Home Remedies You Should Try For Congestion

Nasal congestion can come out of nowhere. One day you're fine and the next you can barely breathe through your nose. Congestion can be caused by many factors, including allergies, a cold, the flu, or a sinus infection (via Everyday Health). "The nose has a vast network of blood vessels with valves that open and close," Scott P. Stringer, MD, professor and chairman of otolaryngology and communication sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, told Everyday Health. "When the nose is stimulated by any irritant, the nervous system is also stimulated, causing valves to open, which results in more blood entering the nose. This causes swelling in your nasal passages, which makes it difficult to breathe."

While over-the-counter medications like nasal sprays and decongestants can be helpful in a pinch, it is easy to become dependent on these drugs when you use them frequently. For that reason, it's a good idea to try home remedies when possible. Depending on the cause of your congestion, many of these can relieve your symptoms as effectively as medications.

One of the most important things you can do when you're congested is staying hydrated. Drink plenty of warm drinks like tea and broth. This can help ease congestion and make you feel better.

Rely on moisture to relieve congestion

Dry air can make congestion worse, whether your symptoms are from allergies or an illness. According to Healthline, adding a humidifier to your home can provide quick relief from swollen blood vessels and tissue in your nose. If you don't have a humidifier, breathing in steam during a hot shower can provide similar effects, albeit more temporary. You can also run hot water in your sink and breathe in the steam to get these effects. Draining your sinuses is another safe, drug-free way to find relief from congestion. You can do this using a neti pot or other sinus rinse kit. You can also use a saline spray to rinse away mucus in the nose and kill any lingering bacteria.

If you experience congestion that doesn't clear up in a week, it's best to pay a visit to your doctor. Your symptoms may be caused by an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed before you'll get any better. Medications may also be necessary to keep your symptoms under control.