Home remedies for a blocked nose

Having a blocked nose can leave you feeling miserable. Sinus congestion can have various causes but the most common ones include:

  • Allergens

  • Bacteria

  • Viruses.

While the symptoms of sinus congestion can be uncomfortable, there are some potential sinus relief home remedies you can try.

Most remedies will focus on relaxing your nasal passageways and reducing any swelling, so you can breathe through your nose more easily. Here are 7 home remedies for sinus congestion and blocked noses you can try.

  • Use a humidifier

  • Take a hot shower

  • Drink plenty of water and liquids

  • Try a warm compress

  • Elevate your head

  • Essential oils

  • Herbs and spices

7 potential home remedies for a blocked nose

1. Use a humidifier

Keeping the air inside your home moist is an excellent home remedy for sinus congestion. A humidifier converts water to moisture and slowly releases it into the air, which helps to increase the humidity in a room. The moist air is gentler on your airways and can soothe irritation and swelling in your sinuses.

Humidifiers can also help to thin the mucus in your sinuses, which can aid the drainage of fluids from your nose and return your breathing to normal. Putting a humidifier in your room to ease the inflammation causing your congestion can also help relieve your symptoms, so you can hopefully sleep better at night.

2. Take a hot shower

Ever noticed that your blocked nose feels a little better after a hot shower? That's because the steam may help with congestion. It can help thin out the mucus in your nose and reduce inflammation in your blood vessels, giving you some relief from your symptoms.

You can get the same effect by breathing steam from a bowl or sink full of hot water. Just place your head over the bowl or sink and cover with a towel. This will help the steam build up so you can take deep breaths. Be careful not to get too close, so you don't burn or scold your face.

3. Drink plenty of water and liquids

Staying hydrated is a great way to help your body recover and fight congestion. Some of the best options include:

  • Water

  • Herbal teas

  • Fruit drinks

Good hydration can help to thin the mucus in your nasal passages, making it easier to drain and reducing the pressure in your sinuses. The less pressure, the less inflammation and irritation you should feel.

If you're also experiencing a sore throat alongside your blocked nose, warm tea and soup can help.

4. Try a warm compress

You can try treating the swelling caused by sinus infections with a warm compress. The heat from a compress can help unclog a blocked nose by opening the nasal passages from the outside. All you need to do is:

  • Soak a towel or flannel in warm water.

  • Squeeze the water out of the towel so it doesn't drip.

  • Fold and place it gently over your nose and forehead.

The warmth from the towel or flannel can help to provide relief from pain and inflammation in your sinuses.

5. Elevate your head

Keeping your head elevated helps to drain the mucus from your nose and prevent it pooling in your sinuses. This can help relieve sinus pressure too. Try sleeping with an extra pillow to prop your head up when you go to bed at night.

Find out more about how to sleep with a blocked nose.

6. Essential oils

Some essential oils are thought to work as potential sinus home remedies. Some examples include:

  • Peppermint

  • Eucalyptus

  • Oregano

  • Rosemary.

You can add your chosen essential oil to a diffuser or the water in your humidifier.

7. Using herbs and spices

Eating spicy foods could help to open your airways and relieve some of the symptoms of sinus congestion. Turmeric is often used in home remedies for sinus congestion as the spice has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with the swelling in your nasal passages.

Over-the-counter medication

If the above home remedies aren’t working, over-the-counter medications like nasal sprays and decongestants can help to relieve congested sinuses and clear your nasal passages.

Nasal spray

Using a nasal spray can help to thin out the mucus in your nasal passages and reduce the stuffy feeling of your blocked nose.

SUDAFED® blocked nose spray contains a decongestant to help reduce swelling inside your nasal passages. It offers rapid relief, getting to work in minutes and helping to clear your nasal passageways.

To use a nasal spray always follow the labelling instructions.

Over-the-counter decongestants

Decongestant tablets are available over the counter without a prescription and can help reduce swelling. They can also ease the discomfort associated with irritated nasal passages. Our tablets use the active ingredient pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, which can narrow swollen blood vessels to help you breathe through your nose more easily.