Helpful hint

There’s nothing pleasant about living with nasal or sinus congestion. An impaired sense of smell is irritating, but congestion can also be accompanied by painful pressure or difficulty sleeping that leaves you miserable and fatigued.

Unless the congestion is caused by a deformity or growth in your nose or sinuses, these tips may help you breathe—and sleep—a little easier.

1. HUMIDIFY YOUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT

Dry air can aggravate a stuffy nose. The easiest way to humidify your environment is by using a vaporizer or humidifier. While both are designed to add moisture to the air, vaporizers work by boiling water and releasing steam, whereas humidifiers produce a cool mist. Vaporizers tend to be the less expensive option but should be used with care: Keep them in a safe spot to avoid accidentally knocking them over and spilling hot water.

Other simple ways of humidifying your home include air-drying your laundry instead of using the dryer and leaving the bathroom door open after you take a hot shower or bath.

2.  HUMIDIFY YOUR NOSE WITH SALINE SOLUTIONS

Saline (saltwater) sprays or nose drops can help relieve congestion by moisturizing the mucus membranes in your nose and allowing mucus to drain more easily.

3. STAY HYDRATED

Drink plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. This will help thin the mucus in your sinuses and nasal passages and allow it to drain more easily.

4. USE WARM COMPRESSES

Soak a towel or thick cloth in warm water before wringing it out as much as possible. Lie down, place the cloth over the top part of your face, and allow the warmth to penetrate. A warm compress can help loosen mucus to make it easier to drain.

5.  SLEEP WITH YOUR HEAD HIGHER THAN YOUR BODY

Gravity can help naturally drain your sinuses and nasal passages while you sleep. Try using blocks to prop up the head of your bed (putting your whole bed at an angle) if you don’t like having too many pillows under your head.

 

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