Stuffy Nose


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is a stuffy nose?

Breathing is something we take for granted especially when our nose is fully open and functioning just as good. It takes a stuffed nose to know that breathing itself is a luxury, that it can be quite a labor. However, a stuffy nose, as is commonly misunderstood, is not the result of an accumulation of mucus. It is caused by an inflammation of the blood vessels around your sinuses.

This kind of congestion is triggered by the flu, cold, allergy, or a sinus infection. It may or may not be accompanied by nasal discharge. In other words, a stuffy nose is not always a runny nose. There could be many reasons for a stuffy nose, but there are easy home remedies that provide much-needed relief.

What causes a stuffy nose?

A number of medical conditions could be responsible for a stuffy nose. Some of them are:

  • Acute sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Alcohol
  • Allergies
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Common cold
  • Decongestant nasal spray overuse
  • Deviated septum
  • Dry air
  • Enlarged adenoids
  • Food, especially spicy dishes
  • Foreign body in the nose
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis(Wegener’s granulomatosis)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, depression, seizures, and other conditions
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nonallergic rhinitis(chronic congestion or sneezing not related to allergies)
  • Occupational asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Tobacco smoke

Home remedies for the stuffy nose

There are a number of home remedies for a stuffy nose. They greatly help in improving the condition of the person afflicted with this condition. Some of the remedies for a stuffy nose are as follows:

Using a humidifier

Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor or steam and help to raise the humidity in the air. A humidifier not only reduces sinus pain but also relieves a stuffy nose. It is useful for clearing up bloody noses and cracked lips as well. Breathing in the moist air soothes irritated tissues and reduces the swelling in the blood vessels of your nose and sinuses. They also help thin the mucus in your sinuses. This helps empty the fluids in your nose, returning your breathing back to normal. However, before you use a humidifier take care to ensure that it is not dirty, as it can spread disease. Also, ensure that your doctor is also aware that you are using a humidifier for medical reasons.

Taking a hot shower

It is a common observation that after a shower, you not only feel clean and delightful but also energetic and healthy. Taking a shower helps your body to relax, the inflammation in your nose to reduce, and mucus to thin out. This leads to normal breathing at least for a while. It is actually the steam in the hot shower that is working the wonders.

You can get the same results by using a steam vaporizer also. A steam vaporizer uses electricity to power an element that turns water into steam by heating it. The steam cools down as it leaves the vaporizer and enters the air. Inhaling this steam in deep breaths under a blanket provides relief from a stuffy nose. Steam vaporizers are available in supermarkets and medical stores and online.

Using a neti pot to drain out your sinuses

You can use a neti pot to flush mucus and other fluids from your nose. The FDA recommends using distilled water instead of tap water. Stand over the bathroom sink. Insert the neti pot into one side of the nose. The water will come out through the other side of the nose along with other nasal fluids. After one minute, the same is repeated through the other side of the nose. This process of using a neti pot to flush out nasal fluids helps to reduce nasal congestion.

Keep yourself hydrated with juices

Keeping yourself hydrated is good in every way. Hydration helps to thin the mucus in your nasal passage and reduces the pressure on your sinuses. Reducing the pressure on your sinuses helps to reduce inflammation and irritation. In this way, hydration helps overcome nasal congestion. So next time you have a case of a stuffy nose, be sure to make some juice or go for a sports drink. And if you have a sore throat as well, tea and soup are both very effective at getting rid of it.

Use saline sprays for better hydration

Using a saline spray may be the most effective way of hydration when you have nasal congestion. The saline spray helps to thin the mucus out and reduces the inflammation of the sinuses. Both of these help to reduce nasal congestion. In addition, some saline sprays have decongestants which also work to reduce nasal congestion. Do consult a doctor before using a nasal spray with a decongestant. The symptoms of a stuffy nose can get worse if you use a saline spray with decongestants for more than 3 days.

Use a warm compress

A warm compress is one of the easiest ways to clear a stuffy nose. Dip a towel in warm water. Drain excess water from the wet towel. Fold it and place it on the forehead above the nose. If there is any lingering pain the nose, it can help provide relief from the same. It will also reduce the inflammation and provide relief from a stuffy nose.

Use decongestants

Decongestants help reduce the swelling in the blood vessels and tissues in your nose. This reduces nasal congestion. However, they do not help treat symptoms such as itching and sneezing. Many decongestants are available as over the counter medications. Decongestants are available as pills, drops, and sprays. Always consult a doctor before adding a decongestant to your treatment regimen, especially if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Glaucoma
  • Heart conditions
  • High blood pressure that’s not under control
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Thyroid problems

Take antihistamines or allergy medicines

Taking allergy medicines or antihistamines might help with a stuffy nose if the clogged nose is a result of an allergic reaction. It helps reduce the swelling in the nasal passage, thus reducing the stuffiness in the nose. Sometimes an antihistamine or allergy medicine is used in combination with a decongestant. When done so, it may help alleviate the symptoms of a stuffy nose faster. Consult your doctor for more details on this.

In addition, antihistamines can make you drowsy and so be particularly careful as to what time you choose to take them. If you are required to be productive at some particular time, you can take the antihistamines later on.

Take pain relievers

Although they do not clear up the nasal passage, the pain relievers can help reduce the pain caused by the pressure on the sinuses. Treating this common symptom provides much-needed relief when you have a stuffy nose. Some of the OTC painkillers available are ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen.

When to check with a doctor

Check with a doctor if you have had nasal congestion for over a week or if your symptoms are severe. These could be the symptoms of another underlying medical condition and may need further treatment. Also, check with a doctor when you have taken any OTC decongestants and your condition has not improved in 7 days.

Children and Stuffy Noses

Congestion in babies is generally caused by flu, colds, and allergies. Since all of these conditions are caused by viruses, antibiotics are useless against them. The symptoms may be treated with supportive treatments, but there is no immediate cure for them.

Home remedies for a stuffy nose in children

Clear Out Mucus

  • Use an infant nasal bulb to clear out the mucus from your baby’s nose. You can use saline sprays to loosen the mucus and reduce the swelling.
  • Have your children blow their noses if they are able to.
  • Cough and cold medicine must not be used in kids under the age of 4 unless recommended by the pediatrician.

Give Fluids

  • If your baby is over 3 months, offer the breast milk or formula that your baby usually takes.
  • Older children can take soups and other health drinks.

Humidify

  • If the air is dry, use a cool-mist humidifier.
  • Sit in the bathroom with the hot shower running and have your child breathe in the steam.

Treat other symptoms

  • If your child is older than 1 year, a teaspoonful of honey might help with the cough.
  • Avoid smoking around the children as this can irritate their throats.
  • Treat chapping by rubbing petroleum jelly under the nose.
  • Talk to your pediatrician if your child has allergies.

When must you consult a doctor?

You must consult a doctor if your child has nasal congestion and:

  • Symptoms last longer than two weeks
  • The child is three months or younger
  • Severe cough or cough that sounds like a bark
  • The rate of breathing is very rapid
  • Has fever and cough
  • Ear pain

When must you call 911?

  • Suddenly starts coughing or choking after being fed
  • Has difficulty breathing or is unable to breathe
  • Is unable to talk or eat
  • Has a cough associated with a skin color change
  • Seems out of breath

Dos and Don’ts

Final Words

It is so common that you cannot really avoid a stuffy nose. And you cannot really ignore a stuffy nose. A stuffy nose is a health condition that could be the result of several underlying medical conditions, and some of them could be serious. Treat a stuffy nose early in children. Try to treat the stuffy nose with one or more of the home remedies mentioned in this article. If to no avail, then visit a doctor. It would be good if you consult a doctor early if the symptoms are moderate. If the symptoms shown by your child are severe, call 911 immediately.

Facts

  • Both the nose and the mouth can serve as entry points for air entering the lungs.
  • The cilia in the nose trap all the bad stuff that you breathe including pollutants, allergens, smoke, and even some bacteria and viruses.

Facts

  • Your nose protects you with its sense of smell, a fundamental sense that is vital to all life.

Facts

  • The nose brings down the air you breathe to a normal temperature that suits the body.
  • It plays a critical role in our perceptions of sex through the olfactory system.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air.
  • Use a steam vaporizer to improve breathing.
  • Take a hot shower.
Don'ts
  • Take decongestants for more than 3 days without consulting a doctor.
  • Give cough and cold medicines to a child below 4 years of age.
  • Take antihistamines when you need to be productive.

 

 

 

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DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
Plexus Slim: Is this pink slimming drink the ultimate one-stop fat burner? How effective is Plexus Slim in helping people lose weight? What are its ingredients? Can it be safely…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
liver cleanse detox
14 go-to foods that are best for a complete natural liver detox Liver cleanse can be achieved by just choosing or avoiding certain types of food. Liver itself is a detoxifying…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
EEG
Electroencephalogram – EEG EEG or electroencephalogram is a diagnostic tool used to access the functioning of neurons and brain activity to…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
Vitamin-D-blood-test
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test is a blood test used to measure the level of vitamin D in the…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
Unbelievable health benefits of gooseberries (and a few tasty recipes) Gooseberries are antioxidant-rich tasty fruits that can be easily added in daily diet to improve overall health and…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…