6 Ways to Combat Congestion

Chances are good that you have been congested at some point in your life. Stuffy nose, headache, pressure in your eyes and face. We all know the feeling. But what can you do to get some relief?


Man blowing his nose
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Decongestants are over the counter medications that reduce the swelling in your sinuses and allow the mucus to drain out. There are many brands and types of decongestants available, you just have to find the right one for you.

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Nasal Spray Decongestants

Nasal spray decongestants are great because they get right into the nasal passages where the problem is and relieve swelling almost immediately. They can bring near instant relief. But they have drawbacks as well. If they are used for longer than a few days, they can cause rebound congestion and will actually make your symptoms worse. So use with caution.

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Saline Spray

Saline spray is a medication free option to relieve your congestion. It is a sterile salt water spray that you can squirt into your sinuses to help rinse out the mucus that is causing the problem. It is safe and effective and can be used as often as needed without fear of side effects. However, it may need to be used frequently throughout the day to get continued relief.

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Neti Pot

Neti pots have been used for years in "alternative medicine" but they have gained widespread mainstream use now as well. Using a salt water rinse that is similar to saline spray, this device that looks like a miniature teapot is used to run the solution through the sinuses, rinsing out a large amount of mucus. The relief you get from using a neti pot may last longer than just using a saline spray. However, be sure you are using the proper solution and using the device properly so you do not introduce an infection.

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Sinus Rinse

Similar to the neti pot, but easier to use (in my opinion), is the NeilMed Sinus Rinse. It is essentially a squirt bottle that you can use to rinse your sinuses with a salt water solution that you create using the instructions provided in the kit. The first time you use any of these saline rinses, it will feel very strange, but the relief they provide is unmatched when you are dealing with serious congestion.

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Humidifiers and Steam Treatment

Using a humidifier in your room at night or sitting in a steamy bathroom with the hot shower running can open up your nasal passages and allow you to breathe easier when you are congested. Humidifiers keep your nasal passages moisturized, which is helpful when you are congested because dry membranes in your nose and throat make it more difficult for mucus to move through. Keeping them wet and moisturized will help everything drain so you feel better faster.

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What Do You Do?

Share your thoughts and the methods you use to relieve congestion when you are sick.

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