Young woman blowing her nose

A constantly stuffy nose affects your daily life and is very frustrating. Usually, a stuffy nose is the result of inflamed blood vessels and tissues in the sinuses. The swelling or inflammation could be caused by sinusitis, a cold, an infection, or allergies. A stuffy nose, when frequent, could indicate a condition that requires treatment from an ENT from South Florida ENT Associates.

Why is my nose stuffy?

One of the most common reasons for a stuffy nose is an infection such as sinusitis or a cold. Correctly identifying the cause of a plugged-up nose is the first step in determining the best treatment. Several options are available to help improve the symptoms of nasal congestion and relieve your discomfort. 

Drink plenty of fluids

Staying hydrated can help speed your recovery. Fluids will help push mucus out of your nose and decrease the pressure in your sinuses, minimizing irritation and inflammation. 

Drain your sinuses with a neti pot

A neti pot is a container with spout, designed to clear fluid and mucus out of the nasal passages. Using saline solution or distilled water, pour the fluid into one of your nostrils. It will enter your nose and rinse your nasal passages, flowing out through the other nostril. Many people find a neti pot to be helpful in relieving congestion. 

Use a saline nasal spray

A saline nasal spray will add moisture to your nasal passages and help dissolve hardened mucus. If necessary, your doctor or ENT can prescribe a stronger nasal spray that contains decongestant medication. 

Relieve symptoms with over-the-counter medications

If your stuffy nose is related to allergies, you may benefit from taking an antihistamine or allergy medication. Over-the-counter medications can help clear your nasal passages. Decongestants can help you breathe more freely by shrinking the swollen blood vessels in the sinuses. If you use nasal sprays frequently, it is advised that you are diagnosed by an ENT, as prolonged use of these sprays can cause irritation and tissue damage. 

Use steam to thin mucus

Steam can thin the mucus and help unclog your nose. A hot shower or a cup of hot tea can give you some relief. You can also pour boiling water into a bowl and place your head over the bowl, with a towel covering your head. Inhale the steam to open your nasal passages, being careful not to burn your face. 

A humidifier may also be helpful, as the moist air will hydrate your nostrils and soothe irritated tissues. If you deal with nasal congestion often or if you suffer from allergies, investing in a humidifier for your bedroom or office. 

Identify And Address Any Underlying Cause

If you have been experiencing persistent nasal congestion for more than two weeks, it is possible that anatomic factors such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps might be causing the obstruction. It is advisable to contact South Florida ENT Associates to schedule an appointment with and to discuss your symptoms further. An ENT will be able to diagnose any allergies or conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

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