Some people find that their stuffy nose and other respiratory issues won’t go away no matter what they do. They can be caused by many different factors—allergies, a cold, or any number of other reasons. However, there are simple things you can do at home to make your symptoms disappear for good—or at least for a while.
Here are seven possible causes of your stubborn stuffy nose and how you might fix them:
- Your home environment
If the air inside your home is dry, it will likely irritate your respiratory system. Try using humidifiers to add moisture to the air in your house. Clean them often so you’re not breathing in vaporized contaminants along with water vapor. Furthermore, your ventilation system’s ducts might be impacted by mildew, mold, or rust. If possible, have them professionally cleaned by duct cleaning experts to get rid of these unhealthy materials.
Allergies are a common annoyance that many people deal with. They usually occur in response to something you’re allergic to (allergic rhinitis). However, allergies can be caused by other factors as well. These factors include changes in the weather, pets, smoke, and even stress.
If you think allergies might be the cause of your respiratory issues, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Avoid contact with allergens as much as possible.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially before you eat.
- Stay indoors when the pollen count is high.
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine.
- Nasal polyps
Nasal polyps develop when nasal tissue swells and forms excess tissue in the nose. This excess tissue can block the nasal passages and lead to respiratory problems. Polyps are usually treated with surgery, but there are a few things you can do to help make them more comfortable in the meantime:
- Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help to keep your nasal passages moist and help to reduce swelling.
- Apply a cold compress: Applying a cold compress to your nose can help to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
- Take over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a common infection that can cause a stuffy nose, facial pain, and a general feeling of malaise. A sinus infection is usually caused by a cold or allergies and can be treated with antibiotics. However, there are a few other ways to help ease your symptoms until you can take the antibiotics:
- Take a decongestant: Over-the-counter decongestants, such as Sudafed or Afrin, can be used to clear up nasal congestion.
- Keep your head elevated: Keeping your head elevated can help reduce sinus pressure and discomfort.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids can help to thin mucus and make it easier to expel.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when stomach acid goes back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and respiratory problems. GERD is usually treated with medication, but there are a few things you can do to help ease your symptoms in the meantime:
- Avoid foods and drinks that trigger reflux: Foods and drinks that trigger reflux include spicy foods, acidic foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Don’t eat late at night: Don’t eat late at night, which can cause reflux when you’re lying down.
- Raise the head of your bed six to eight inches: Using blocks or even a pile of books under your mattress’s legs can help elevate your head while you sleep. This will help reduce reflux.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
ABPA, or allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, is a condition that occurs when you become allergic to the fungus Aspergillus. This fungus is found in the environment and can cause respiratory problems. ABPA is usually treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. However, there are a few things you can do to help ease your symptoms in the meantime:
- Keep windows closed during dry weather: Keeping windows closed can help reduce environmental allergens in the air.
- Use a HEPA filter: A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can help to clean the air in your home, reducing dust and other allergens.
- Take anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce inflammation.
- Viral pneumonia
Viral pneumonia is a common respiratory infection that causes cough, fever, chills, fatigue, and a stuffy nose. Viral pneumonia is usually treated with bed rest and over-the-counter medications to reduce symptoms. However, there are a few things you can do to help ease your symptoms in the meantime:
- Take an antipyretic: Taking an antipyretic medication may help reduce fever.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids can help thin mucus and make it easier to throw out.
Every person’s body is different and can react to certain illnesses in a variety of ways. The best way for you to find out how your respiratory problems will respond to treatment or remedies is by doing some research into what may be causing your symptoms and available treatments that are available. It’s also important not to self-diagnose and overmedicate yourself with medications without consulting a doctor first: this could lead to side effects or an increase in symptom severity.