Nasal congestion–also commonly referred to as head congestion or a stuffy nose–is brought on due to the dilation of nasal tissues and surrounding blood vessels with overproduction of mucus.
Although you should contact your physician if you have had nasal congestion for longer than a couple of weeks, there are many non-medicinal remedies that can ease stuffiness.
Try nasal irrigation
You can get a nasal irrigation system or a neti pot to wash out the inside of your nose, which works to loosen and flush out excess mucus to alleviate stuffiness. In appearance, a neti pot is no different than a tiny teapot, available at most drugstores and even some grocery stores.
To use a neti pot, you can either purchase some saline or make your own solution by combining a cup of warm, distilled water with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. It is safe to use a nasal irrigator up to two times per day.
Similarly, steam has a loosening effect on mucus, which can enable easier drainage. Even a quick hot shower can work if you take in as much of the steam as possible during it. Another effective option is to fill a bowl with hot water, closely holding your head over to breathe in the steam while covering your head with a cloth or towel to prevent the steam from escaping. This is a home remedy you can take advantage of at least a few times per day.
Having peppermint tea
Peppermint and its main component menthol can naturally relieve congestion and even loosen the goo in the chest, easing chest congestion. You can purchase all-natural peppermint tea at grocery stores or even choose to make your own peppermint tea soaking dried up peppermint leaves in a hot cup of water.
Getting temporary relief with decongestants
The primary reason for stuffiness while sick is that the tissues within the nasal cavities get inflamed and can obstruct circulation. Most over-the-counter nasal decongestant medicines containing phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine can be effective in relieving this swelling, improving your breathing. A word of caution, however, prolonged use of these decongestants (longer than 4-5 days) can induce more inflammation hence stuffiness.
Featured Image: TwitterPosted on May 22, 2023