Blocked noses are a common symptom of colds, allergies and other respiratory conditions. The problem will usually clear up by itself, but if you’re bothered by a blocked nose then there are some breathing exercises and other remedies that might help. You should also discuss the problem with a doctor if it doesn’t clear up quickly or if it happens a lot. You might have an allergy or a physical blockage such as a polyp that is narrowing the nasal passages, which could be solved with the right treatment.
Breathing Exercise to Clear a Blocked Nose
One option for clearing a blocked nose is to perform the following exercise:
- Sit in a vertical position and take a few calm breaths.
- Breathe in through your nose for two seconds and then out through your nose for three seconds. If your nose is too badly blocked to breathe through then you can take small breaths from the corner of your mouth instead.
- Gently pinch your nose and keep your mouth closed. Slowly nod your head while you hold your breath for as long as possible.
- Make sure to breathe through your nose when you can’t hold it anymore. Keep your breaths as calm as you can.
- Wait a couple of minutes before repeating the exercise. Keep going until your nose is unblocked.
This breathing exercise is a simple way to clear nasal blockages as it can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any special equipment. It works because holding your breath can encourage the nasal passages to widen. You should try to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth to prevent the blockage from returning. Mouth breathing can increase mucus production and trigger constriction of the airways, which can make a blocked nose worse.
Other Remedies for Blocked Noses
Breathing exercises can often help to clear a blocked nose, but they don’t always suit everybody. Some other options that you can try at home include:
- Using an extra pillow when you sleep and staying in a more upright position during the day to reducing swelling and prevent fluid from building up in your head
- Massaging your sinuses to encourage fluid to move out of them. You can do this by moving your index fingers in small circles along your brow, around your nose, under your eyes and over your cheekbones. Use gentle pressure and work your way outwards from the nose.
- Apply a warm compress such as a wet towel or a warm hot water bottle to your face. It can help to open up your nasal passages.
- Have a warm bath or shower. The warm, wet air should help to loosen up mucus and relieve nasal congestion. You can also use a humidifier in your room to achieve a similar effect.
- Over the counter nasal sprays, saline solutions, mentholated salves and decongestants. You can ask a pharmacist for advice on how to use these treatments.
If your nasal congestion is very severe, it isn’t getting better or it keeps coming back, then you can talk to a doctor to find out if there’s an underlying issue that needs to be treated.