Anything that irritates or inflames your nasal tissue can cause congestion. Infections and allergies are common causes of nasal congestion. Irritants also cause symptoms. In rare cases, congestion results from a nasal polyp. If you’re struggling with nasal congestion, there are many home remedies you can try to relieve your symptoms:
1. Use a humidifier
A humidifier is an easy way to relieve a stuffy nose. It adds moisture to the air by creating a mist of cold water. This increases the humidity in a room. Breathing the moist air soothes irritated nasal tissues and thins the mucus in your nose. This helps you empty your nose so you can breathe better.
2. Use a vaporizer
A vaporizer works in much the same way as a humidifier. The main difference is the way it adds moisture to the air. Whereas a humidifier uses cold water to mist the air, a vaporizer heats water to create steam. Some people add inhalants such as menthol vapors to further ease congestion.
3. Breathe in steam
Do you breathe better after a hot shower? There is a reason for this: breathing in steam. The steam from a hot shower thins out mucus and reduces inflammation. You can get the same effect by filling a sink with hot water, holding a towel over your head and breathing in the steam.
4. Try a neti pot
A neti pot is a small device that helps you pour a saltwater solution into your nasal cavity. Shaped like a teapot, it flushes your sinuses and removes the blockages in your nose. This keeps your mucus membranes moist and functioning. Neti pots are generally safe to use if you follow the instructions.
5. Stay hydrated
Your mucus membranes can become inflamed during congestion. Staying hydrated helps them function right. Drink plenty of water and healthy fluids to relieve symptoms of cold and flu. Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day can help you stay hydrated.
6. Use saline nasal spray
Over-the-counter medications can relieve congestion and the pain associated with it. Look to natural products, such as saline based nasal sprays as those that contain a decongestant can also cause problems with long term use. For example, your congestion could get worse if you stop using a decongestant. If you experience side effects with any medications, talk to your doctor.
Most nasal congestion occurs as the result of a cold, flu or other infection. Luckily, there are simple home remedies you can try to ease the frustration. If your symptoms do not go away, or if they get worse, see your doctor.