Who hasn’t experienced that irritating condition, when you can neither get rid of cough, nor breathe-in with ease and end up struggling with sleepless nights! In medical terms, it is commonly referred as nasal congestion, which often begins with stuffy nose.
Stuffy Nose Causes and Symptoms
From simple allergens that enter the nasal pathway along with air, to structural abnormality and microbial infection, nasal congestion may be traced back to several causes. Medical writers have listed down the major ones as infection, allergies, rhinitis and structural abnormalities.
Out of these, the most common one is a viral infection. Most of the common cold causing viruses are air borne that get absorbed by nose. In response to this foreign particle, the body releases a chemical that increases blood flow towards nasal tissue, thereby causing it to swell and inflame the lining membranes. And this is how your nose gets stuffed up and the excessive mucus produced, makes breathing difficult.
The other one is allergens such as pollen grains, dust particles, mold, animal dander, perfume and anything whose contact makes you sneeze promptly. These elements also trigger the body’s system to react in a way, similar to virus attack.
The probability of nasal congestion increases when you have already developed cold. This is so because the level of a specific hormone (Adrenaline) goes down, making it hard for the blood vessels in nose to remain in their natural constricted condition. Vasomotor Rhinitis is the medical term for this.
And lastly, the structural abnormalities! It might be the case that one day you discover with your doctor that the injury that you had in your childhood has deformed your nasal septum (the cartilage that separates the two portions of your nose) or nose in some way, obstructing the breathing process in one of the several ways.
Depending on the cause, the symptoms of stuffy nose and nasal congestion may vary in kind and severity. Common ones include itchy nose and throat, watery eyes, sneezing, discomfort in breathing and runny nose.
Newborn Stuffy nose
Now this is something that calls for a big deal of action! Agree? Wait! Before you nod your head, let me uncover the truth behind the stereotype. The fact that majority of the newborns have stuffy nose is of no question. But to reason it on scientific grounds, it is worth mentioning that in their initial months of life, babies can’t breathe through their mouths and this is why they have no option but to use that small nasal passage for taking the air in. This is the key to understanding why does your little one sounds stuffy while breathing. Also, studies say that unlike grown-ups and adult who breathe continuously, babies take deep breaths but less frequently.
Altogether, it appears that the baby is struggling to breathe. So, do not worry until the symptoms of common cold come along or the baby isn’t feeding well.
Your baby is in his best health! Newborn stuffy nose is just the nature’s way of making the baby adapt in the new world.
Stuffy nose During Pregnancy
Pregnancy has a lot many associated factors to be blamed for those wakeful nights! And one that is spottable is stuffy nose.
While the lady goes through the beautiful phase of her life, her body makes several changes in the essential systems, of which hormonal or endocrine system is the major one. During pregnancy, oestrogen and the other hormone levels rise up, causing an effect on membrane lining of the nose. And this is why stuffy nose is a usual complaint.
Do not panic! The problem goes away once the pregnancy phase is over and the baby is delivered out of the mother’s womb.
Stuffy Nose during night
A good sound sleep at night is the best precaution as well as remedy to keep your immune system high and be in your best health.
But practically, peaceful sleep isn’t that easy! And the worst scenario is when you are back from the hectic work schedule, its midnight and your body desperately wants to rest but that stuffy nose causes significant nuisance!
Forget about sleeping if you’ve already got sinus complaints and you are in habit of laying on your right or left side! Because when sleep this way, your nose passages will get filled with blood and create a perfect condition for stuffy nose during night.
Thinking about what could help? Stop complaining and rush to your kitchen to collect ingredients for one of the mentioned home remedies for stuffy nose.
Home Remedies for Stuffy Nose
There’s lot more than you would expect the essential oils to do for you! They actively adapt to your body and quickly start with their job of unblocking your clogged nasal airways, improving breathing and minimizing the mucous secretions to relieve you from the symptoms of stuffy nose and nasal congestion.
How to go about this remedy?
- Boil some water and pour it in a deep bowl or heat proof container.
- Add about 7-8 drops of essential oil in the warm water and your solution is ready for steam inhalation!
- Now lean over the container to inhale the vapors through your nose as well as mouth.
- Do not forget to cover the back of your head and neck with a cloth or towel as you lean for steam inhalation.
Keep taking the vapors until the water cools down. You may use this remedy as needed.
For preparing your own cocktail of essential oil, add
- 2 drops each of Eucalyptus oil and Thyme oil and
- 3 drops each of Peppermint oil and Rosemary oil.
If you do not have all of these oils, you may also go for Peppermint oil alone.
Alternatively, you can also add few drops of essential oils to hot water bath or massage the nasal bridge and the linings of nose with the essential oils directly for fast relief.
Also check Snoring home remedies.
When the infant has terribly blocked nose, feeding becomes difficult. You cannot expect the baby to sneeze the cough out and all that the little one can rely on for ease is you! Also, spraying saline or those readymade nasal sprays on the sensitive nasal passage isn’t a good option. So, why not go for breast milk that has everything to relieve the baby from discomfort breathing?
Do this to relieve the baby from stuffy nose
Express few drops of breast milk in to baby’s nose.
And this is all you need to do! Let the amazing properties of mother’s milk take care of the rest!
Coconut oil is natural and effective ingredient that hits almost every list of home remedies! Also because it smells so good and working with it requires no special efforts! This time, coconut oil’s potential is all set to relieve you from stuffy nose.
How to use coconut oil?
- Make a strong hot tea for yourself and add a teaspoon of coconut oil to it.
- Blend it well for a uniform drink.
- Gulp it up in a jiffy.
You may also apply the coconut oil directly on your nose as well as inside the nostril.
Garlic or Ginger
You thought garlic and ginger are only to Indian taste to your recipe? These ingredients form essential part of home remedies to relieve stuffy nose.
How to go about it?
- Take some garlic cloves and keep them in your mouth.
- Let the juice relieve you from the symptoms.
- Crush about 3 garlic cloves and add it in a cup of boiling water.
- Your soup is ready!
If you wish to go with ginger,
- Make ginger tea by adding grated ginger to luke warm water.
- For increasing the effectiveness, add a teaspoon of honey and lemon to the so obtained tea.
Acupressure is the buzz word that justifies its fame through its effectiveness. Do not worry if this is new to you! There are no special skills or training needed to bring acupressure in practice so as to get relieved from stuffy nose and congestion.
Here’s how to do it
- Let your palms produce warmth as you rub them together.
- Next, rub the tip of your nose with your right palm and warm your nose by using a circular motion.
- Do this for at least 15-20 times.
- Repeat the steps 5 times a day for quick relief from blockage.
Press the joints near the bridge that connects your nose and the eye socket with your thumb tips for about 5 minutes.
You may apply both of these acupressure techniques one after the other for best results.
Apple cider vinegar
Stuffy nose is often a result of excessive accumulation of mucus in the nose. Apple cider vinegar treats the condition by thinning the mucus and adding its goodness to strengthen immune system to fight with infections.
Method to use this remedy
- Take a cup of warm water and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to it.
- Now add a tablespoon of honey and stir the solution well until uniformity is obtained.
- Drink the resulting solution thrice a day for few days.
Eucalyptus oil has amazing components that boost up the immune system and decongest the nasal passages. It is also known to have powerful anti-infection properties that altogether makes it a compact remedy for cough, cold and blocked nose.
How to use Eucalyptus oil
- Go for steam inhalation (as mentioned before) by adding few drops of Eucalyptus oil to the boiling water.
To ease breathing while sleeping,
- Take a soft cloth and apply some drops of eucalyptus oil to it.
- Place this cloth below your pillow cover so as to allow the aroma, gradually unblock your clogged nose and offer peaceful sleep.
- Boil 2 cups of distilled water and add a teaspoon of salt to it. Your homemade nasal spray solution is ready!
- Squirt some drops of this in each of your nostrils with your finger or store the solution in a spray bottle to use it as a nasal spray.
Often, nasal congestion may be due to dryness in the air that you breathe in. This may turn up as dry cough that is difficult to remove from the nasal passages. So you need to moisten the micro environment in your nose so as to drain the mucus out.
For this very purpose, humidifiers are helpful. These are devices that ensure that your nose and nasal airways are moist enough to let the mucus flow out.
The only thing that you need to take care of is the customization of settings. Adjust the equipment and use it strictly as described in the guide that comes along the product.
10.Juices for stuffy nose
If you do not want to get into the typical home remedy thing for your stuffy nose, smile for you have an alternative you’ll love to go for! Ahh! No! Not that tasteless tea again! This time you have juice that are not only delicious in taste, but experts in relieving you from the symptoms of stuffy nose and congestion.
To begin with, carrot and tomato juices are on top of the list. Others that follow include green bell pepper, garlic and broccoli. You can easily get these juices readymade from the market. But if you wish to prepare the fresh and pure ones for yourself, go for it!
Apart from treating nasal congestion and related problems, these mega drinks are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that make you strong enough to fight with the infections naturally.
11.Foods for stuffy nose
Do not do anything additional, just make some changes to your recipes and job is done. Simple! Yes! Mere spicing up of dishes helps decongesting the nasal passages. Just add peppers to your recipe and the capsaicin in it will make sure your eyes water and your nose run.
If you are non vegetarian, good for your blocked nose! Go for hot chicken soup. It not only opens up the blocked nose but also helps you recover from allergies by virtue of its anti-inflammatory properties. Else, you may happily go for with hot vegetable soups.
Vicks on feet for stuffy nose
Science has not been successful enough to find a link between this remedy for nasal congestion. But surprisingly, some physicians actually recommend this to relieve chest congestion and coughing and it has actually worked for many.
You may try it yourself,
- Take some Vicks and gently rub it uniformly on the sole of your feet.
- Wear socks and go off to sleep.
But wait! Before you look forward to doing it, let me mention that some patients with sinus complaints have found the reverse effects. The condition has gone worse!
So, it is advisable to try this remedy only if your physician recommends. It may or may not work for you.
How to sleep with a stuffy nose
Now this is the sleep-savior part! Do not worry! Your struggle with sleepless nights ends right here with these tricks.
- Leave the humidifier or vaporizer on to moisten the air surrounding you so as to ease breathing.
- Explore the benefits of steam. Take hot water bath or inhale steam before going to bed.
- Use nasal strips that go across the nose’s bridge. It aids widening of nasal passage.
- Do not forget to use your home made nasal spray just before the bedtime.
- Elevate your head to a position higher than rest of your body. It’s a good idea to drain sinus and make the mucus drain out through the throat easily.
Note : If nothing works for 3-4 days, do not take a chance. Consult your physician to avoid complications.