Causes and Treatment for Nasal Blockages 

The annoying feeling of a stuffy nose is something we all know too well. Whether it’s because of allergies, a cold, or some other health stuff, nasal congestion can really mess with our breathing. In this article, we’re going to dig into why our noses get all blocked up and what you can do to make it better.

Causes of Nasal Blockages

Nasal blockage occurs when the nose is stuffed up or inflamed. More often than not, minor illnesses like the flu, a cold or sinus infections are the common causes and tend to improve within a week or two. However, if it lasts more than this, it is likely to be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Examples of things that might cause extended nasal blockage include:


-Chemical exposures

-Benign tumours in the nasal passages or nasal polyps

-Environmental irritants

-Long-lasting sinus infections, i.e. chronic sinusitis

-Gastroesophageal reflux disease

-Enlarged adenoids

-Hay fever

-It can also happen during pregnancy. During this period, increased blood supply and hormonal fluctuations can result in nasal blockage.

How to Treat Nasal Blockage

Nasal congestion can be treated with home remedies, especially if it is caused by the common cold. If it goes beyond two weeks, however, you may need medical attention and given medication in the form of antihistamines, steroid drops or sprays, or nasal wash sprays. If you are dealing with more severe symptoms, your general practitioner may recommend nasal surgery. See the nasal blockages treatment options below.

Some of the home remedies that you can try to alleviate nasal blockage include:

Inhaling Steam

Inhaling steam is beneficial for sinus congestion as it helps keep the mucous membranes moist. This is especially essential in colder weather or during winter. Doing this can alleviate sinus blockage symptoms and promote the unblocking of sinuses.

Consider taking a hot shower and inhaling the steam or using a humidifier to effectively clear the sinuses and alleviate symptoms.

Staying Hydrated

When the mucous membranes get inflamed during sinus congestion, staying hydrated becomes crucial for their proper function. To ease the symptoms of sinus congestion, consider drinking lots of water and other fluids. Having a water bottle nearby throughout the day can be a helpful reminder to stay hydrated.

Using Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is known for providing relief from sinus congestion symptoms and may aid in eliminating germs around the nasal passages that contribute to sinus infections.

To use eucalyptus oil, apply it to tissue paper and keep it near while sleeping or add it to hot water for steam inhalation. However, caution should be taken to avoid direct application of the hot water and eucalyptus oil mix on the skin, as it may cause burns.

You are likely to come across menthol-based oils but keep in mind they only provide a sensation of easier breathing and do not necessarily unclog congested sinuses.

Using Warm, Moist Towels

Applying a warm, wet towel against the face can also be effective in reducing the swelling and inflammation associated with sinus congestion. This method aids in maintaining moist mucous membranes by inhaling humid air, promoting their proper functioning.

Consider soaking a towel in warm water, wring it out, and gently place it over your face, ensuring you can still breathe comfortably through the mouth.

Using Saline Nasal Rinse

A saline nasal rinse can help alleviate nasal congestion by flushing out mucus and irritants from the nasal passages. Mix a saline solution using sterile water and a saline packet, or make your own by dissolving salt and baking soda in water. Use a neti pot or nasal spray to gently rinse the nasal passages, providing relief from nasal blockage. Always ensure that the solution is prepared and used according to proper guidelines to avoid any adverse effect.

Elevating the Head While Sleeping

In order to promote the clearing of sinus blockages, consider raising your head during sleep. This can be achieved by using additional pillows to prop up the head. However, bear in mind that keeping the head at a level position may lead to a more significant buildup of congestion overnight.

When Should You See a Doctor for Nasal Blockage?

In most nasal blockage situations, there is no need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. A common cold without complications, for instance, should be dealt with at home. You may also consider talking to a pharmacist if you need over-the-counter medicine to help alleviate the symptoms.

However, you can seek medical advice if the following happens:

-The nasal blockage has not cleared after two weeks, regardless of trying the above-mentioned remedies or those specific to the underlying condition.

-The nasal blockage has no clear cause

-The discharge coming from your nose has blood in it

-Just one side of your nose is blocked

-You are feeling extremely unwell

-A young one is having difficulty breathing or eating due to the blockage. Babies have small noses, so most of the time, they sound blocked and make numerous snuffling noises. However, if you notice them breathing faster than usual, they’re using their stomach muscles while breathing, are aren’t drinking as much as usual, it’s time to consult your doctor.

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