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Nasal congestion

How to treat nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion, or a stuffy nose, is a common symptom associated with colds or other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. It can be very uncomfortable, but there are ways to help.

Home remedies

Staying hydrated, from both within the body and outside, may help ease nasal congestion. Drink plenty of water, which will help mucus loosen up. You can also stay hydrated externally by using a humidifier. A warm compress can also help. Nasal irrigation is another method many find relief through. The irrigation system cleans out the sinus passageways. Finally, another way to provide relief from nasal congestion is by steam inhalation. Get a bowl of very hot water and breathe in the steam from it. This can help hydrate the nasal passageways, and may help loosen up any mucus if it’s the cause of your congestion. 

Medication

Nasal decongestants work by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passageways, reducing swelling and inflammation. These are often available in cold medicine formulations, including other medications like pain relievers/fever reducers and antihistamines. Nasal decongestant medication is also available alone in many forms, including oral forms and nasal sprays or drops. Keep in mind that sprays and drops containing nasal decongestants should not be used for more than 3-4 days unless under the direction of a doctor, due to the possibility of developing rebound congestion.

Procedures for chronic/severe cases

If nasal congestion is the result of chronic sinusitis or chronic rhinitis, there are procedures that can help. Balloon sinuplasty helps open up the sinus cavities helping relieve symptoms including a stuffy nose. Another procedure called Clarifix is another procedure that helps chronic rhinitis. It works using cryotherapy to get to the root of symptoms such as nasal congestion and runny nose. 

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