Nasal congestion restricts your breathing and is very uncomfortable. It is often caused by inflammation and constriction of your airways, lessening the amount of air that's able to pass. Allergens, colds, or worsening asthma symptoms can bring about nasal congestion. Fighting this congestion without a prescription is different for both children (especially babies) and adults.
Clearing Child Congestion:
- Since babies can't blow their noses, use a nasal aspirator to suction mucus out the nose to open airways
- Stay hydrated! – your child's lungs work better when hydrated so have him drink lots of water
- Humidifiers are great at hydrating airways to thin mucus and make it easier to remove (adults can use too!)
- Use vapor rubs overnight to clear airways – read warning label (don't use if your child is asthmatic)
- Soup can be a great way to hydrate and provide congestion-fighting nutrients
- Kids can get into anything – make sure they wash their hands before eating to stop spreading germs
Children have smaller airways, making congestion for them more likely. MABIS makes a battery powered aspirator that also plays music to soothe your baby while removing mucus. All of the tips for children work for adults, but there are certain things (like blowing your nose) that adults do but a baby can't.
Clearing Congestion in Adults:
- Blow your nose correctly – short gentle blows with one nostril closed are more productive, blowing too hard can push mucus back into sinuses
- Saline wash – modudose saline used in a nebulizer loosens mucus making it easier to blow out
- Steam therapy – MABIS steam inhalers let you inhale steam that thins mucus so you can get it out easier
Preventing is always the best treatment, so consider these practices to keep from getting congested.
- Frequently wash bedding and kids' stuffed animals as both will attract irritating dust and pet hair
- Avoid nasal irritants such as smoke, cologne/perfume, hair spray, fumes (paint, gasoline), etc.
- Avoid mucus producing foods, such as coffee and dairy products – drink water or juice instead
- Use a humidifier to increase a dry room’s humidity to keep your airways moist