Stuffy Nose Survival: Tips on Clearing Stuffy Nose

Man blowing his nose

Man blowing his nose

Having a stuffy nose, or nasal congestion can be quite uncomfortable and inconvenient, and even debilitating — making the simplest of tasks such as cleaning up or cooking food quite difficult.  As such, we’d all want to get rid of nasal congestion as soon and as quick as possible. So, we’ll be taking a look at the many remedies for your stuffy nose.

Common Causes

But before we get into ways for you to clear your stuffy nose, and even perhaps prevent them, it’s important that you’re aware of what causes nasal congestion. Nasal congestion can be caused by a viral infection such as the common cold; if you have sneezing, sore throat, and coughing together with your stuffy nose, chances are, it’s a viral infection. Allergic rhinitis is also one of the most common causes of nasal congestion and affects about 40-60 million people in the USA alone. Occupational rhinitis can also cause a stuffy nose and is defined as an allergic reaction to substances in your work environment. Other more serious causes of nasal congestion are ear infections, chronic sinusitis, and bronchitis.

Tip #1: Be Hydrated

Not only does drinking enough water to ensure that your body stays healthy and your organs are functional, but it also helps thin out the mucus in your nasal passages. By thinning out the mucus in your sinuses and nasal passages, it pushes out the fluids out of your nose and subsequently decreases the pressure on your sinuses — making it easier to breathe.

Tip #2: Take a Hot Shower

The steam from a hot shower can aid in thinning out the mucus in your nose, thus reducing the inflammation and “stuffiness”. However, one should note that this is a temporary relief, but still an effective one nonetheless. Not only that, but a long hot shower can make you feel refreshed, too — talk about hitting two birds with one stone. If you don’t have time for a shower, you can achieve the same effect by inhaling steam from a hot faucet or a steaming pot of water, just be sure to do it carefully to avoid burning your face.

Tip #3: Humidify

A humidifier can help you deal with your stuffy nose by increasing the moist air (humidity) in the room which can soothe your inflamed sinuses and reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in your nasal passages. A humidifier is something you can put in your room, and even bring to your office to help you deal with flu season or when your allergic rhinitis is acting up.

Tip #4: Warm Compress

Use a warm compress and place it over your nose and forehead. The warmth from the warm compress can also soothe the inflammation in your nasal passages and help the swollen blood vessels in your nose and sinuses.

Tip #5: Saline Sprays and Neti Pots

There are many products on the market that you can use to flush out your sinuses such as saline sprays and neti pots. Saline sprays work by increasing the moisture in your nostrils which thins out the mucus and reduce the inflammation in your nasal passages. Neti pots, on the other hand, flush out and drains your sinuses out of your nasal passages. If you’re unsure of which one to use, you can check with your local ENT on the best one for you, although both of them are safe to use as long as you follow the instructions.


Girl blowing her nose

A stuffy nose can be quite bothersome to deal with, but with these tips and remedies in mind, it can be a lot easier to manage. However, if you suspect that you have chronic sinusitis or some other serious ailment is causing your stuffed nose, it might be time to have your nose and nasal passages checked out with your local Denver ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor or otolaryngologists as nasal surgery may be needed.