Are you wondering, “How do I get rid of this annoying nasal congestion?” Well, you have landed in the right place. This article will show you how to get rid of nasal congestion in infants and adults alike. You will also get treatment options and natural home remedies that have been proven to relieve the symptoms of nose congestion to get you breathing well fast.
How to Stop Nasal Congestion
A congested nose can really get in the way of your daily activities. How to stop nasal congestion depends on the underlying factor since a congested of nose is normally a symptom for an underlying condition such as common cold, sinusitis, flu, allergy, deviated nasal septum or enlarged adenoids among others. [Read exclusively on causes of a congested nose].
While medical treatment and even surgery may at times be required e.g. in the case of enlarged adenoids, you can stop the symptoms of nasal congestion at home by simply taking measures aimed at flushing out dried mucus, restoring moisture in the nasal passages and reducing inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages.
Some of the ways to stop a congested nose are nasal irrigation with saline nasal drops, using nasal decongestants and antihistamines, and using hot compresses among others that we’ll discuss in more details in the next section.
How to Get Rid of Nasal Congestion Fast
A congested nose can be such a nuisance and most people dread the stuffiness that comes with common cold, flu, sinus infection and other underlying ailments. Here is how to get rid of nasal congestion fast when you are feeling under the weather:
Good Hydration: Drinking plenty of liquids (tea, soup, chicken soup, broth, water, energy drinks etc, but not coke or coffee) helps to moisturize the nasal passages and sinuses. This in turn helps to thin out the mucus in the nasal passages, thus enhancing sinus drainage. Remember that you are supposed to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day at the very least even when you are not suffering from a congested nose.
Hot compresses: Application of heat to the forehead and cheekbones (targeting the four sinuses) with a hot pack or warm towel can help to relieve a nose that is congested. Simply immerse a towel in hot water, squeeze out excess water, and then fold it over your cheekbones or Nose Bridge and forehead until it dissipates the heat. Repeat the procedure for 15 minutes three times a day.
Sleep at an elevated angle: Sleeping with your head propped up a bit also helps to get rid of nasal congestion. The easiest way to do that is to add extra pillows below your head as you sleep. You can also raise the head of your bed by sliding a small block of wood or a book beneath the legs of the bed.
Saline nasal drops and rinses: Nasal irrigation with a saline is a very popular and effective remedy that has been used for a long time to get rid of nose congestion. Saline solution helps to thin out the mucus inside the nasal passages and flush it out, thus relieving the congestion.
You can use saline nasal drops or nasal sprays that are available at most drugstores or prepare your own solution by adding a ¼ teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. You can also add a pinch of baking soda to reduce the effect of salt. The water used should either be sterile or previously boiled in order to avoid infections.
Once the solution is ready to use, place it in the Neti pot and pour it into the nostrils slowly from the tip of the Neti pot with your head tilted at an angle of 45 degrees. The solution will flow through the nasal cavity and pour out from the other nostril. Some of solution might also drain into the mouth; simply spit it out.
After a minute or so, blow the nose to flush out any solution remaining in the nose and repeat the procedure in the other nostril.
Nasal decongestants and antihistamines
Nasal decongestants and antihistamines are normally used to manage a congested nose. Nasal decongestants help by contracting the blood vessels in the lining of the nasal passages and thus reduce their inflammation. They should however not be used for more than 3 days. They come in the forms of nasal sprays and pills.
Antihistamines are used to relieve nasal congestion caused by exposure to allergens such as pollen (hay fever) and moulds among others. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription. [Read more on ]
Other useful options to get rid of nose congestion are:
- Using a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity in the air
- Taking a hot shower
- Inhaling hot steam
How to Get Rid of Nasal Congestion Naturally
If natural remedies are your cup of coffee, then there are various options you can use to get rid of nasal congestion naturally at home such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and wine boiled with ginger, peppermint tea, chicken soup and tomato soup among others.
You can read more on how to get rid of a congested nose naturally in our other articles titled how to clear nose congestion and home remedies for nasal congestion.
How Do You Get Rid of Nasal Congestion in Infants, Babies, Kids and Toddlers
A congested nose can make babies uncomfortable and get in the way of their feeding. It can also alter their sleeping patterns. So how do you get rid of nasal congestion in babies, including infants (aged below 1 year)?
The best way to get rid of nasal congestion in babies is to use saline nasal drops. You can buy a saline nasal drop in a drugstore or use a saline solution prepared by mixing ¼ tsp of un-iodized salt and warm water that was previously boiled. Once all the salt has dissolved, use a dropper to place 2 to 3 drops into your child’s nostril while the baby lies on his/her back. Wait for 30 seconds before placing 2 to 3 drops in the other nostril.
Although a popular way to get rid of nose congestion in adults and older children, nasal decongestants should not be used for children under the age of two years unless advised to do so by your pediatrician. As a matter of fact, nasal decongestants have also not been shown to be effective in children aged below 6 years.
You may also consider these guidelines to get rid of nasal congestion in infants:
- Help your child to drain the mucus by laying him/her on the stomach
- Use a nasal bulb to suck mucus from your baby’s nose
- Raise your child’s head as he/she sleeps by placing a pillow beneath the mattress
- Encourage your child to drink lots of liquids or breastfeed/formula-feed your baby adequately
- Use a humidifier to raise the level of moisture in the house