manner that holding your head over steam works, standing in a hot shower for a while will clear up your sinuses. The steam from the shower works in the same way to help you alleviate some of the stuffiness and to find relief from the inflamed nasal passages.
9. Hot tea
Drinking hot tea has much the same effect as hot soup on the nasal passages. There are also some teas such as chamomile or mint that help to relax your system, and to reduce inflammation. Try to avoid those teas that have natural caffeine. Making the blood rush can have the reverse effect.
Ginger is a herb that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Either mix it with some water, add it to some hot tea or put it in a pot to steam your nasal passages. You will be surprised how quickly it can bring you some relief and allow you to breathe normally again.
When you are dehydrated, your cells begin to hoard water. When that happens, it can cause inflammation. That is why when you have the flu and a fever, it is not uncommon to become dehydrated. Being dehydrated can further the effects of inflammation in the sinus cavities. That is why if you are sick, it is very important for you to remain hydrated. The more dehydrated you become, the worse the symptoms will become. Drinking lots of fluids will help you remain hydrated.
12. A cold mist or warm mist humidifier
If your nasal passages become dry, they will inflame. That is why you notice a stuffy nose much more frequently during the cold weather months when the heat is constantly running . Putting a humidifier in your spaces will help you from “drying out” which can wreak havoc to your sinus cavities. It doesn’t matter if you use warm of cool mist, it is the vaporized water that helps the sinuses remain moist and it prevents them from swelling and feeling “stuffy”.