Feeling congested is not only a frustrating condition but it can also interfere with your ability to function comfortably in your daily life. Sometimes, it can also make it harder for you to breathe.
However, there are some effective remedies that you can do by yourself at home that can help you free up your airways. Apart from the over-the-counter medicines, these decongestion remedies offer a great way to deal with the issue.
Below we have mentioned some of the great ways to feel decongested naturally:
Saline Nasal Spray
Saline nasal sprays can be available easily in any pharmacy. They are great for thinning out the mucus in your nasal passages and clearing your nose instantly. By definition, saline sprays are only salt and water. Other types of nasal sprays may also contain decongestants.
While these nasal sprays are great for getting rid of the snottiness, their prolonged use may also lead to a rebound effect that could result in worsening of the congestion symptoms.
You can follow the below-mentioned steps to use the saline nasal spray:
1. Firstly, clear your nose by blowing it before using the spray.
2. Stand in an upright position and do not tilt your head
3. Carefully read the instruction given on the spray bottle and do not forget to shake it before you spray it.
4. Close one of your nostrils by pressing one of your fingers against it. Now place the spray’s opening under the nostril that’s open
5. Now gently squeeze the bottle and inhale the spray while keeping your mouth closed.
6. Sniff the sprayed content deeply to ensure it gets all the way up to your nasal passage.
By using steam you can effectively increase the humidity of the surrounding air. It also offers a great way to thin out the mucus naturally in your nose. You can use the steam pretty easily by pouring hot water in a big bowl, then leaning on the bowl while putting a towel on your head and inhaling the steam.
It was reported in a 2008 study that drinking hot beverages prove to be highly effective to get rid of decongestion. In the same study, it was also revealed that hot showers can also provide the same relief.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs have the solution for almost every body-related issue and so is the case for decongestion. Herbs and spices such as pepper, ginger, garlic, turmeric, etc. can trigger a condition called gustatory rhinitis. These food items or any other dishes that are spicy in nature are great for opening up your nasal passages.
Spices like turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties which also offer relief during cold and cough. You can also add these spices to your daily dishes and meals to experience their goodness.
Nasal irrigation devices, some of which may also be known as neti pots are an effective way of dealing with decongestion, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Typically, a neti pot resembles a small teapot with a long spout. The spout is used to unclog stuffy nasal passages with the help of the saline solution.
A 2015 study revealed the importance of nasal irrigation to reduce cough, congestion and clear out germs and mucus while improving breathing.
Please follow the below-mentioned steps recommended by the FDA to use a neti pot:
- Read the instructions carefully before using the neti pot to ensure you are doing the process correctly and safely. If you are making your own saline solution, use sterile or distilled water.
- Tilt your head sideways while leaning over a sink. To ensure the liquid doesn’t flow into your mouth, you need to try to keep your forehead and chin level.
- The opening of the spout should be inserted into your upper nostril and the solution will drain out of your lower nostril.
- Repeat the same procedure with your other nostril by tilting your head in the opposite direction.
Elevating your head is also a good strategy to keep mucus from pooling in your sinuses at night. You can also use it to relieve sinus pressure. You can elevate your head at night by using an extra pillow for your head so that it is at a slightly higher angle than the rest of your body.
A humidifier is used to add moisture to the air. It can help with decongestion because cold and dry air can make you feel congested and could prevent your sinuses from draining. A humidifier can make it easier for you to breathe by increasing moisture in the air you breathe.
A humidifier can be used during the day as well as the night. It is recommended to use the humidifier while you are sleeping so that you can breathe better and your nasal passages can open up making sleeping more comfortable for you.
With a warm compress, you can open up the nasal passages and unclog a stuffy nose by reducing inflammation. You can make a warm compress by yourself at home by soaking a washcloth in warm water and squeezing the excess water from the cloth. Then place the cloth between your nose and forehead by folding it.
The warmth from the cloth will make it easier for you to breathe while relieving inflammation in your nostril and sinuses. It is important to be careful while using a warm compress as you can risk skin burning if you keep it for too long on your face.
By keeping yourself hydrated you can thin out the mucus in your nasal passage and unclog it. It is recommended to drink a minimum of 11.5 cups in women and 15.5 cups in men.
Essential oils are also an effective way to feel decongested. By combining essential oils with jojoba oil, coconut oil, or any other carrier oil, you can use them on the skin, in a diffuser, or also during aromatherapy.
When to see a doctor
Feeling congested can make it difficult for you to sleep, eat or even breathe. If even after following one or a few of the remedies mentioned above, you are having trouble functioning, then it is suggested to pay a visit to your doctor.
You should also pay a visit to the doctors if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned below:
- high fever
- trouble breathing
- chest pain
- congestion lasting longer than two weeks