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5 Simple Ways to Control Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is an uncomfortable and frustrating condition that can make it hard to breathe. It’s also one of the most common reasons people see their doctor, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Fortunately, there are many ways to help clear a stuffy nose, from OTC medications to chicken soup to neti pots. Below, we’ve listed five simple tips to clear nasal congestion.

Inhale Steam

Heat helps clear the nasal passages by softening dried mucus in the nose and opening up airways. Steam can also help break down mucus and allow it to drain quickly from the nose. The easiest way to steam is by taking a hot shower and breathing in some of the warm mist. For quick relief, pour some hot water into a large bowl or pan. Then, lean over the bowl and breathe the steam in. Steaming can be done up to four times a day for relief from nasal congestion.

Use a Humidifier

When indoor air is dry, it can irritate the nasal passages, making them inflamed and swollen. Using a humidifier can help one breathe easier by adding moisture to the air. Keep in mind that moist air can help loosen the mucus in the nose and ease dry eyes.

Eat Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has been known as “Jewish penicillin” for centuries because it has so many healing properties — it helps relieve congestion (especially if lemon juice is added) and prevents dehydration (because it’s broth-based). The best part is that it tastes good.

Take an Otc Decongestant

When we are sick, the blood vessels inside our noses swell and block the airways. OTC decongestants can help shrink these blood vessels, making it easier for us to breathe. Decongestant nasal sprays work well, too. But remember that some decongestants can make the nose even stuffier if they are used continuously for four or five days.

Use Peppermint

Peppermint is a natural decongestant and can even help clear out chest congestion. Peppermint is added to cough drops and chest rubs. But people can also drink peppermint tea for relief from nasal congestion.