You haven’t slept in weeks and you’re frustrated enough to punch through a wall. Nasal congestion is no trivial health mater. It’s incredibly common, and increasing draining for those who have severe enough breathing problems. Causes can range from allergies, hay fever, and air pollution to sinus infections and a deviated septum. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of inexpensive and easy solutions for your nasal congestion. Not all of them will work for you, so make sure to try a number of methods in combination with each other. Here are 11 ways to get rid of nasal congestions:
1. Try a humidifier or vaporizer.
Steam is a powerful decongestant. Purchasing a humidifier or vaporizer is an easy, if expensive, solution to your nasal congestion problems. Most people find that they are especially stuffed up at night because they are lying down. A humidifier or vaporizer can be plugged in and left to run while you sleep. If your congestion problems are severe enough, these devices are well worth the investment.
2. Use saline rinse.
You might have seen this method on Dr. Oz! The Neti Pot has become an overnight success because of the extravagant T.V. doctor. Simply put, you flush out your nasal cavities with a salt-water solution by pouring it in one nostril and out the other. Salt-water works as a powerful decongestant. The physical rinsing clears out excessive mucus, allergens, and debris, leaving you refreshed in the process.
3. Use nasal spray.
As opposed to rinses, nasal sprays inject a medicated or salt-water spray into your nostrils. Both have the ability to reduce swelling and open your nasal cavity. Unlike the saline rinse, which can be uncomfortable for some, nasal sprays are a quick and easy way to reduce congestion.
You can talk to your doctor about medicated sprays. These sprays can contain anti-histamines or anti-allergy medication. Most physicians will recommended this as a first step before trying oral medications.
4. Drink water.
It might seem bizarre, but drinking water actually helps with congestion! Your mother probably always told you to stay hydrated when you weren’t feeling well. It turns out she was right! You had best call her this instant to thank her for her wisdom.
Drinking fluids thins out the mucus in your nose. This prevents blockages and makes it easier to relieve pressure by blowing your nose. Obviously this method should be used in combination with other options for best results, but it is an easy way to help with the problem!
5. Compress with a warm cloth.
Getting rid of nasal congestion can be as simple as heated a cloth and placing it over your face. A warm compress is a solution for a number of medical issues, including nasal congestion.
The heat of a warm compress helps expand and relax your airways, making it easier for you to breath. Much like drinking water, this is a very easy and simple solution and can be used with other methods for more effective results.
6. Keep yourself elevated.
Having trouble sleeping? This is probably because your nasal congestion is significantly worse when lying down. Between difficulty breathing and the oral health problems caused by mouth breathing, you want to solve this problem as soon as possible. Instead of lying flat on your bed, trying sleeping slightly upright. This will help relieve the pressure, and help you sleep.
Remember, your body always has an easier time fighting disease and allergens when well rested.
7. Avoid chlorine pools.
Chlorine is not a decongestant: this is an old wives tale. Chlorine actually irritates and inflames nasal cavities. While you might feel immediate relief from the water flushing your nasal cavity, this is only temporary. Once out of the water, your congestion could be worse. Salt-water pools however should provide some relief, much like the saline rinse devices.
8. Change your furnace filter.
The air you’re breathing in can basically be poisonous for you. Allergies are essentially your immune system identifying certain airborne particles and attacking them ruthlessly at the expensive of your breathing abilities.
Your furnace should filter out these particles, but your furnace gets dirty easily. Changing the filter every 6 months instead of the recommended 1-year period is an easy way to ensure you’re breathing in clean air.
9. Use an air purifier.
If changing your furnace filter didn’t help, invest in an air purifier. This device actively filters the air in the room, weeding out dust and other allergens. We don’t often think about the air we breathe in because it’s such a natural action. An air purifier can put an end to your congestion problems.
10. Take a shower.
Again, steam can be a powerful weapon against your sinus problems. Having a long, hot shower relaxes and expands your airways, creating instant relief. If you’re dealing with a chest cold, or the flu, having a shower also relieves chest congestion. It’s another cheap and easy solution you should try before jumping into expensive medications or equipment.
11. Try over the counter medication.
Non-prescription medication can be the quickest and easiest solution. Nasal congestion can be the result of a number of factors including illness, allergies, and hay fever. Fortunately there are specific decongestants for each of these causes. Most contain anti-histamines which reduce the swelling in your nasal cavity. Be careful not to overuse this method, and if you continue to have nasal congestion problems be sure to…
12. Consult a doctor.
Nasal congestion can be incredibly frustrating. You might have tried all of these methods in the past with no success. Sometimes the underlying causes can be so severe that no home remedy will help. Talk to your doctor. If they can pinpoint the cause of your problem, the solutions will be more effective.
Some allergy or hay fever medication/nasal sprays can only be prescribed by a physician, and are stronger than over the counter products. Even if you’re having success with another method, getting your problem diagnosed is never a bad idea!
Nasal congestion isn’t a problem to take lightly. Sleep loss, oral health problems, and annoyed coworkers (from your sniffles) and some of the potential side effects of your congestions can seriously affect your normal lifestyle. Even worse, you might think you’re only dealing with allergies, and find out it’s something more serious. Sinus infections can wreak havoc on your overall health, and a deviated septum will not clear up on its own. Don’t suffer for another day. Try our methods for fast and easy results!