How to clear nasal congestion

How to clear nasal congestion

How to clear nasal congestion

If you have a common cold, the flu, sinusitis or allergies, one of the main symptoms you may be struggling with is a blocked, stuffy nose. This is known as nasal congestion, and it can be extremely uncomfortable and painful to experience.

When you’re suffering with nasal congestion, you might find it difficult to breathe. This is due to the inflammation of your nasal passages causing them to swell which in turn, restricts the air flow in and out of your nose. You might also find it hard to blow your nose, as the inflammation and swelling inside your nose can cause mucus to build-up, leading to that ‘stuffed up’ feeling. Nasal congestion is often accompanied by other cold-like symptoms too, such as headaches, a temperature and fatigue[1].

What helps with nasal congestion?

Blocked sinuses can also be a sign of sinusitis – a viral infection which causes inflammation of your sinus lining[2]. Since the mucus produced by your sinuses can no longer move freely, these passages become congested, and you may feel like your nose is completely blocked. You might even feel some pain and pressure in your cheeks, around your eyes and across the forehead.

How to relieve nasal congestion

– Use a decongestant

For short-term relief from the tell-tale symptoms associated with nasal congestion, such as a blocked nose and pressure in your cheeks, around your eyes and across your forehead, you could try using a decongestant. This effective treatment works by reducing the swelling of the blood vessels inside your nose, which in turn, can help open up the airways, allowing you to breathe more easily and relieving sinus pressure[2].

Available in tablets and capsules, as well as a nasal spray, syrups and even flavoured dissolvable sachets, decongestants can be purchased from any pharmacy without the need for a prescription from your GP. However, it is important that you discuss your symptoms with your pharmacist to ensure you use the right decongestant for you.

Use a saline nasal spray

Using a saline nasal spray is an effective way to relieve congestion[1]. This treatment works by increasing the moisture inside your nostrils and thinning out the mucus in your nasal passages. As a result, this can reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling. It’s important to note that some saline sprays include decongestant, so make sure you read the label carefully or speak to your pharmacist if you’re unsure.

Target specific symptoms with effective remedies

Aside from experiencing a blocked nose and sinus pressure, nasal congestion can cause a range of other symptoms too, such as headaches, a sore throat and a high temperature. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective remedies available that can help target these specific symptoms.

For example, if you’re struggling with headaches, you could take paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve this pain, as well as help bring down your temperature if you’ve got a fever[4]. If you have a sore throat, you could try using an Ultra Chloraseptic throat spray for effective, fast relief  from any pain or discomfort.

Drink lots of fluids

Staying hydrated is a must, especially when you feel unwell, but did you know that drinking lots of fluids can help thin the mucus inside your nose too? As a result, this can help prevent blocked sinuses, so make sure you drink plenty of water[1]. You could even sip on fruit juice or squash diluted with water to keep your fluid levels topped up.

Use a humidifier

A humidifier is an electrical device that helps to increase the moisture in the air, which in turn can ease your symptoms by reducing your nasal congestion. The extra moisture in the air can also help prevent your nose from drying out and soothe any stuffiness you may be experiencing. You might want to position a humidifier in your bedroom to use at night to help you sleep better.

Try a warm compress

For quick yet effective relief from nasal congestion, you could try using a warm compress. Simply soak a flannel or small towel in warm water, squeeze out any excess and then place it across your forehead and eyes. The compress will feel warm and comforting against your skin, and it is an easy way to soothe your symptoms.