– The nasal symptoms that accompany a cold or the flu can make it difficult to breathe, concentrate and sleep comfortably. Proper nasal care can help you to manage symptoms of nasal congestion and irritation, so that you can feel better as you recover from your illness. At drugstore.com, we have many nasal care options available to meet your needs, including both natural and over-the-counter medicinal solutions.
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When you're suffering from nasal congestion, using products designed to deliver relief at the source rather than oral over-the-counter medications can help you to alleviate symptoms fast. Nasal sprays are quick and easy to use at home or while on the go, and there are two main types available for dealing with nasal congestion.
Saline sprays contain a saltwater solution and help to reduce the thickness of mucus, so that you can blow your nose and breathe with less obstruction.
Decongestant nasal sprays contain an FDA-approved over-the-counter medication like phenylephrine hydrochloride. These products reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, making it easier for you to breathe despite congestion.
How Do Nasal Strips Work?
If nasal congestion bothers you most when you lie down to sleep or rest, nasal strips could be the ideal way to address your symptoms without the use of nasal sprays. Nasal strips are thin self-adhesive strips that are worn across the bridge of the nose. When placed correctly on the nose, the strips adhere to the skin around the nostrils and pull them back and away from the skin on the outside edges of the nostrils. This has a widening effect on the nostrils and can allow more air to flow through the nose. Nasal strips can not only temporarily alleviate difficulty breathing due to a cold or flu, but they can also help reduce snoring that often accompanies congestion.
Nasal Washes and Neti Pots for Flushing the Sinuses
When congestion persists and affects the sinuses and the nose, some doctors and natural practitioners recommend flushing the nasal passages at home. This can be done with one of two over-the-counter solutions.
You can purchase nasal irrigation kits, which usually include a bulb-shaped suctioning device and a saline solution.
You can purchase a neti pot. A neti pot is shaped similarly to a teapot and has been used since ancient times in India to address nasal congestion by flushing a saline solution through the nose.
Choosing the Right Nasal Care Products
If you're uncertain which nasal care products are the best fit for your needs, consult your doctor. Some people may not be able to safely use over-the-counter medicinal nasal sprays due to the risk of side effects, complications of other medical concerns or interactions with medications. No matter what type of nasal care product you choose to take, be sure to use it only as directed by the manufacturer or by your physician. Using a nasal care product too frequently could worsen symptoms or cause additional irritation or nasal problems.