How to unblock your nose: 11 natural and effective ways

Stuffy nose

Washing your nose, inhaling eucalyptus steam and massaging your cheekbones are some simple, natural and homemade measures that help unclog your nose.

A blocked nose can be caused by simple conditions such as the flu or respiratory allergies, or by more serious situations such as prolonged use of nasal decongestants or changes in the structure of the nose, for example. Check out the main causes of a blocked nose.

Therefore, it is advisable to have a consultation with a general practitioner or otorhinolaryngologist, who will assess the causes of the blocked nose and recommend the most appropriate treatment, which may include the use of home measures or medications.

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11 tips for unblocking your nose

The main ways to unblock your nose are:

1. Do a nasal wash

Nasal washing, which can be done with a needleless syringe or nasal irrigator, helps remove mucus and secretions from the sinuses, helping to unclog the nose.

To wash, simply dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in 1 cup of water and fill the syringe or nasal irrigator. Afterwards, place the syringe, or irrigator, in one of the nostrils and insert the salt water, letting the liquid come out through the other nostril. Repeat the same process in the other nostril. Another way to wash your nose is using 0.9% saline solution. See the step-by-step instructions for washing your nose.

2. Inhale steam with eucalyptus

Inhaling eucalyptus vapor is an excellent way to unclog the nose and does not cause any discomfort, and can also be used by children over 12 years of age. The water vapor fluidizes secretions and the eucalyptus is decongestant, helping to unclog the nose.

To inhale, simply dissolve 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a bowl with 500 mL of boiling water and inhale the steam for about 5 minutes, placing a towel over your head to maintain the steam.

3. Humidify the environment

Humidifying the environment helps to make the airways more hydrated and less irritated, being a good option to alleviate discomfort and facilitate the removal of secretions in congestion caused by excess mucus.

To humidify the house, you can place buckets or basins with hot water in the room, take a shower with hot water or use an electric air humidifier. Discover other ways to humidify the environment.

4. Drink 2 to 3 liters of water per day

Water is very important to dilute and facilitate the elimination of secretions, improving breathing. Furthermore, you can also drink teas, especially those that have decongestant properties, such as eucalyptus or mint, for example.

5. Consume foods rich in vitamin C

Vitamin C is a nutrient well known for strengthening the immune system, helping the body to recover faster from colds and flu, which are the main causes of a blocked nose.

Some of the foods rich in vitamin C include pineapple, acerola, cashew, lemon or tangerine, for example. See a list of other foods rich in vitamin C.

6. Take a hot shower

When taking a hot shower, the steam from the water can help thin nasal mucus and make it easier to eliminate, thus reducing the discomfort of a stuffy nose.

7. Use a hot towel with mint

Using a warm, damp towel with mint tea on your face helps relieve stuffy nose symptoms, as this tea has expectorant properties, helping to release the phlegm and mucus that cause discomfort. See other benefits of mint tea.

8. Nebulize

Nebulizing is a great way to unclog your nose, as through steam inhalation, the airways become more hydrated and the secretions become more liquid, making them easier to eliminate, improving nasal congestion and the discomfort of a blocked nose.

To perform nebulization, an electric nebulizer must be used, with 5 to 10 mL of 0.9% saline solution added to the nebulizer cup. Then, you should sit comfortably, put on the nebulizer mask and inhale the steam deeply and slowly for about 20 minutes or until the serum runs out. See other ways to nebulize.

9. Drink warm tea

Drinking warm teas, such as ginger and garlic tea or peppermint tea, for example, can help unclog your nose, as they have decongestant, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help remove mucus and secretions. and relieve inflammation of the airways. See how to prepare teas to unclog your nose.

Furthermore, drinking warm teas helps to keep the body hydrated, and you can also eat warm meals, such as soups or broths, which help to unblock the nose and reduce pain and irritation of the nasal mucosa.

10. Elevate the head of the bed

A good way to unclog your nose at night is to elevate the head of the bed, as when you lie down the blood flow to the nose increases, and lying down makes it difficult for nasal secretions to drain into the throat, which can worsen nasal congestion. .

To raise the headboard, you can use a bed support, cement blocks, solid wood or old books, for example, as it helps to keep the body more inclined and the airways open, facilitating the passage of air.

11. Massage your cheekbones

To alleviate the discomfort of a stuffy nose, you can massage your cheekbones and nose with a mixture made with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, such as jojoba and coconut oil, and 2 drops of peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus or lavender, for 5 minutes.

How to unclog your baby's nose

A blocked nose in babies is very common, due to the small diameter of their nostrils, which can cause a lot of discomfort, as they don't know how to get rid of the mucus to breathe better.

Some natural ways to unclog your baby's nose include:

  • Use saline solution to wash the baby's nostrils, applying a few drops or jets into one of the nostrils and sucking with a nasal aspirator;
  • Perform a gentle massage from the top of the nose to the bottom;
  • Place a high pillow under the baby's mattress to facilitate breathing;
  • Nebulize with 5ml of saline solutionfor 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day, helping to thin the nasal secretion.

If the environment is very dry, it is recommended to use air humidifiers or leave a wet towel spread out inside the baby's room, avoiding buckets to prevent accidents. See other ways to treat a blocked nose in babies.

Eucalyptus essential oil should not be used on babies and children under 12 years of age because it can cause allergies and shortness of breath.

When to use medicine

The use of medicines to unclog the nose should only be done under the recommendation of a doctor and varies according to the cause of nasal congestion or when home options cannot alleviate this condition.

Some medications that may be recommended to unclog the nose include antihistamines, such as brompheniramine and chlorpheniramine; and decongestants, such as phenylephrine, oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine, which can be used nasally or orally and help relieve nasal congestion, making breathing easier. Discover other remedies recommended for unblocking your nose.

It is important to remember that nasal decongestants should only be used under the guidance of an otorhinolaryngologist, because they can worsen nasal congestion due to the rebound effect, where the medication stops having an effect, keeping the mucosa inflamed and worsening the stuffiness of the nose. Understand what the rebound effect is.

Make an appointment with an otolaryngologist in the nearest region: