- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Get Rid of Nasal Congestion - 7 Simple Tips
Have you ever had one of those nights when you just can't sleep because of that stuffy feeling? You pile up your pillows to elevate your head, hoping that doing so will help you breathe easier and finally allow you to sleep. This is just one of the troubles that comes with nasal congestion. A stuffy nose, as others like to call it, is the condition wherein your nasal tissues and blood vessels become inflamed and irritated. While nasal congestion is usually just an annoyance for adults, it can become dangerous for children, especially infants. Read on and learn how to get rid of nasal congestion with these simple tips.
What Causes Nasal Congestion?
As mentioned above, nasal congestion occurs when your nasal passages become swollen and irritated. You might wonder what causes this irritation. The common culprits are irritants such as smoke, dust, and sudden temperature changes. As your body's defense mechanism, excess mucus is produced to drive away these irritants and prevent them from penetrating your lungs. Other causes of nasal congestion include the common cold, influenza (flu), and allergies.
How to Get Rid of Nasal Congestion
1. Drink plenty of water.
One of the easiest ways to treat nasal congestion is to drink plenty of water. This helps thin out the mucus, making it easier to blow out of your nose.
2. Use decongestants.
To reduce inflammation of your nasal passages, try using decongestants. They come in oral form and nasal sprays. Just remember that while decongestants can help you get rid of nasal congestion fast, they can also make your condition worse if you use them too much. For this reason, it is recommended to check with your doctor first before using decongestants and ask for proper instructions.
3. Use saline nasal sprays.
For fast relief, use saline nasal sprays to relieve nasal congestion and clear your sinuses. You can buy one at your local drugstore or make one at home. Simply mix two teaspoons of non-iodized salt with distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water. Add one teaspoon of baking soda, mix the solution, then leave it at room temperature. Grab a bulb syringe and fill it with the solution. Tilt your head to one side and pour the saline solution into one nostril. Gently blow your nose then irrigate the other side of your nose.
4. Steam your face.
Perhaps the biggest nuisance when dealing with congestion is difficulty in breathing. But you can work your way around this by simply steaming your face. You can try placing a warm towel on your face or filling a pan with hot water then positioning your head so that the steam goes up directly at your face. You will find that these methods will allow you to breathe easier.
5. Try antihistamines.
If your stuffy nose comes with itchy eyes and sneezing, there's a good chance that it is caused by an allergy. In this case, use antihistamines to control the symptoms of your allergy. Always remember to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.
6. Install a humidifier.
Dry air can exacerbate your condition and prolong the healing process. Increase moisture in your home by using a humidifier. Make sure to clean your humidifier regularly to avoid bacteria buildup.
7. See your doctor.
Nasal congestion can be a sign of a more serious health problem. If congestion is accompanied by high fever, green and bloody nasal discharge, and if symptoms last for more than a week, consult your doctor immediately. Remember that congestion can be serious especially for infants. Your doctor can help you get rid of nasal congestion and treat other possible medical conditions.
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