a woman struggling with a blocked nose

Struggling with a blocked nose?

Got a cold lingering longer than you’d like? Or maybe you have an allergy that’s making it runny? Having a stuffy nose, especially when you’re trying to get to sleep, can be a real nuisance.

If you’re keen ease your symptoms, the following measures may help:

Have a hot shower

The steam from a hot shower can do wonders for a blocked nose as it helps open up the nasal passages1. You can get the same effect by filling a bowl with steaming hot water, leaning over it (but not too close) and then placing a towel over yourself and the bowl to trap the steam. Inhale deeply and you should feel it slowly clearing your nostrils.

Drink plenty of water

Water is a must when you’re feeling poorly as it’ll help keep your body hydrated and aid in flushing out your sinuses. You should aim for at least eight glasses of water a day – this is particularly important when you’re ill2.

Drain your sinuses with a neti pot

If your nose is really blocked, you might want to try draining your sinuses. You can do this with a neti pot, a small container designed specifically to help clear your nostrils, which you can pick up in most pharmacies. It’s important that you only ever fill it with sterilised water (not tap water).

Over a sink, insert the spout of the neti pot into one nostril and then tip it up until the water starts to flow into your nose. It should travel down the nostril it’s being poured into and then come out of the other nostril. Repeat the process until the nostril is clear and then switch to the other side3.

Use a saline spray

Saline sprays are a common solution for unclogging a blocked nose. They’re essentially just salty water which, when sprayed up the nostrils, can help thin mucus and allow it drain more easily out of the nose. You can purchase saline sprays in most pharmacies or create your own by mixing half a teaspoon of table salt with a pint of sterilised water4.

Put a warm flannel on your nose and forehead

Wondering how to get rid of a blocked nose AND soothe inflamed nostrils? A warm compress is the answer. Simply soak a clean flannel in warm water, wring it out and then place it over your nose and forehead. The heat from the cloth should open up the nasal passages, allowing you to then get rid of excess mucus more easily5.

Take an immune-supporting supplement

Sometimes your immune system needs a little bit of extra support, especially if you’ve been under the weather for a couple of weeks. There are certain supplements you can take which specifically help fight cold symptoms. Try boosting your immune system with vitamin C and D or a traditional herbal medicinal product such as echinacea which can help relieve symptoms of the common cold(based on traditional use only)6.

Before buying any medications or supplements, consider consulting a healthcare professional to ensure they’re the right product for you. Always read the packets for correct instructions on dosages and for advice on what to do if you experience any side effects.

Last updated: 20 April 2020

Sources
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/stuffy-nose-relief#shower
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/six-to-eight-glasses-of-water-still-best/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/stuffy-nose-relief#neti-pot
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/catarrh/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313808#treatments
  6. https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/immune_system_boost