Nasal congestion is a symptom of many respiratory illnesses, and it can be a source of annoyance because of its effect on basic functions like breathing and sleeping.
Nasal congestion can result from many conditions that trigger irritation and inflammation of the blood vessels located in the sinuses.
These blood vessels are a part of a system with valves that open and close. When an irritant like a virus stimulates the nasal passages, the nervous system reacts by opening the valves.
This allows an increase in blood flow, which causes swelling in the nasal passages. It may seem like nasal passages are clogged with mucus, but it’s actually this swelling in the airways that causes congestion.
Simple Methods to Help You Treat Nasal Congestion
The more common ailments that can cause nasal congestion include colds, allergies, sinus infections, and influenza. Get to know the simplest method of treating nasal congestion now.
1. Use an Air Humidifier or Vaporizer
A few days of nasal congestion can leave an individual’s airways feeling dry and sore. Use an air humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air and provide some relief from congested sinuses.
Adding moisture to the air is especially important during the winter months because the air in our homes is usually very dry from heating systems and cold air.
An air humidifier or vaporizer is an easy and effective way to relieve congestion and the sinus pain it causes. These machines convert water to moisture, which is then released into the air.
The extra humidity works to hydrate and soothe dry nasal passages and inflamed blood vessels. They also help thin mucus, break up congestion, and drain the nose of fluid.
Individuals should keep a humidifier or vaporizer in the room(s) where they spend most of their time and in their bedroom at night to maintain a humid climate. Air humidifiers can produce a warm or cool mist.
They’re both equally effective, but the cool-mist humidifier is safer for children because there’s no risk of accidental burns. It is also important to keep the humidifier or vaporizer clean to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
2. Rinse with a Neti Pot
Individuals can flush and drain their clogged nasal passages with a neti pot, which is a container that looks like a teapot. The neti pot was designed for the specific purpose of flushing the nasal passages.
The process of flushing mucus, allergens, or other fluids from the nose is known as nasal irrigation. It’s a gentle, inexpensive, and effective way of clearing nasal passages. It’s even more beneficial for relieving congestion when used with a saline solution.
Research participants with chronic sinus and nasal problems who used nasal irrigation showed greater improvement of symptoms compared to those who used saline sprays, according to studies done at the University of Michigan.
Other research study done in China found nasal irrigation to be a good alternative treatment for children with allergies. The treatment also lessened the need for the steroid sprays they usually used. The neti pot should be prepared for use by filling it with warm water mixed with pharmaceutical grade salt.
Individuals should insert the spout of the pot into their nostril and slowly pour the solution while their head is tilted away from the pot. The solution will flow into the nostril and come out through the other side. Repeat with the other nostril.
Sterile or distilled water is recommended for use with a neti pot instead of tap water. Neti pots are usually sold in health food stores and considered safe to use on a daily basis to relieve congestion.
3. Consume Hot Tea and Soup
Drinking sufficient amounts of liquids is a crucial part of treating nasal congestion, and hot liquids like tea and soup are great for soothing and relieving nasal stuffiness. Congestion is often accompanied by other flu-like symptoms, and the consumption of hot liquids is like comfort food to sick individuals.
They usually help patients feel better mentally, but they also work to help break up and thin mucus to improve breathing.
Hydration is important when dealing with congestion, and it can be accomplished through either hot or cold liquids.
Hot liquids are usually consumed more than cold liquids throughout the winter months. Hot teas like green tea or chamomile relax individuals while treating congestion.
Chicken noodle soup is a popular choice and works wonders for congestion caused by colds and influenza. Individuals can even use plain hot water and add things like lemon or honey to create a decongesting beverage.
4. Eat Spicy Foods and Garlic
Spicy foods and foods prepared with a lot of garlic can help relieve nasal congestion by helping to keep mucus thin. Foods with mucus-thinning properties include garlic, chili peppers, horseradish, curry spices, onion, thyme, mustard, and black pepper.
Eating spicy foods usually causes a runny nose. In addition, an individual’s eyes may even water after consuming certain foods like horseradish. Hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which has been proven effective at relieving nasal congestion.
Consuming garlic can help treat congestion caused by colds because of its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. One of its active ingredients called n-allyl thiosulfinate also works as a decongestant.
Research has shown the benefits of consuming garlic and its ability to reduce the occurrence of the common cold. Garlic can be consumed raw, but its pungent taste may be unappetizing for many individuals.
Garlic can be added to many dishes to reap its benefits. Its supplements are also appropriate.
5. Lean Over a Bowl of Hot Water
Breathing in steam is another method of decongesting clogged nasal passages. Inhaling steam helps reduce inflammation and thin mucus. Lean over a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam for about ten minutes to ease breathing.
The effect is similar to taking a hot shower and inhaling the steam. It can help with breathing and relieve a stuffy nose. Individuals can use a sink or bowl by filling it with hot water.
It helps to place a towel over the head and around the container or sink to trap the steam, but individuals must be careful not to get too close lest they burn themselves. Staying about an arm’s length away is good.
Individuals can add things like an essential oil to the water to make its vapors even more effective. Garlic cloves can be boiled in water and inhaled as a decongestant in the same manner.