Nasal congestion can occur when the nasal passage membranes or tissues become swollen and irritated. The inflammation and the excess fluid in these membranes cause the nose to feel stuffy. It can occur due to a sinus infection, common cold, flu or allergies.
Usually, the symptoms of nasal congestion clear up once the underlying cause is treated. But stuffy nose can be very problematic and cause a lot of discomfort to children and adults alike. However, it is possible to find relief from nasal congestion with simple remedies and treatment options.
Treatment Options for Nasal Congestion
Home remedies are a popular way find relief from nasal congestion. But you can also use over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to tackle decongestion and inflammation.
- Home Remedies:
Hydration is important to relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion. Drinking water, ginger tea and soup can all work wonders in clearing a stuffy nose. Fluids aid mucus breakdown and thus clear sinuses. Steam can also solve the problem of a stuffy nose. Ideal for adults and older children as there is risk of burn injuries from hot pot or boiling water. But inhaling steam can clear up congestion in no time. Hot showers can also provide relief from nasal congestion in the similar way. Using a hot pack over the nose can clear away congestion. You can do so with a washcloth or towel damp with hot water. Elevating head at night using extra pillows can allow for easy breathing. Saline sprays can keep the nasal passage moist and make breathing through congestion easier. A saline spray is water mixed with salt. These are available in a drugstore but you can also make it at home. Just mix table or sea salt with warm water and fill a spray bottle with it once the water has cooled down.
OTC decongestants can provide relief from nasal congestion by reducing the swelling in the nasal membranes. OTC medicines are not recommended for children. For adults also, it is not ideal to take medicines for more than a few days. Nasal congestion due to allergies requires antihistamines. These do not require a prescription to purchase. But most antihistamines cause drowsiness. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor for a recommendation. Nasal congestion can also cause headache or pain in the body. You can try OTC pain relievers to ease up your pain symptoms.
Most often, home remedies and OTC medicines are sufficient to get relief from nasal congestion. But take some precautions if the following apply to you. If your congestion lasts for more than 10 days, it is important to see a doctor to further treat the underlying cause. Refrain from using home remedies and OTC drugs for your nasal congestion without consulting with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing. For younger children, it is better to first see a doctor than to rely on home treatments for relief from nasal congestion.