General Question

weeveeship's avatar

How do I deal with a stuffy nose?

Asked by weeveeship (4622points) September 11th, 2010

For whatever reason, I keep getting a stuffy nose. This forces me to breathe with my mouth and I look dumb doing so.

Things I’ve tried so far that did not work include:
*Cleaning my surroundings
*Taking Claritin and similar
*Taking Benedryl
*Tongue on roof of mouth trick (does not always work)
*Blowing my nose

This happens sometimes when I am in public too, so any remedy that would involve boiling or cooking something would probably not work for me.

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22 Answers

mamalis's avatar

Wow. If you’ve tried all those things you’ve done most everything short of going to a Doctor, which seems to be your next step. However, one more thing before that would be: Nasonex. It’s a Nasal Spray – goes right into the nose! It’s often recommended by doctors. It’s like a decongestant/anti-inflammatory for the nose!! It’s great too, because it’s local, not systemic. That or something similar is worth a try. [Also.. you need to be consistent on the allergy meds. Maybe try another brand and stick with it a little bit.]

buckyboy28's avatar

I would suggest a neti pot, but doing it in public would look ridiculous.

weeveeship's avatar

I’ve actually seen a doctor already but she just prescribed a nasal spray and a variation of claritin for me. It doesn’t really work.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Have you tried a decongestant?

Taciturnu's avatar

I second @buckyboy28. If you don’t need to use drugs, it’s best not to, and neti pots work for a lot of people. If it persists, you should re-address it with your doctor. I wouldn’t use OTC drugs unless your doctor instructs you to do so, as taking them long term can be damaging, and contraindicated for many medical conditions.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@weeveeship When you say a variation of Claritin, are you talking something that’s Loratadine based?

I’ve found Zyrtec does wonders for me. It’s not OTC, so that’s good. Nasal sprays are good – I like Veramyst much more than Nasonex, which didn’t do much for me. Neti-pots help, I like the Sinus Rinse better because of the slight pressure.

@mamalis Nasonex is prescription only.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Do you have a deviated septum? Try Breath Right Strips!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Ben_Dover I use them for when I’m a bit clogged up so that I don’t breathe with my mouth all night. They help a lot.

Ben_Dover's avatar


If they help a lot, then the drugs won’t. You have a deviated septum, not allergies. I use them all the time for my deviated septum…broke my nose multiple times in my youth. Breath right strips are like magic.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Ben_Dover I have allergies. I only use it a few times a year, though.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I too had a stuffy nose all the time. Turns out I had a good crop of nasal polyps. I went to an ENT who reamed them out. Life is good now!

hopscotchy's avatar

Ever considered a possible gluten allergy? My husband had the very same issue and now gluten free it has disappeared.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Regarding the nasal spray suggestion I would suggest being conservative in there use as I have read that apparently some can become easily dependent on them.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Nially_Bob From the Mayo Clinic:

Nasal spray addiction: Is it real?
I use Afrin for nasal congestion associated with allergies. Should I be concerned about nasal spray addiction?
from James T. Li, M.D.

What you may be referring to is a rebound effect that can occur if you use over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays regularly. After a few days of using this type of nasal spray, your nose may become less responsive to the effects of the medication.

As a result, you may need to use more and more of the medication to control congestion or your congestion may worsen if you stop using the medication. Some people may mistake this rebound effect for “addiction,” but it isn’t.

True addiction is a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance known to be physically, psychologically or socially harmful. Over-the-counter nasal sprays don’t contain any habit-forming ingredients, and they don’t cause the compulsive cravings that mark an addiction.

To prevent rebound congestion, use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays for no more than three days in a row. Prescription nasal sprays containing steroids don’t cause this rebound effect, so they can be used on a daily basis for years.

Nially_Bob's avatar

I stand corrected. Thank you for the insight.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@papayalily Nonetheless, @Nially_Bob was on the right track. Nothing worse than using Afrin for your stuffy nose, and then later have your congestion be even worse…and thenm you use the Afrin and it clears your nasal passages, but then it gets even worse…etc etc ad nauseum!

Okay, yes, I did read the last paragraph…LOL

Nially_Bob's avatar

To be fair unless you have some seriously nasty congestion after three days i’d imagine it will have subsided naturally. Or perhaps that’s just my being lucky in that regard?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Nially_Bob It depends on if it’s a chronic issue or not.

weeveeship's avatar

The nose blockage is a chronic problem. Some more details about the condition:
1. It seems that there is always at least one nostril blocked. Most often, it is the right one, but sometimes, it is the left one. Sometimes, both are blocked.

2. There seems to be some pressure in the upper part of my nose as though something is stuck there. I tried blowing my nose though. That didn’t help.

3. When I sleep, the nostril on whichever side is not touching the pillow would usually be somewhat clear When I turn, the nostril that was unblocked becuase blocked and vice versa (leading to 1).

4. Nasal sprays often make things worse. They introduce trace amounts of fluid into my nose that makes both nostrils even more clogged.

5. Sitting upright or doing exercise does not seem to help.

6. I do not have a cold.

nebule's avatar

Dairy products have been found to produce excess mucus in the nose and throat. They certainly do with me and singers often swear that it does! I quit drinking dairy milk a while ago and the mucus cleared up within a couple of days. If I have any cheese or yoghurt now I notice the difference within hours. It might be worth trying to abstain and seeing if that helps at all?

thekoukoureport's avatar

Try a neti pot. Available at all pharmacies now under Sinu Clense. An all natural remedy that my daughter has used for 3 years now and has not had to use any of the drugs that have been prescribed to her for her seasonal allergies, or her borderline asthma. It has been used for over 2000 years in India and uses salt water to clean your sinuses. Used regularly (daily) you will never have the problem again.

I know the drug companies wont be happy but if you do it every time you brush you teeth you will never suffer again. Unless of course it’s a deviated septum or a broken nose then this won’t help that.

angelique_1's avatar

well, ive heard of a nettie pot, have you? its a little tea pot that you put a special solution of salt and warm water in. then you lean over and let it go into your sinus and come out the other nostril. i know it sounds gross, ive never tried it, but im looking into it. also ive heard of home remedies on a web site, you could go there too. there are alot of things that are natural instead of like medicine you could do. good luck!

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