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Photo: Be Well Buzz

A stuffy nose can be annoying. Your nose drips. You sound funny when you talk. And just when you want to blow your nose to finally breathe again, nothing comes out. Many people think a stuffy nose is the result of too much mucus in the nasal passages. However, a clogged nose is actually caused by inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. These irritated vessels are usually triggered by a cold, the flu, allergies, or a sinus infection.

Regardless of the reason for your stuffed-up nose, there are easy ways to relieve it. Here are 9 thingsyou can do now to feel and breathe better.

1. Drink plenty of fluids

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Photo: Twitter

If you have a stuffy nose, keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and clear chicken broth to help make your mucus thinner and more fluid. That will allow it to drain faster from your nose and sinuses. Downing lots of liquids will also keep the membranes in your airways lubricated, according to Vicks.

Note: Avoid liquids like caffeine that can cause dehydration.

2. Hot teas

On the other hand, hot beverages like tea may sometimes be more helpful than cold ones. This is because of their heat and steam, which help open and decongest airways.

Certain herbal teas may contain herbs that are mild decongestants. Look for teas that contain anti-inflammatory and antihistamine herbs, such as chamomile, ginger, mint, or nettle.

Make a cup of hot herbal tea (preferably non-caffeinated) and inhale the steam before drinking. Sore throats often accompany runny noses — drinking hot herbal tea can help soothe a sore throat, too.

3. Get plenty of rest

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Photo: The Ladders

Speaking of sleep… when you’re not feeling well, it’s crucial to get plenty of sleep so your body can heal. Research shows that your body makes new immune system cells when you are asleep.3 Proteins known as cytokines that are important for fighting infection and inflammation are produced and released during sleep.4 This means that sleep can keep your immune system in good shape. Plus, resting will give you a much-needed break from blowing your nose.

4. Apply a warm compress

Putting a warm compress to your nose and forehead multiple times a day can help relieve upper respiratory symptoms like nasal congestion. If you don’t have a compress, try moistening a washcloth with warm water and applying it to your face several times a day. This will help to loosen your mucus to help relieve nasal congestion.

5. Get steamy

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Photo: FirstCry Parenting

The next time you have a stuffy nose, try sitting in the bathroom with a warm shower running. You can also breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water.

Inhaling warm (not hot) steam can help soothe the mucous membranes lining the nose and make the mucus thinner. This will help you drain your mucus faster.

6. Take a hot shower

Need some quick relief? Try a hot shower. Just like a hot tea or facial steam, a shower’s spray can help alleviate a runny and stuffy nose.

Place your face and sinuses directly in the steam and spray of the shower for best results.

7. Use a humidifier

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Photo: Fashion Gone Rogue

A humidifier provides a quick, easy way to reduce sinus pain and relieve a stuffy nose. The machine converts water to moisture that slowly fills the air, increasing the humidity in a room.

Breathing in this moist air can soothe irritated tissues and swollen blood vessels in your nose and sinuses, Healthline cites. Humidifiers also thin the mucus in your sinuses. This can help empty the fluids in your nose and return your breathing to normal. Put a humidifier in your room to ease the inflammation causing your congestion.

8. Eat spicy foods

Spicy foods can make a runny nose worse. However, if you’re also having symptoms of nasal congestion, eating spicy foods can possibly help. If you can tolerate quite a bit of heat in your food, give it a try. If you’re unaccustomed to spiciness, try a few spicy seasonings at first to see if it helps.

Hot spices like cayenne pepper, ghost pepper, habanero, wasabi, horseradish, or ginger are great options. These spices, while also creating a feeling of heat when eaten, dilate passageways in the body and can relieve sinus issues.

9. Try a saline nasal spray

Using a gentle saline nasal spray like Sinex Saline Ultra Fine Nasal Mist can help clear congestion from a cold or allergies. A saline nasal spray helps keep nasal passages open by washing out any allergens like pollen, dust, or pet dander that can lead to nasal congestion. It can also loosen thick or dried mucus to make it easier to remove. The saline solution also helps to soothe dry, irritated nasal passages.

Use the right over-the-counter medicines

Over-the-counter cold and flu medicines can help relieve your runny nose and nasal congestion symptoms from a cold or flu, along with other common symptoms. Be sure to identify what symptoms aside from runny nose and nasal congestion you may have to make sure you get the relief you need.

For more useful tips in life, please check out our KnowInsider!

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