How to clear Nasal Congestion?
One of the most common, but irritating things in the world is to be down with a common cold. And, one of the things normally associated with the common cold is nasal congestion - of course, you can get a nasal congestion without the common cold too. A nasal congestion can be quite persistent and getting rid of it may not be so easy.
In this article we give you some easy ways of clearing nasal congestion and also show simple methods of managing the situation.
Why does nasal congestion occur?
Nasal congestion occurs when a cold or allergy causes the nasal cavity to swell and the mucus to buildup, making it difficult to breathe. Nasal congestion can not only be annoying but extremely frustrating. Through this article, we attempt to bring you the various methods of how to clear nasal congestion as well as decongestion remedies.
Best ways to clear nasal congestion
Saline Sprays: Saline nasal sprays can help you in clearing nasal congestion quite quickly. You can make a saline solution at home using distilled water and salt. Saline nasal sprays help by thinning mucous, soothing nasal inflammation, and also help rinse out the pollen or bacteria that irritate airways. Saline sprays enhance moisture and are especially helpful in winter months when the inside of the nose may be dry or be prone to bleeding.
Steam: Inhaling steam from a hot shower, a pot, or a kettle of hot water can help to open up and soothe irritated nasal passages. You can also take a hot shower - the warm steam will pass through your lungs and into your nasal passage, loosening up the mucus and relieving congestion.
Drink something soothing: Drink something hot and soothing to clear your sinuses away - peppermint tea or chicken soup. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps to thin mucous and open up nasal passages. Drinking chicken soup may actually decrease mucous production by affecting immune function and inflammation.
Eat something hot: Do you know how to clear nasal congestion fast? Eat something really hot and spicy - hot peppers, horse radish, spicy ginger, fenugreek, onions, and garlic. Spicy foods thin out mucus and clear up congestion, though temporarily.
Blow your nose: The easiest way for clearing nasal congestion is to force the mucus out through the nose. Keep blowing your nose as often as you can without making it sore.
Stay vertical: Avoid or resist the temptation to remain horizontal on your bed. Sitting up or propping yourself on the bed with pillows may help to ease the congestion and make it easier to breathe. It may not clear your congestion completely, but it will aid in breathing and make you more comfortable.
Warm compress: One of the best ways to clear nasal congestion is by using a warm compress. Use a warm compress on your face by soaking a clean towel in warm water and wringing it out until the towel is damp, but not wet. Place the towel over your face for a few minutes and the warm compress will help relieve discomfort and open up nasal passages.
Keep yourself hydrated: Drink as much water or juice as possible. For quickly clearing nasal congestion, drink about 6-8 cups of water. This will help build up the immune system and shrink swollen nasal passages.
Nasal congestion at night
Sleep: While some people may not like the idea, a very good idea would be to take time off from work or school, stay home, and sleep all day. The sleep gives your body time to heal and begin fighting your cold. If you have trouble sleeping because of nasal congestion at night, try a nasal decongestant - you might find some relief.
Use a mentholated salve: A vapor rub containing menthol will temporarily clear congestion and allow you to breathe more easily - at least for some time. Rub a bit of salve on your upper lip beneath your nose and allow the vapors to work and relieve you.
Humidifiers: Humidifiers are also good if you need some help breathing at night. Humidifiers are generally recommended as treatment for clearing nasal congestion because the dry air irritates the membranes in the sinus and worsens the symptoms. If you don't have a humidifier, you can build one at your home. Boil enough water in a large pan, remove from the heat, and place the hot water in a safe part of your room. The steam emanating from the water will humidify the room. You can repeat if necessary.
Use an over-the-counter decongestant, which can be purchased at your local pharmacy, to help clear nasal congestion at night. You can use decongestant in the form of sprays or in the form of pills. But, remember that you should not take a decongestant spray for more than three days, as it may worsen symptoms.
Antihistamines: Use an antihistamine along with other allergy medicines. They help in relieving some congestion. Choose an antihistamine that also contains a decongestant so that you can treat sniffling and sneezing along with mucus and sinus pressure.
Basil leaves can also be used as a natural antihistamine. Heat a couple of sprigs of basil leaves under some steam and breathe the steam in.
Dont's if you have nasal congestion
Here are a few don'ts that you ought to follow:
- Don't eat dairy products or chocolate, both of which cause mucus buildup.
- Stay away from chlorinated water - avoid swimming pools where the water is full of chlorine. The chlorine can irritate mucus membranes and make your congestion even worse.
- Avoid stress as it slows down the immune system and it will take longer to clear your sinuses.