Nasal congestion, as the name suggests is the blocking of the nasal cavity due to a myriad of reasons. The inner walls of nasal cavity get swollen usually due to inflamed blood vessels which in turn creates problems in breathing. There are other common names for this problems as well like “nasal blockage”, “nasal obstruction”, “blocked nose”, “stuffy nose” and “plugged nose”.
Nasal congestion is characterized by stuffy nose, sinus pain and mucus build-up, swollen nasal tissues. Nasal congestion can also interfere with hearing, speech and sleep. It can also lead to extremely irritating snores.
In children, nasal congestion from enlarged adenoids can cause “sleep apnea”, hypoxia and in extreme cases, right sided heart failure.
Home remedies are generally enough to cure this and no extra medical efforts are needed. But in case of chronic congestion, medication is necessary.
Nasal congestion can be caused by a variety of mild infections like common cold, flu and sinus infections. All can lead to swelling of inner lining of nasal cavity. According to National Institute Of Health, illness related congestion usually improves within one week.
Other causes of long term congestion can be as follows:
2) Hay Fever
3) Nasal Polyphs
4) Chronic Sinusitis
6) Deviated Septum
7) Concha Bulbosa
8) Chemical Exposure
9) Environmental Irritants
10) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Nasal congestion can also happen during pregnancy, most commonly commencing during the first trimester. This happens due to the hormonal changes that take place in the body of a woman due to pregnancy.
Since nasal congestion is caused by any different number of reasons, hence treatment depends upon the underlying cause of it.
Alpha-adrenergic agonists are the first treatment of choice. They relieve congestion by constricting the blood vessels in the nasal cavity, thus resulting in relieved symptoms. Examples include oxymetazoline and phenylephrine.
In case of influenza and common cold, both these conditions go away on their own after their general duration. Hence no further medication is necessary in these cases. But certain medications can be used to help relive discomfort. Like paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin.
When the congestion happens due to an allergic reaction like hay fever then “antihistamines” and decongestants can be used as a potential remedy although care should be taken in case of tropical decongestants since rebound congestion may occur.
Now the most common treatment would be to directly apply nasal decongestants like Naphazoline, oxymetazone, oral pills like Sedafed and Bronkaid. Although care must be observed since nasal sprays can cause “rebound” (Rhinitis Medicamentosa) and worsen then congestion if taken for more than a few days.
If an infant is unable to breathe because of a plugged nose, a nasal aspirator may be useful to remove the mucus. The mucus might be thick and sticky, making it difficult to expel from the nostril.
Natural Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion
We have a collection of some of the best home remedies for nasal congestion for you. Use these simple home remedies for nasal congestion to clean your congestion naturally.
Using A Vaporizer Or Humidifier
Vaporizers are good for sinus congestions since the extra humidity via the humidifiers can provide a lot of relief and de-congest the nasal cavity by adding moisture to the air which goes into your nose and breaks up the mucus leading to relaxation. There are two types of humidifiers, one is warm mist and the other is cold mist. Both can be used but for children its generally advised to use cold mist since the other one may get a little uncomfortable. It is one of the easiest home remedies for nasal congestion.
Using A Neti Pot
This may sound like a weird choice but its actually very effective. The best option to remove nasal congestion is to clean your sinus region. For this a Neti Pot can be utilized. It is designed in such a way as to push water through the nasal cavity. They have also been used in India in traditonal Ayurvedic medications. To use this, make a saline solution of warm water and pharmaceutical grade salt. Put this in the pot and insert the spout into one nostril while tilting your head on the other side. The solution will enter into your nasal passage and exit out through the other one into the sink. Repeat if needed.
Using Warm Compress
Warm compress can help break away the mucus build-up and thereby decongest the nasal cavity. Soaking the towel in moderately warm water and then applying it near the sinus area and forehead. The warmth can provide comfort from pain and relieve the inflammation inside the nasal cavity. Repeat this as often as required.
Garlic is the wonder herb. It has tremendous anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that make it useful in treating a host of problems, including “congestion related to colds”. A study performed in the United kingdom found that people who were given garlic supplements for 12 weeks during the cold season had significantly fewer colds than those who didn’t consume it. People who have an aversion to the smell of taste of garlic can use garlic sauteed with vegetables. A few cloves of garlic should be taken and put into a small pot along with a cup of water. heat until steaming, then carefully inhale the garlic steam as and when required. Use this home remedy for nasal congestion because of its effectiveness.
A few herbs can be very effective in combating stuffy nose like menthol and eucalyptus oil. Menthol is found in inhaler balms and rubs for congestion. Menthol however does not decrease the congestion. It only makes the nasal cavity more sensitive, hence giving the feeling of more air being passed through it. Its good for instant short term relief though.
On the other hand, Eucalyptus oil is shown to have properties that loosens mucus. Eucalyptus oil steam is the most popular choice to go for. Its very soothing way to relieve congestion. Take a steaming bowl of water and add a few drops eucalyptus oil. Drape a towel over your head and around the bowl. The steam should be inhaled for about 10 minutes.
These simple home remedies for nasal congestion will help you clear your congestion effectively. Use these home remedies for nasal congestion to have a healthier lifestyle.