Is there anything worse than having a blocked nose? At the time and after your third night of sleeping sitting upright, you might think there isn't. It's hard to sleep, your face hurts due to the internal build up of mucous, even the pleasure of comfort food is taken away because your sense of taste and smell has been diminished!
If you've got a cold, the flu or a crazy case of hay fever, take yourself off to the doctor to have a discussion about your options. They might recommend an oral decongestant or a medicated nasal spray, but you can't use them all the time. So, what can you do in between doses? How can you help to relieve your poor little blocked nose, naturally?
Though it's even more charming to actually do than it sounds (if that's possible), you'll thank yourself for it.
How to do it:
First off, you'll need to find yourself a container. You can either pop off to your local chemist to get a bulb syringe or neti pot, or you can find a suitable replacement at home. Do you have a small tea pot? That'll do (just remember to give it a thorough washing before and after you use it).
Next, you'll need to fill that container. Once again, you can either go off to your chemist and talk to your pharmacist about saline solutions you can use, or you can use tepid water that you've boiled first (to help prevent infection). If you go to the pharmacy to get your nasal solution, then pop it into the container and you're ready to go. If you're making your own, try taking 1-2 cups of your now-tepid, sterile water and add half a teaspoon of salt to it.
Once you've got your container filled, lean over a sink, tilt your head so that one nostril is facing downwards and pour the solution slowly and consistently into your other nostril (remember to keep your mouth open so you can breathe!). The solution will drain through your nasal passages and may help to clear away some mucous.
Steam it Out
Using steam may help you to loosen the troublesome mucous in your nasal passages.
How to do it:
There are a few different methods you can try when it comes to steam. You could transform your bathroom into a steam room by shutting the doors and windows and running the shower quite warm to hot (not too hot, though) to generate steam. If you do this, don't turn the fan on - it'll suck away all that good steam! And, of course, always remember to be extra careful when walking on damp surfaces. Once the bathroom is nice and steamy, just sit yourself down and breathe it in. It may help to loosen the mucous.
If you don't feel like transforming your bathroom into a Turkish bath house, why not try a humidifier? You can get them at your local chemist and they do pretty much the same job.
Another method you can try is very, very simple. Get a large, heat-safe bowl and fill it with freshly boiled water. Put it down on a table and park a seat with your face hovering comfortably over the rising steam. For extra effect, try placing a tea towel over the bowl and your head - this will help to trap the steam rather than let it escape. You could also try a drop of eucalyptus oil in there to help move that mucous.
Very similar to using steam, using a warm compress may help to relieve that blocked nose.
How to do it:
Easy as pie - soak a small flannel or towel in hot water, fold it up and rest it along your nasal bridge, upper cheeks and/or forehead (where your sore, aching sinuses are).
The heat from the compress may help to relieve the discomfort you might feel when your nose is stuffed up, and may also help to reduce the inflammation in your sinuses and nostrils so you can breathe a little easier.
Saline Nasal Spray
If you're looking for a way to help get rid of that unwanted mucous clogging up your nose, a saline nasal spray may be able to help you. There are lots of different saline products available on the market, and can usually be found in supermarkets as well as chemists. If you're a little overwhelmed with your choice, discuss your options with your local pharmacist.
Saline nasal sprays are fantastic for helping to provide relief for nasal congestion.
You can find saline sprays that are not medicated, which can help provide relief for those often desperate times in between using oral decongestants or medicated nasal sprays. In fact, using a saline nasal spray before using a medicated nasal spray may help to remove excess mucous so the dose of medication reaches where it needs to go.
At Brauer, our range of saline products includes Brauer Saline Nasal Spray which includes saline and homeopathic preparations as well as Brauer Saline Ultra Nasal Spray - which contains saline which may assist in relieving nasal congestion, as well as peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.
Would you like to learn more about our Saline range? If so, you can find more information here.
So, when blocked noses are getting you down, remember to try out these options - you never know, they might just make the difference.
*Always read the label, use products only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Brauer Saline Ultra Nasal Spray is for adults only.