A stuffy or congested nose occurs when nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels become inflamed and swollen due to excess fluid. This stuffy feeling may come with other annoyances like a runny nose or postnasal drip, when excess mucus runs down the back of your throat triggering a cough or a sore throat. There are many causes of a stuffy nose, including allergies, colds, flus, and sinusitis.1 It can also be caused by nasal polyps, nasal spray overuse, and a deviated septum. If you’re suffering from a stuffy nose, here are some ways to relieve that “plugged up” feeling, some stuffy nose etiquette tips to consider, and how to get a solid night’s sleep while your body recovers.Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.
How to Get Rid of Stuffy NosesBecause a stuffy nose is caused by inflamed blood vessels, finding a way to ease inflammation in the body is crucial. While it may be tempting to reach for a nasal spray for fast relief, some experts say that these drugs might make matters worse in the long-run, causing rebound congestion and drug dependence if used more than three days consecutively.2 Here are some natural ways you can reduce inflammation and relieve your stuffy nose at home:
- Stay hydrated: Drinking water helps to manage fluids in the upper respiratory tract. According to one study, hot liquids are more effective than cold, including chicken soup.3
- Apply a hot, moist compress: Placing a warm, steamy washcloth on or near your nose puts extra moisture in the air you’re breathing, which can help clear nasal passages.
- Use a humidifier or vaporizer: Like the hot compress, a humidifier or vaporizer will moisten the air you’re breathing to clear your nasal passages.
- Take a hot shower: Similar to a vaporizer that lets off hot steam, a steamy shower will also help to relieve your plugged up nose. Bring essential oils like eucalyptus or mint with you, because both can help clear your sinuses.
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- Lapine Histamine immune globulin: Brillia Health’s Cold-Flu Recovery and Cough Control both contain antibodies to histamines, registered with the FDA as Lapine Histamine immune globulin. Histamines are the main culprit of many of the symptoms associated with colds, flus, and allergies, including nasal congestion, sore throat, and fluid buildup in the lungs. The antibody ingredient works by targeting histamines in the body, attaching to them, and stopping them from triggering the inflammatory response and causing these dreaded symptoms.
- Lapine Bradykinin immune globulin: Found in the Cough Control product, this antibody targets bradykinin, another molecule that initiates the inflammatory response and causes nasal congestion and coughing. By attaching to this molecule, the antibody effectively reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract and eases your coughing reflex.
- No harsh chemicals: In addition to easing inflammation and other symptoms of your cold, flu, or allergies, Brillia Health’s products ease the stress your body experiences when battling illness without any harsh chemicals, harmful side effects, or contraindications. They also help to shorten the duration and severity of your illness. Since Brillia Health products do not contain harsh chemicals, they are also completely safe for children.
Stuffy Nose EtiquetteWhile you may be tempted to blow your nose frequently when you’re feeling stuffed up, there are ways to do so politely. After all, colds and flus are contagious, so being mindful about how you deal with your symptoms can help you prevent passing your illness to others. Here are some stuffy nose etiquette tips to consider:
- Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell.
- Avoid close contact with other people.
- Move away from people when blowing your nose or coughing (especially when dining).
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
- Disinfect surfaces and objects you’ve touched while sick.
Sleeping with a Stuffy NoseSleeping with a stuffy nose can be challenging, but there are some ways to make it easier. Here are some tips and tricks to consider to help you get a good night’s rest:
- Prop yourself up: Prop yourself up with pillows to relieve pressure on your sinuses and breathe easier. According to David Kim, MD, an otolaryngologist with Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, when a person lies down at night, more blood flows to the head, leading to an increased congestion of the nasal lining. Propping yourself up reduces blood flow and improves drainage.4
- Sleep near an air filter: If you suspect that environmental allergens are contributing to your stuffiness, an air filter will reduce allergens and make air suitable for sleep.
- Wear a nasal strip: Nasal strips work by opening up the nasal passages and improving congestion. They may even help reduce snoring.
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