If you’re like most of our allergy-prone mankind, you may suffer from a stuffy nose every so often. While allergies are often a cause of nasal congestion, this condition can develop from anything that irritates the nasal tissues. Infections ranging from a cold to sinusitis can bring on a plugged-up nose, but so can something as simple as tobacco smoke.
Nasal congestion and sinus pressure often go hand-in-hand. When experiencing sinus pressure, you may feel pain in your forehead, your jaw, your teeth, your nose, or even between your eyes. While this feeling may be uncomfortable, there are several remedies available to help ease your pain.
1. Neti Pot Nasal Irrigation
A tried-and-true method for combating sinus pressure is using a Neti pot to flush your nasal passages. This remedy uses a salt and water solution to help all of your upper respiratory ailments.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, improper use of these Neti pots and can increase your risk of infection. While this method is typically successful, it’s important to take the necessary precautions for safe use. To use a Neti pot, keep the following tips in mind:
- Be sure to use the correct type of water. Distilled or sterile water, boiled and cooled tap water, and filtered water are safe to use for this home remedy.
- For proper use, lean over a sink and tilt your head sideways with your forehead and chin level to avoid liquid pouring into your mouth.
- Wash and dry the device after each use.
2. Stay Hydrated
Water is a common solution for most temporary problems. Trying to get rid of acne? Drink water. Feeling unusually snacky? Drink water. Feeling constipated? Drink water. In the case of relieving sinus pressure, as you may have guessed, water tends to work its magic.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, the daily four-to-six cups of water rule is one to live by. If you follow this rule when you are dealing with nasal congestion, benefits will not be far behind. Drinking water helps thin out the mucus in your nose, which in turn encourages drainage.
3. Kick Up the Spice
Finding out how to relieve sinus pressure may be as simple as grabbing some chilies from your local grocery store. If you take a liking to spicy food, you’re in luck because items such as hot sauce, wasabi, and hot peppers help clear your sinuses.
Eating spicy food is a natural way to open nasal passages and get mucus flowing. Some spicy foods or foods that have a kick to them, that may help with nasal congestion include:
- Chili Peppers
4. Catch Some ZZZ’s
With any sickness, getting plenty of rest can help your body fight infection and speed up your recovery. While this remedy for nasal congestion is plain and simple, getting a good amount of sleep can do wonders for relief. To enhance its benefits even more, prop yourself up with a couple of pillows while you sleep. When you elevated yourself, you’ll be able to breathe more comfortably.
Getting enough slumber can prove to be especially challenging when your nose is stuffed up. In order to get the sleep of your dreams to speed up recovery, try these tips:
- Avoid caffeine before bed.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom.
- Use a humidifier.
- Take a hot shower before bed.
5. Vitamin C is Key
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is extremely beneficial to take on an everyday basis. When it comes to relieving sinus pressure, loading up on vitamin C can do wonders. Doing so may help fight off sinus infections faster, reduce sinus inflammation and relieve the duration of a sinus infection or cold symptoms.
Vitamin C also works to restore the consistency of nasal mucus and reverts it back to its original state. In turn, you’re left with a clearer, less-stuffy nose. Vitamin C is available in multiple forms, including:
- Citrus fruits
- Chewable tablets
6. Crank Up the Humidity
When the air you breathe on a day-to-day basis is dry, it causes your nasal passages to also become dry. Because of this, the mucus lining your sinuses begin to drain abnormally, causing dreaded and uncomfortable congestion. To help alleviate the effects of congestion, a humidifier may be your new best friend.
Keeping a humidifier on while you sleep actively works to keep your nasal passages open, making it easier to sleep comfortably. Once moisture is added to your room from the humidifier, your mucus secretions in your nasal passages will begin to loosen up, providing overall relief.
7. Break a Sweat
When you’re sick, your primal instinct may be to lay in bed, binge-watch a series on Netflix, and limit your overall physical movement as much as you possibly can. Unfortunately, doing so may make matters worse when it comes to relieving nasal congestion.
Believe it or not, exercise can actually help reduce sinus pressure. When you implement physical activity while you’re sick, it can increase blood circulation and relieve congestion to help you breathe. Although it may be especially uncomfortable to exercise while stuffed up, doing so can help increase your recovery time and speed up your healing.
Sinus pressure symptoms can be painful and unbearable. More often than not, experiencing nasal congestion make you appreciate the feeling of being healthy. But while these symptoms may be uncomfortable, there are many remedies at your disposal.
If you find none of these remedies do the trick, it may be a good idea to seek medical attention. If you continue to experience symptoms after a week, or if they begin to worsen, see a doctor. This could be a sign of a more serious sinus infection that may require prescribed antibiotics.