Nasal congestion is a very common condition and knowing how to unstuff a stuffy nose can be extremely helpful this time of year. A stuffy nose can be annoying. Your stuffy nose is likely caused by inflamed and irritated blood vessels in the sinuses. A stuffy nose, while uncomfortable is usually nothing to be alarmed about, If you’re looking for ways to unstuff a stuffy nose, you’re in luck! Here are a few tips on how to unstuff a stuffy nose.
While you may think a stuffy nose is caused by an overflow of mucus. A stuffy nose is actually caused by inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. These blood vessels can be trigged by allergies, a cold, the flu, or a sinus infection. Less commonly, anatomical obstructions (for example, a deviated nasal septum, foreign bodies) may lead to a stuffy nose. Regardless of the cause, a stuffy nose can create other problems like lack of sleep, daytime grogginess and an overall poor mood. Knowing how to unstuff a stuffy nose when this inflammation begins is helpful.
While the nose does an extremely great job of protecting the body from dirt and germs by filtering air that comes into the body. The nose contains mucous membranes that lie on the sensitive inside lining of your nostrils. If you catch a virus or something slips through this layer the complex system is compromised. Creating an over production of mucus and causing the nasal passages to become inflamed as well. As a result, this leads to the frustrating symptom of a stuffy nose.
Seasonal conditions can also create a stuffy nose, When the body encounters pollen, it produces antibodies to fight off the unwanted substances. In order to do this, histamine is created, causing inflammation, irritation, and a stuffy nose. Plenty of over-the-counter medications and natural remedies can help you breathe freely again. But there are also all-natural remedies can help unstuff a stuffy nose.
How to Unstuff a Stuffy Nose
Invest in a Humidifier
Dry nasal passageways may lead to inflammation of the blood vessels in the nose and sinuses and cause you to have a stuffy nose. When the air you breathe is too dry, the mucus in your nose and sinuses won’t flow properly and your sinuses won’t drain as well as they should. A humidifier dispenses water vapor or steam, adding moisture to the air you breathe. By adding moisture to the air that you breathe, humidifiers will help you to unstuff a stuffy nose.
Take a Shower
Taking a hot shower can help unstuff a stuffy nose. Steam can thin mucus and help it drain from your nose. Adding essential oils can speed healing and bring along extra comfort. Eucalyptus oil is known to help clear nasal and sinus congestion. Eucalyptus oil and even peppermint oil work similar to menthol by acting on receptors in the nasal mucous membranes, leading to a reduction of a stuffy nose. Simply place a few drops of eucalyptus oil directly into the bottom of the shower. The heat from the water will activate the healing properties of the essential oil.T aking a hot shower can help your breathing return to normal, even if it’s temporary.
Use a warm compress
A stuffy nose can be relieved by applying warm compress to your nose, forehead, and upper cheek. A warm compress helps in opening up the nasal passages and eases the clogged nose. The warmth from the compress can trigger sinus flow and reduce congestion. If you don’t have a compress, try moistening a washcloth. Wring out a thick washcloth in hot water and place it over these areas. To increase your relief, you can try adding a drop of essential oils like eucalyptus to the cloth, or alternating a warm compress with a cold compress to further increase circulation and help keep nasal passages clear.
Peppermint has wellness decongesting properties. Peppermint is often included as an ingredient in natural chest rubs to help with congestion. The main compound in peppermint oil is menthol which is used in many OTC products created to unstuff a stuffy nose. Simply the smell of peppermint can help to open the airways and clear mucus. This method can help unstuff a stuffy nose two ways, the menthol from the peppermint and the steam from the tea can thin mucus and help drain your nose.
Keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to unstuff a stuffy nose. Keeping fluids in your body like water can make mucus thinner so that it is able to flow easily from the nose. The thin mucus in your nasal passages, pushes the fluids out of your nose and decreases the pressure in your sinuses. Less pressure means less inflammation and irritation. This eventually eases discomfort by getting rid of the blockage within the nose.
Garlic has also been found to be effective in clearing a stuffy nose. Garlic has antibacterial properties that are believed to alleviate congestion and stuffy nose. Garlic also contains high levels of antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which are used to unstuff a stuffy nose. For the very brave it can be eaten raw. It can also be added into boiling water and the steam inhaled.
A Neti Pot
You can unstuff a stuffy nose by flushing it clear. It’s not the most glamorous task but a neti pot is designed to flush mucus and fluids out of your nasal passages. Neti pots are an inexpensive and effective way to flush your nasal passages. To create your own nasal rinse, add a teaspoon of baking soda to 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt in a small container. Add that into a cup of distilled water and stir welll. You can use this mixture to rinse your nasal passages. Be sure to only use distilled water. If your are completely clogged, you might not see any benefits from using a neti pot since the saline solution may not be able to penetrate the nasal cavity.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a high concentration of vitamin C, fiber, and acids that is believed by some to boost immunity while breaking up the congestion in a stuffy nose. The acid in apple cider vinegar thins out mucus. It is also said that the acid in apple cider vinegar can work to kill pathogens that are making you sick or casuing the inflammation in your nasal passageways. Apple cider vinegar also contains potassium, which thins mucus; and the acid mentioned earlier in it prevents bacteria growth, which could contribute to your stuffy nose. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink to help unstuff a stuffy nose.
Eating spicy food is a natural way to open nasal passages and get mucus flowing. Because spicy foods create more histamine in your body. Histamine is the thing that causes the tissue in your nose to run. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper dries up mucus in the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe. A runny nose isn’t always a bad thing, when you have a stuffy nose, the runny nose effect of spicy foods can make you feel better, Cayenne pepper is an anti-inflammatory spice and can decrease puffy, stuffy feelings in the nose. Create a spicy tea by adding 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder to a cup of boiling water.
If you have tried all of these remedies and none of them have helped unstuff a stuffy nose, an OTC decongestant might. Decongestants work by shrinking swollen blood vessels and tissues. This action relieves the congestion. OTC decongestants come in pills, liquids, nose drops, and nasal sprays. However, these products shouldn’t be used for more than 3 days. Your body can become dependent on them.
Preventing a stuffy nose is like preventing the common cold: it can be pretty difficult. Wash your hands frequently, avoid germs, use a humidifier, and make sure not to put too much pressure on your nose. If you have a stuffy nose for longer than a month (even with an OTC decongestant), or if you have symptoms such as pain, pressure, or fever, see a doctor.