A stuffy nose is often more of an inconvenience than anything else. While not usually associated with a serious medical condition, having a stuffy nose hinders your ability to breathe properly, and can make sleeping difficult. Fortunately, it's not necessary to purchase expensive products to get rid of your stuffy nose.
Most menthol-based products and decongestants have ingredients that irritate the nose, causing it to run, and in turn, unblock the stuffed-up sensation you are feeling. You can irritate your nose in the same way by simply sniffing an onion.
Hot Soup or Tea
The steam from a hot beverage can do wonders for a stuffy nose. The steam will warm the fluids in the nasal passages, causing them to run a bit. Your stuffed-up nose will clear, and as an added bonus, the liquids you are drinking will help clear some of the excess mucus in your throat caused by post nasal drip.
Take a hot shower and breathe in the steam. In many cases, stuffy noses are caused by thick mucus. The steam from the shower will help thin the mucus and clear your nose of congestion.
The essential oil of the eucalyptus plant can help clear congestion. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your humidifier or an oil diffuser will add the scent to the air and aid in clearing your stuffy nose. You can also place a few drops on a tissue and place it under your pillow as you sleep. It'll be close by for immediate relief if you wake up stuffy in the middle of the night.
Homemade Nasal Spray
To mix your own saline nasal spray, you will need 1/4 tsp. of baking soda, 1/4 tsp. of table salt and 8 oz. of lukewarm water. Mix all of the ingredients together until they dissolve, then put the solution into a nose dropper. Squirt the solution into each nostril. The warm water and salts will help thin the mucus and irrigate your sinuses. Experiment with the temperature of the water to find the most comfortable point for your nostrils. If the solution is too strong, reduce the amount of baking soda and salt by half.
When to See a Doctor
A stuffy nose alone isn't usually a serious medical condition, but if it lasts for more than three weeks, you should seek the advice of your doctor. Consult your physician immediately if you have a fever, sinus pain or thick discharge with blood or a green/yellow color.