A stuffy nose is caused due to various reasons. Some of the commonly seen reasons are common cold, flu infection, allergies caused by dust or pollens, rhinitis or inflammation of the nasal membrane, and sinus infection. It may sometimes be caused due to deformities in the nasal cartilage, although this is found in very rare cases. Most of the cases of a stuffy nose are due to cold and flu. Here are some treatments and home remedies which are sure to provide relief.
A stuffy nose caused due to common cold is accompanied by symptoms such as a runny itchy nose, cough, headache, muscle ache, chest congestion, and mild fever. There is no medicine which can cure common colds. Most medicines for common cold, such as nasal decongestants, cough suppressants, and antihistamines, can only prevent and reduce the symptoms.
A stuffy nose caused due to flu infections is accompanied by symptoms such as a very high fever, usually more than 102 ºC, nausea, fatigue, chills, cough, loss of appetite, and body aches. Doctors generally prescribe antiviral medications and antibiotics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring down these symptoms, although in no way can these medicines eliminate the virus that has caused the flu. A stuffy nose caused due to allergies is treated by taking antihistamine medications prescribed by the doctors. These medications help in providing allergy relief.
Follow the below given remedies to relieve a stuffy nose at home.
Steam is the most popular approach which is adopted to clear a stuffy nose. For taking steam, place extremely hot water in a bowl. Cover the head with a towel and start inhaling the steam coming out of the water. You may add eucalyptus oil to the bowl of water as it helps in clearing the nose too. Another method to take steam is by filling the bathroom with steam and sitting in it for about fifteen minutes.
Vitamin C Diet
Add lots of foods in your diet which are rich in vitamin C to boost the immune system. A strong immune system can fight the germs and provide relief from the symptoms. Vitamin C rich foods are oranges, lemon, tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, cabbage, sweet red pepper, and papaya.
Onions as Decongestants
When nasal decongestants are applied on the nose, they thin the mucus, and thus, the nose is cleared of it. Onions can perform the same function. Simply take an onion, peel it, and sniff it for about five minutes. The stuffy nose will start to unblock automatically.
Spicy food helps in breaking up congestion and makes the nose runny. So, eating spicy foods such as chillies and horseradish sauce can make the mucus come out of the nose and thus provide instant relief.
Acupressure is a very beneficial technique to clear the nasal passages. This technique involves putting pressure on some specific locations on the cheekbones, to unblock the nose. Ideally, acupressure should be conducted by a professional but you may try it at home too. With the back of your hands press your cheeks a few times - first the right cheek and then the left. It will help in stimulating the mucus, and thus clearing the nose.
A Chinese herbal tea called ephedra sinica, available in many health stores, helps in clearing the congestion. Adding ginger to normal tea helps in providing relief too. Take two to three cups of these teas every day to clear the nose.
If after following the various treatment methods the nose refuses to clear even after a week, and if it is accompanied by high fever, facial pain, and if the mucus has become thick and green or yellowish in color, it is recommended that you contact a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.