man with nasal congestion sitting at table in front of tissues, nasal spray, and cup of hot tea

Top 7 Remedies for Nasal Congestion

May 24, 2024

When your body is exposed to an unknown substance like dust, viruses that cause cold and flu, bacteria, or allergens, it launches an immune response. This response often causes inflammation, which can affect the blood vessels inside the nasal passages and result in nasal tissues swelling. A buildup of mucus can also occur. This swelling and mucus buildup cause nasal congestion, which makes your nose feel stuffy and difficult to breathe through. Here are some of the best remedies for nasal congestion that can help you breathe easier.

1. Steam Inhalation

If you are suffering from nasal congestion, steam inhalation is an easy remedy that could help you feel better. The warmth and moisture of steam soothe the membranes in the nasal passages and reduce inflammation to provide temporary relief. Steam may also help loosen mucus blockages to make it easier to breathe. You can take a hot shower or bath to inhale the steam coming off the water, or fill a bowl with hot water and lean your face over it to breathe in the steam.

2. Nasal Irrigation

hand holding blue transparent neti pot filled with saline solution

Another great remedy for nasal congestion is nasal irrigation. A nasal irrigation device like a neti pot can be used to flush out the sinuses and moisturize them to relieve inflammation and congestion. A neti pot allows you to pour a saline solution into one nostril at a time, and the liquid will flow out your other nostril, taking mucus and irritants with it. Make sure you only use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water for your nasal rinse to prevent infection.

3. Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress to your face may help relieve pressure in the sinuses to reduce nasal congestion. To prepare a warm compress, soak a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess. You can also purchase a warm compress to heat up in the microwave. Apply the warm compress to your nose, forehead, cheeks, and eyes so the warmth can reduce inflammation in your nasal passages and provide temporary relief from congestion. You can repeat as needed.

4. Hydration

water being poured into glass

It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water, whether you’re feeling healthy or sick. When you aren’t feeling well, staying hydrated may also help reduce nasal congestion. Maintaining hydration can help thin and loosen the mucus in your nasal passages and decrease pressure in your sinuses. Less pressure means reduced inflammation and irritation. If you are experiencing a sore throat or cough along with your congestion, drinking warm liquids like herbal tea or broth may help ease that discomfort as well.

5. Saline Spray

Using a saline spray may help reduce inflammation in your nasal tissues, which could help relieve stuffiness. A saline-only spray does not contain medication, so it is typically safe to use with other medications or during pregnancy. By spraying a saltwater solution into your nose, you increase moisture in your nostrils, which could reduce irritation and swelling to provide relief from congestion, making it easier to breathe.

6. Eucalyptus Oil

eucalyptus oil

Derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, eucalyptus oil has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history. Eucalyptus oil is thought to have certain healing properties, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and sedative agents. Inhaling eucalyptus by adding a few drops of the oil to a bowl of hot water or a diffuser may help reduce nasal congestion. Lozenges and rubs that contain eucalyptus may also help clear a stuffy nose.

7. Over-the-Counter Medication

If allergies are causing your nasal congestion, taking an oral antihistamine like Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, or Benadryl can help by blocking the histamine reaction that’s causing your congestion. Over-the-counter decongestants can also be helpful at relieving congestion, especially from colds or flu. These medications work by decreasing the swelling in the nasal tissues to reduce the feeling of stuffiness. However, it’s not recommended to take decongestants for more than a week, as long-term use may actually worsen your symptoms.

If you have any questions about treating nasal congestion or you would like recommendations on over-the-counter medications, please reach out to us at Village Discount Drugs. Our knowledgeable pharmacy team will be happy to answer your questions and provide recommendations to help you get back to feeling your best!

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