Category Archives: Congestion

At-Home Treatments for Nasal Congestion

August 19th, 2017

noseA stuffy nose is an annoying, distracting, and very common problem. Most of us get an occasional stuffy nose from viral infections (such as a cold), from allergies, or as a side-effect of pregnancy. Inflammation and swelling inside the nose make you feel stuffed up and uncomfortable. Mucus and drainage may also join the party. You don’t necessarily need to run to the doctor every time you get the sniffles. In most cases nasal congestion can be treated effectively at home.

Steam Up the Bathroom
Take a hot shower or soak in a warm bath to decrease nasal congestion. The steam helps mucus drain from the nose and improves breathing. Although the benefits of the steam may not last, it provides temporary relief … which can be all you need to get through the day or get some precious sleep.

Warm Compress
Warmth may decrease sinus congestion and tightness in the nose and face. Wet a washcloth with very warm water and apply it to the face (be sure it isn’t too hot). You can add slices of fresh ginger or lemon to the water while soaking the washcloth for a pleasant aroma and additional relief.

Saline spray
A shot or two of store-bought saline spray (a mix of salt and sterile water) may help decrease tissue inflammation in the nose. These sprays do not contain medication, so they are usually safe to use during pregnancy. You can buy them over-the-counter in many stores.

Sinus Flush
There are several kinds of bottles that can be used to flush out sinuses. Neti pots are used to effectively wash mucus out of sinuses, but they require you to “sniff” in liquid, which can be hard for some people. A specially-designed squeeze bottle and saline solution can also be to flush the mucus out of each nostril. Distilled or previously boiled water (that is cooled) can be used to avoid bacteria from tap water.

Cool moisture
Adding moisture to the air from a cool mist humidifier can help to thin mucus and make draining easier. It can also help to reduce inflammation inside the nose. It’s important to keep a humidifier clean to prevent bacterial growth inside the machine. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations.

Drink Up
Be sure to drink enough water. Being well-hydrated causes the mucus to be more thin and makes it easier to push fluid from the nose.

Don’t Wait To Have Your Congestion Checked Out

October 22nd, 2014

“Why didn’t I do this years ago?” is a common statement our patients make after their sinus and congestion problems are resolved.

Many people simply live with their nasal blockages because they think it’s a reoccurring cold or they can ‘just tough it out’ until it goes away.  It’s true, some people do have the occasional cold which will go away in a few days.  However, there are others who have become so used to not breathing well, snoring at night, or always blowing their nose that they think it’s normal to feel abnormal.  This isn’t the case!

If your nasal congestion doesn’t go away within a few days (and stay away for months) we recommend you come in for an evaluation.  Your congestion could stem from an allergic reaction which produces secondary infection in your sinuses.  Or maybe your nasal airflow is restricted for another reason like a deviated septum.  All of these problems cause prolonged irritability for you and those around you.

If you feel your congestion has lasted longer than a normal cold, strongly consider coming in to see one of the physicians at South Valley Ear Nose & Throat today.