It is winter, and the sniffle season is in full swing. When you have a blocked nose, your nasal spray is often your best companion to breathe freely again. Especially when you want to go to sleep, it’s very frustrating when your nose is blocked. A regular nasal spray can help, but it should not be used for more than seven days, as it can damage your nasal mucosa. What can you do?
5 tips to breathe freely again.
1. Drink hot tea
Taking in sufficient fluids is crucial when you have a cold and a blocked nose. Fluids help thin the mucus in your nose, reducing your discomfort. In addition to staying hydrated, drinking warm tea or another hot beverage is beneficial. The warmth helps to open up your nasal passages, and adding a bit of honey to the tea also soothes your throat.
2. Take a steam bath
Steaming is a good way to relieve the amount of mucus in your nose and sinuses. You can easily create your own steam bath by leaning your head over a bowl of freshly boiled water. Cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam slowly. Be careful that the water is not too hot when you lean over it to avoid burning your skin. You can also add herbs like chamomile, which has disinfecting properties. Mint or eucalyptus is not recommended as they may further irritate inflamed nasal membranes. Steam inhalation in the evening is particularly beneficial as it can alleviate your symptoms while sleeping.
3. Rinse your nose with a saline solution
If you have a runny nose, a blocked nose, or crusts in your nose, rinsing your nose with a saltwater solution is a safe way to keep it clean. This helps flush away the mucus that has accumulated in your nose and sinuses, allowing you to breathe freely again. You can easily make a saltwater solution at home.
Ideally, the water should be at body temperature. Add a pinch of table salt to a cup of water. The water should be “as salty as tears.” You can rinse your nose using a nasal douche (available at pharmacies), or you can use other alternatives like an empty bottle of contact lens solution.
4. Adjust your sleeping position
The best way to sleep with a blocked nose is on your back. Sleeping on your side or stomach is not beneficial for a stuffy nose. Ensure that your head is elevated by using a pillow, but it’s even better to elevate the head of your bed. For example, you can place a pillow under your mattress. When your head is higher than your body, your airways become clearer, and you can breathe more easily.
5. Use a nasal spray
When you have a nasal congestion, the nasal mucosa becomes swollen. Almost all nasal sprays contain xylometazoline, often sold under the brand names Otrivin or Nasivin. These substances help you breathe better through your nose almost immediately. These medications work on the blood vessels in the nose, causing them to constrict, which creates more space for air to pass through. These nasal sprays work very effectively for a short period.
However, it’s important not to use the nasal spray for too long. If used for more than seven days, you may become dependent on it, and it can damage your nasal mucosa.
Read our blog post: Can you live without your nasal spray?
Using a natural nasal spray like Capsinol is recommended. Capsinol works quickly and effectively against your symptoms, shrinking your nasal mucosa and allowing you to breathe freely through your nose again. Furthermore, it strengthens your nasal mucosa from within, addressing the underlying cause of your symptoms, namely an overly reactive nasal mucosa. Capsinol is safe and can be used for an extended period without the risk of addiction or nasal mucosa damage.