How to get rid of a blocked nose How to get rid of a blocked nose

How to get rid of a blocked nose – a doctor’s best tips

Suffering from nasal congestion isn't merely bothersome; it can impede comfortable breathing and disrupt our sleep. So, what's the recommended approach for alleviating congestion, as a medical professional advises?

 

"There exist several home remedies for clearing a stuffy or blocked nose that you can experiment with," says the doctors. "If these methods do not provide relief, the subsequent course of action should involve consulting a pharmacist or physician to explore treatment alternatives."

 

What causes a blocked nose?

When the immune system detects an unwelcome guest in the nasal passages, it triggers the swelling of blood vessels to facilitate the arrival of white blood cells to address the issue. However, this swelling can also lead to nasal blockage.

Daily, we inhale as much as 15,000 litres of air containing invisible particles like dust, pollen, and viruses. Fortunately, our immune system efficiently rids the body of these intruders.

When the immune system detects an unwelcome guest in the nasal passages, it triggers the swelling of blood vessels to facilitate the arrival of white blood cells to address the issue. However, this swelling can also lead to nasal blockage.

The primary reasons for experiencing nasal congestion include:

Substances like dust mites, pollen, or animal dander often trigger allergic reactions in the nasal passages.

  • Contracting a cold.

  • Suffering from the flu.

  • Infection with the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Sometimes, a cold or allergy can progress into sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses characterized by facial pain, a diminished sense of smell, and green or yellow nasal discharge.

In certain instances, persistent nasal congestion may be attributed to the structural configuration of the nose, which can be either genetically determined or the result of a previous injury.

How long does a blocked nose last?

The duration of your nasal congestion depends on the underlying cause.

 

 

Allergies

Common Cold

Sinusitis

Anatomical

How Long Does A blocked Nose Usually Last

Up To 4 Weeks

5-10 Days

Up To 3 Months(It can be chronic sometimes)

Chronic

 

Typically, a virus-induced stuffy nose tends to resolve relatively quickly. If it persists for over ten days, it could indicate another issue.

If you find your symptoms concerning or bothersome, it's advisable to consult with a doctor or pharmacist. Meanwhile, there are home remedies you can try to alleviate your discomfort.

How can I get rid of a blocked nose?

To clear a blocked nose, here are eight tips from doctors.

1. Be gentle when you blow your nose

When you sense nasal blockage, the instinct is to grab tissues and attempt to clear them promptly. However, excessive or forceful blowing can lead to sinus bleeding or infections, exacerbating the situation. Overblowing your nose can also contribute to the inflammation that may be causing the initial sensation of congestion.

The most effective clearing of mucus is gently blowing your nose, addressing one nostril at a time.

1. Be gentle when you blow your nose

When you sense nasal blockage, the instinct is to grab tissues and attempt to clear them promptly. However, excessive or forceful blowing can lead to sinus bleeding or infections, exacerbating the situation. Overblowing your nose can also contribute to the inflammation that may be causing the initial sensation of congestion.

2. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day

Proper hydration can help to thin mucus and support your body's immune response in case of an infection.

The recommended amount of fluid intake may vary for individuals, but the key is to ensure you don't experience thirst.

3. Hold a warm flannel to your cheeks

Applying a warm compress to your cheeks and face can alleviate sinus pressure, and you can use this method as frequently as necessary.

You can create a homemade warm compress by saturating a cloth or flannel in warm water and wringing it out. The water should be comfortably warm but not excessively hot, similar to the temperature of a bath.

4. Dial up the humidity

When dealing with a painful, dry, or crusty nose, excessively dry air can exacerbate the problem. Increasing the humidity in your environment, particularly at night, can be beneficial.

This can be accomplished easily by using a humidifier. Still, you can also introduce moisture into the air by boiling water in a pan for 10 minutes or taking a hot shower.

6. Use menthol ointment or oil

Menthol-based essential oils do not clear the nasal passages, but their cooling effect gives the impression of easier breathing.

Add a small amount of menthol, eucalyptus, or camphor oil to your bath or humidifier to ease congestion. You could also use a plug-in vapouriser. Add vapour rub, an ointment that can be rubbed onto your chest.

7. Ask a pharmacist about treatment options

Over-the-counter treatments are available if you're dealing with a persistent or bothersome blocked nose. However, it's advisable to consult a pharmacist before selecting the most suitable option for your condition.

These treatments are offered in the form of nasal sprays or tablets:

  • Decongestants: Formulated for short-term relief, typically effective for colds.

  • Steroids: Particularly helpful for allergies or addressing ongoing nasal congestion.

  • Antihistamines: Useful for alleviating allergy symptoms, although some may induce drowsiness.

Starting with decongestants is recommended, but prolonged use beyond a week may worsen the situation. Steroid sprays are the next consideration and are safe for long-term use.

8. Speak to a doctor if symptoms don't improve after ten days

A thorough assessment of your symptoms will be conducted to eliminate the possibility of an underlying condition. Depending on the findings, a prescription may be provided, or you may be directed to consult a specialist in ear, nose, and throat issues or allergies.

What helps a blocked nose at night?

Nasal congestion often intensifies during nighttime, posing challenges to restful sleep. Before bedtime, consider these remedies:

  • Sip on warm lemon and honey or ginger tea.

  • Perform a nasal rinse.

  • Consider taking ibuprofen or paracetamol.

  • Apply vapour rub or utilize a plug-in vaporizer.

  • Elevate your head with an extra pillow during the night to facilitate mucus drainage and enhance breathing comfort.

What can help a child or baby with a blocked nose?

Children and infants often experience significant discomfort due to congested noses, primarily because their nasal passages are considerably narrower than those of adults. In addition to administering ibuprofen or paracetamol, you can apply the same sleep-enhancing tips for children.

Instead of elevating their heads with a pillow, infants should consider elevating one end of the crib. Applying vapour rub to their feet, rather than their chests, can prevent the scent from becoming overwhelming. Since babies are unable to blow their noses, there are devices available that can gently extract mucus for them.

What can help a child or baby with a blocked nose?

Children and infants often experience significant discomfort due to congested noses, primarily because their nasal passages are considerably narrower than those of adults. In addition to administering ibuprofen or paracetamol, you can apply the same sleep-enhancing tips for children.

When should I see a doctor about my blocked nose?

If you have concerns about your symptoms, suspect a possible COVID-19, or if your nasal congestion persists beyond ten days, it's advisable to seek medical attention.

Although a stuffy nose is typically a minor issue, it's essential to be vigilant for certain signs, including:

  • Persistent unilateral nasal blockage (occurring on one side and consistently on the same side).

  • Repeated episodes of nosebleeds or crust formation in the nose.

  • Continuous discharge of watery fluid from the nose.

  • Swollen or painful eyes.

  • Impaired vision.

In rare cases, a blocked nose may be linked to an unusual type of cancer or a recent head or spine injury. Detecting these issues early is crucial, so don't hesitate to consult a doctor if you have concerns.

Mobi Doctor provides convenient and accessible healthcare services, offering virtual consultations with experienced medical professionals to address your health concerns and provide guidance from the comfort of your space. With Mobi Doctor, you can get the medical attention you need without the hassle of visiting a physical clinic.

 

 

 

 

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