Having a stuffy nose is the worst. Not only does it destroy your sense of smell, but it also affects the way you talk, ruins the taste of the foods you eat, screws up your sleep, and makes it impossible for you to think about anything other than what it will feel like to finally take a clear breath. And the medicine to relieve a stuffy nose is often not much better, leaving sufferers with the ability to breathe, but a foggy brain and a strong desire for a nap.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to get relief that won't leave you feeling spaced out. Here's how to get rid of a stuffy nose.
Take a hot shower
Steam from a hot shower can help thin out the mucus in your nose and reduce inflammation in your sinuses. The effects won't last all day but you should be able to get an hour or two of clear breathing before things get stuffed up again.
Use a humidifier
Speaking of steam, a humidifier can help relieve sinus pressure and pain. Humidifiers slowly increase the humidity in the room, so the results won't be as immediate as a shower, but might provide longer-lasting relief.
Try a saline spray
You may have caught on by now that increasing moisture in your nasal passages can help to relieve a stuffy nose and there is no better way to get moisture in your nose then to spray it right up there. Not only do over-the-counter saline sprays help to thin mucus and reduce inflammation, but they can also help to flush excess fluid out of your sinuses.
Flush with a neti pot
Another way to drain your sinuses is to use a neti pot, says WebMD. These contraptions are designed to help flush mucus and fluids out of your nasal passages. Basically, you place the spout end in one nostril and tilt your head until the distilled water inside the pot flows into your nose. Make certain to keep it clean and be sure you are standing in the shower or over your sink as that water will drain out the other side.
Use a warm compress
A warm, wet towel placed on your forehead can help relieve the pressure of a stuffed-up nose. (Don't forget to squeeze the water out before you place it on your head so you don't get soaked!)
It's always a good idea to get and stay hydrated but even more so when you're feeling under the weather. Drinking plenty of water can help to ease sinus congestion. Bonus points for sipping on warm liquids that relieve sinus pressure and soothe any throat soreness that may accompany your stuffy nose.
Sip some peppermint tea.
Take your hydration efforts up a notch by sipping on a cup of peppermint tea, suggests One Green Planet. Like any warm beverage, peppermint tea will relieve sinus pressure and thin out mucus. The added boost of menthol in peppermint also helps ease congestion.
Add some spice to your food.
Horseradish, cayenne pepper, garlic and ginger are all fragrant spices that might help clear sinuses. Add to your favorite sandwich or soup to reduce inflammation and thin out mucus. Just be careful not to add too much spice to your dishes or you may end up with a runny nose rather than a stuffed one!
Give yourself a facial massage.
Increasing circulation in and near your sinuses can help to relieve sinus pain. Try this: Press firmly on the outer edge of your nostrils using your index fingers. Hold for a few seconds and then release. You may also want to try using these acupressure techniques that can help to alleviate congestion.