For Children Contact A Doctor If Their Nasal Congestion:
- Is accompanied by a fever and the child is under 2 months old
- Is causing difficulty with breastfeeding or eating or drinking
- Is causing problems with breathing
- Is accompanied by swelling, pain, or pressure in the face, cheek, or forehead
- Is causing difficulty with vision
- Is accompanied by a yellow, green, or off-colored nasal discharge
- Is accompanied by a bloody discharge
- Is accompanied by a sore throat and/or visible signs of white or yellow spots on the tonsils
Why Does One Nostril Get Blocked
One nostril gets blocked due to an odd, but very real, phenomenon known as the nasal cycle. This phenomenon has been known about for centuries in yoga and ayurvedic medicine and has to do with the immune and central nervous system diverting blood flow from one nostril to the other every few hours. The exact purpose and reason for this phenomenon is not yet known.
Blocked Nose At Night
If youve suffered from a blocked nose or congestion, youll know that sleeping with a stuffy nose at night isn’t always easy.
Your blocked nose can feel worse at night because more blood flows to it when you lie down, which can add to the nasal inflammation and congestion1.
There are a number of reasons why your blocked nose will feel worse when sleeping, making it more difficult to get a good nights sleep. But there are also plenty of things you can try to help relieve it and improve your chances of getting the rest you need.
Find out what makes a blocked nose at night worse and how you can ease it to help you sleep.
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Rinse The Sinuses With A Neti Pot And Saline Solution
The most immediate thing we do when we have a stuffy nose is blowing the nose in order to get rid of the congestion. However, rinsing the nose with a neti pot and saline solution is a more effective method.
According to Ayurveda, this rinses off the excess mucus and any other allergens in the sinuses to unclog the nose.
Things You Should Know
- Use heat treatments like breathing steam, applying a warm compress, or having a hot beverage to open up your sinuses.
- Irrigate with saline spray or use a neti pot to manually flush out your sinuses. Even light exercise or a massage with your fingers could do the trick.
- Seek medical attention if youve had head cold symptoms for 2 weeks, youre bleeding from your sinuses, or you have shortness of breath or a cough.
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Rare Risks If You Blow Too Hard And Too Often
Although extremely rare, there are a few examples in the medical literature of people blowing so hard they generated pressures high enough to cause serious damage. In most of these cases people had underlying chronic sinusitis or an existing weakness in the structure they damaged after blowing too hard.
These injuries included fractures of the base of the eye socket air forced into the tissue between the two lobes of the lung severe headache from air forced inside the skull and rupture of the oesophagus, the tube that sends food to the stomach.
One study looked at the pressures generated when people with and without a range of nasal complaints blew their noses.
People with chronic sinusitis generated pressures significantly higher than people without a nasal complaint, up to 9,130 Pascals of pressure. They also found blowing by blocking both nostrils generated much higher pressures than blowing with one nostril open.
Another study comparing pressures from nose blowing, sneezing and coughing found pressures generated during blowing were about ten times higher than during the other two activities.
More worrying was their second finding viscous fluid from the nose had found its way into the sinus cavities after vigorous nose blowing. The researchers said this could be a mechanism for sinus infection complicating some colds, with the introduction of nasal bacteria to the sinuses. But they did not produce evidence for this.
Ask A Pharmacist About Treatment Options
If your blocked nose is really annoying or stubborn, there are over-the-counter treatments. Although these are readily available, speak to a pharmacist first to decide which one is best for you, says Dr Ramskill.
The following treatments are available as nasal sprays or tablets:
These are for short-term relief only, and usually help colds.
SteroidsThese are most helpful for allergies or relieving an ongoing blocked nose.
AntihistaminesThese can help ease allergy symptoms but some can cause drowsiness.
Its best to try decongestants first, but they can actually make things worse if you use them for more than a week, says Dr Ramskill. Steroid sprays are the next option and are fine for long-term use.
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How Long Does A Runny Nose Typically Last
If you have a runny nose thats not letting up after 10 days or so and its not responding to OTC medications and self-care, you may want to consider seeing your doctor.
If youre feeling crappy from a respiratory infection after seven days, your primary care physician may be able to prescribe a stronger medication to take care of the runny nose and other yucky symptoms. If you still dont feel better, a bacterial sinus infection may be brewing, which may need to be treated with antibiotics, says Dr. Cappelle.
In any case, if your nasal symptoms are sticking around or making everyday life really unpleasant, its time to make an appointment with a doctor, if you can. Its not something thats dangerous if you cant see your doctor after a weekits just going to be uncomfortable, says Dr. Van Groningen. But, lets be real, nobody wants to suffer through the sniffles forever.
Inflammation & Irritation Cause Colds
Before you attempt to cure your stuffy nose and pressurized head, it’s good to know what’s causing you such discomfort.
Image by William Brawley/Flickr
According to WebMD, when our heads fill with fluid and blockages are created, affecting our breathing, hearing, and mental clarity, it all begins in the nose. When we feel stuffed up, it’s likely that the membranes inside our nose are inflamed and irritated. In response to whatever it is that flooded our lymphatic system with fluid, our nasal passages start producing increased amounts of mucus as they try to flush out the source of irritation.
So, when you need to clear your sinuses, it’s important to remember that they’re already inflamed. This means it’s crucial to keep them lubricated and moist rather than to eliminate the mucus and dry everything out. Your runny, snotty nose needs that moisture.
When we turn to nose-clearing cold and allergy remedies, we often look for pills that can make all that mucus disappear. Those same pills can dry out the sinuses and create more pain. Instead of going straight to the medicine bottle, you can first try to move the fluid out of the head using acupressure.
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When To Get Help
Hopefully, these home remedies for a stuffy nose can help you get some much-needed relief. However, in some cases, you may not experience any progress or recovery. Here are some things to keep in mind that may need medical attention:
- If your nose does not clear up for more than 5 days it may be a sign of something more serious
- If you find it very difficult to breathe
- If you have additional symptoms like green mucus, tightness in the chest and severe, coughing
- If your stuffy nose is accompanied by headaches, ear pain or facial pain, it may indicate something serious
- If you have a fever along with a stuffy nose and neither of them goes away despite home remedies and antipyretics
These symptoms may point towards a serious bacterial or viral infection, or some other root cause. Please be sure to inform your doctor or meet them at the earliest in case you have the above symptoms.
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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the readers situation.
Is It Dangerous To Sleep With A Blocked Nose
Getting plenty of sleep is key to helping your body fight infections like the common cold39. Nasal congestion is rarely anything to be seriously worried about40.
So, while it may be a little uncomfortable, sleeping with a blocked nose is not only safe but essential41. Try using some of the tips weve suggested to help yourself sleep easier, so your body has the energy it needs to fight off the infection.
For quick relief from your blocked nose at night, try the SUDAFED® Decongestant range . With active ingredients like pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, our decongestant tablets fight nasal congestion by reducing swelling so you can breathe more easily through your nose42.
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How To Clear A Stuffy Nose In Seconds
First, place two fingers on your nose and squeeze it closed. Once the nostrils are squeezed closed you will take a deep breath. Continue to pinch your nostrils closed while taking a deep breath. After youve taken a deep breath you arch your head back almost as if you want to stare at the ceiling.
Keep your head back and hold that deep breath. According to Dr. Mandell, this causes the stuffy nose to interconnect with the brain. The brain will send a reflex action to the sinus region and nasal area to open up. You keep holding this arched back head + pinched nose position for a few more seconds.
When you feel like you cannot hold your breath any longer, you let go of your nose and breathe out all of that air as your head goes back down to face forward.
Dr. Mandell says this is like magic and you can do this technique as often as is necessary. If you didnt watch the video above, heres one more chance:
I have had countless head colds over my lifetime. Heck, Ive had one a month over the past year since my 2-year-old son was in daycare. It is killing me that Ive only just now discovered this life-changing stuffy nose hack from Dr. Mandell.
How To Clear Nasal Congestion Quickly
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 55,667 times.
Nasal congestion or “stuffy nose” occurs when tissues and blood vessels in your nasal passageways and sinuses become swollen with excess fluid/mucus.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source Nasal congestion is often accompanied by a “runny nose.” Nasal congestion has many causes, including viral infections , allergies and environmental irritants . Learning how to clear nasal congestion quickly is important for getting on with your day instead of being stuck on the couch next to a box of tissues.
How Long Does Nasal Congestion Last
How long a stuffy nose lasts depends on what is causing the sinus congestion. If, for example, the congestion is caused by a cold or the flu, it will probably endure for about as long as the illness lasts, which could be anywhere from 5 to 10 days or longer. Whereas, if a stuffy nose is the result of seasonal allergies, symptoms may last much longer and reappear with certain environmental triggers.
Can Breathing Exercises Help With Nose Blocks
Blocked noses are a common symptom of colds, allergies and other respiratory conditions. The problem will usually clear up by itself, but if youre bothered by a blocked nose then there are some breathing exercises and other remedies that might help. You should also discuss the problem with a doctor if it doesnt clear up quickly or if it happens a lot. You might have an allergy or a physical blockage such as a polyp that is narrowing the nasal passages, which could be solved with the right treatment.
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How To Get Rid Of Stuffy Nose At Home
To relieve the sensation of having a stuffy nose, several people rely more on home remedies as these have a lower risk of side effects as well as cost-effective than medicines.
The main way of getting relief is curbing the severity of the symptoms or duration of the cause with these home remedies.
What Are Some Causes Of Clogged Sinuses And Stuffy Noses
Pinpointing the cause of a stuffy nose and/or clogged sinuses can prove difficult. This is because these conditions can be caused by anything that irritates nasal tissue.
The most frequent causes of a stuffy nose are the common cold, influenza, sinusitis, and/or allergies. Spring brings a spike in pollen counts across the United States and pollen, in turn, causes a lot of Americans to suffer from allergies.
A useful way to track when pollen counts are spiking is by checking the local Pollen Allergy Forecast. These are displayed similarly to a 5-day Weather Outlook and show a range of pollen count each day from Low to High. Some pollen counts may be specific to one pollen . And some pollen forecasts may show a combined score for all of the pollens currently in an area.
It is important to read the fine print on a pollen forecast if you are sensitive to a specific type of pollen as that might be found in a higher or lower concentration than the forecast indicates.
iStockphoto / Diy13
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Get Some Eucalyptus Oil
If youre looking for a natural home remedy, Dr. Polinsky suggests eucalyptus oil. Studies showed it can work as a pain reliever and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to decrease mucus production and nasal inflammation. Eucalyptus oil can be inhaled in a steam through a diffuser to reduce nasal symptoms or by adding a few drops of oil into a bowl of hot water, says Dr. Polinsky. There are also eucalyptus lozenges and vapor rubs, which can also help to clear the nose.
While eucalyptus oil is safe to smell and inhale, avoid ingesting or putting it directly on your face. Also, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place, as heat and direct sunlight can change the composition of this essential oil.
How To Get Rid Of A Stuffy Nose Instantly
Follow the instructions and see how your nose reacts.
- Use your fingertips to apply gentle pressure.
- Use round movements the movement is a pushing-releasing type of rotation.
- You should not feel any pain.
- Do the cycle 3 times.
- Point 1 is located on a cavity at the corner of the nostrils its the bottom part of your nostrils.
- Gently push the nostrils together with a rotating movement. As you do this, you almost close, and then open the nostrils.
- Perform the movement 10 times.
- Make sure not to push on the nose cartilage. Youre only pressing the bottom part of the nostrils.
- Point 2 is located just below the corner of the eyes, near the nose, where the tears come out.
- Perform a gentle rotation at this point 10 times. Dont lift your fingers, but just move the skin, so you feel the corner of your eye as you push.
- Point 3 is behind your earlobe, at the bottom part of the ear, in the cavity just below the cartilage.
- Push and release the point 10 times, without applying pressure to the cartilage. The rotation you do is not wide, but a subtle movement.
- The last point is the earlobe itself.
- Gently massage the earlobe 10 times.
After going through the above four acupressure points three times, you should feel immediate symptom relief. For best results, repeat the procedure again after 10 minutes.
I would love to hear back from you about the results of using this simple technique.
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Use A Saline Nasal Spray
A saline nasal spray is a simple, sterile, saltwater solution that is good for congested nasal cavities, says Dr. Alexander. This over-the-counter treatment works by drawing water out of the congested mucosa in your nose, ultimately shrinking the swollen nasal tissue and clearing up the stuffiness, he explains.
Saline spray is a safe option for all adults and can be used as often as needed to relieve symptoms, but overuse may cause some of the fluid to drip from your nose.
Keep Your Sinuses Moving
No matter what has your sinuses stuffed and blocked up, the easiest and quickest course of action isn’t turning to your medicine cabinet. With a little pressure on the right points and even the use of your tongue, you can draw the problematic fluid from its source of blockage and clear all of your head’s senses.
If allergies are bothering you, try rinsing with a neti pot, which not only pushes pressure into your sinuses but keeps them moist and removes any allergens like pollen or animal dander that has built up in there. Try this sinus rinse kit or try a ceramic or stainless steel neti pot. Just make sure you use bottled or boiled water when rinsing.
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