A stuffy nose, or nasal congestion, can be frustrating and often affect your day-to-day life.
Many people think a stuffy nose is the result of too much mucus in the nasal passages. However, a clogged nose is usually the result of inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. A cold, the flu, allergies, or a sinus infection can all inflame these blood vessels.
Regardless of the reason for your stuffed-up nose, there are easy ways to relieve it. Here are some things you can do now to feel and breathe better.
Use a humidifier
A humidifier can be a quick and easy way to reduce sinus pain and help relieve nasal congestion.
The machine converts water to moisture that slowly fills the air, increasing the humidity in a room.
Breathing in this moist air can soothe irritated tissues and swollen blood vessels in your nose and sinuses. Some people claim that heated, humidified air can also help congested mucus drain better.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of nasal congestion, you may still benefit from placing humidifiers around your house or office.
Take a shower
Have you ever had a stuffy nose and found that you could breathe so much better after a hot shower? There may be a good reason for that.
Steam from a shower may help to thin out the mucus in your nose and reduce inflammation. Taking a hot shower can help your breathing return to normal, at least for a little while.
You can get the same effect by breathing in steam from hot water in a sink. Here’s how:
Turn on the hot water in your bathroom sink.
Once the temperature is right, place a towel over your head and put your head over the sink.
Allow the steam to build and take in deep breaths.
Be careful not to burn your face on the hot water or steam.
It’s important to drink plenty of fluids if you suspect you have a cold or are experiencing flu symptoms.
Maintaining optimum hydration levels can help thin the mucus in your nasal passages, pushing the fluids out of your nose and decreasing the pressure in your sinuses. Less pressure means less inflammation and irritation.
If you’re also experiencing a sore throat, warm liquids like tea may be able to help ease the discomfort in your throat, too.
Use a warm compress
A warm compress may help alleviate some symptoms of nasal congestion by opening the nasal passages from the outside.
To make a warm compress, first, soak a towel in warm water. Next, squeeze the water out of the towel, then fold it and place it over your nose and forehead.
The warmth can provide comfort from any pain and help relieve the inflammation in the nostrils. Repeat this as often as necessary.