Nasal congestion is a condition when the nose is filled with fluid and is usually followed by sinus congestion and runny nose. Nasal congestion due to colds or allergies can be treated with a saline spray. This solution can be made easily and safely for adults, infants and children.
Method 1 of 3: Making a Salt Solution
Step 1. Gather the ingredients
To make a saline solution, you only need salt and water. You can use sea salt or table salt, but use non-iodized salt for those with an iodine allergy. You will also need a small spray bottle to apply the solution. Bottles with a volume of 60 milliliters are quite suitable for use.
Use a rubber bulb-syringe to spray the noses of babies and children
Step 2. Make a salt solution
In order for the salt to dissolve properly in the water, the temperature of the water needs to be raised. Boiling water will also kill harmful bacteria and microorganisms in the water. Boil 0.2 liters of water and then cool until quite warm. Add teaspoon salt and stir until dissolved. At this dose, the solution will have the same salt content as the salt in the body (isotonic).
- You can try a solution that contains more salt than the body (hypertonic). This measure will be useful for a nose that is quite severe and blows a lot of mucus. Try a hypertonic solution if you have trouble breathing or have a hard time clearing your nose.
- The dose of a hypertonic solution is teaspoon of salt in 0.2 liters of water.
- Hypertonic solutions should not be used on infants and toddlers.
Step 3. Try adding baking soda (optional)
Half a teaspoon of baking soda will adjust the pH of the salt solution. Therefore, the solution is less stinging on the nose, especially if you are using a hypertonic solution with a higher salt concentration. Add the baking soda while the water is still warm and stir until dissolved.
You can mix salt with baking soda. However, usually the solution is more miscible if the salt is added first
Step 4. Fill the bottle with the saline solution and save the rest
The solution is ready to use when it is at room temperature. Fill a spray bottle with saline solution and pour the rest into a closed container and store in the refrigerator. The saline solution should only be stored for two days.
Method 2 of 3: Using a Nose Spray
Step 1. Use saline solution whenever the nose is stuffy
This solution is easy to carry around because the bottle is small. The nasal spray will release the waste that clogs the nose. Blow your nose after spraying your nose to get rid of the dirt in it.
- Lean forward and tilt the nozzle toward the nostril toward the ear.
- Give one or two sprays in each nostril. Use your left hand to spray the right nostril, and vice versa.
- Inhale slowly to prevent the solution from dripping out of your nose. However, do not inhale into the throat because it will irritate the septum.
Step 2. Use a bulb syringe to inject the saline solution into the baby or young child
Squeeze the air in the bulb syringe by half, and suck the solution in. The child's head is tilted slightly and put three or four drops of the solution in each nostril. Make sure that the tip of the bulb syringe does not touch the inside of the nose. Keep the child's head still for two or three minutes for the solution to work. Be patient if your baby is moving a lot and has difficulty staying still.
Step 3. Aspirate the child's nasal discharge with a bulb syringe. Give the saline solution to the nose and wait two to three minutes. After that, you can use a bulb syringe to slowly remove any wastes that are still in your nose. Use a tissue to clean waste substances around the nostrils. Change tissues when changing nostrils, and wash your hands thoroughly before and after treatment.
- Tilt the child's head back slightly.
- Press the bulb syringe to remove of the air from it, then slowly insert the tip into the nostril. Release the pressure to aspirate the waste material into the bulb syringe.
- Don't insert the tip too deep. You only need to clean the front of the nostril.
- Do not touch the inside of the nostrils as they are sensitive and will hurt.
Step 4. Keep the bulb syringe clean
Wipe off any waste material outside the bulb syringe with a tissue, and discard the tissue. Wash the bulb syringe with warm soapy water immediately after use. Sip the soapy water and re-spray a few times. After that, repeat with clean plain water. Shake the water in the bulb syringe to clean the walls.
Step 5. Repeat 2-3 times a day
The use of saline solution should not be excessive because the child's nose already feels sore and irritated. Aspirating nasal discharges should be carried out a maximum of four times a day.
- Suck the child's nasal discharge before he eats or sleeps, so that the child can breathe easy while eating or sleeping.
- If your child has trouble keeping still, be patient and try again later. Remember, this process must be done with care.
Step 6. Keep the body hydrated
The easiest way to cure a stuffy nose is to maintain adequate fluid intake. This will reduce the discharge of fluid so that the mucus is easier to drain. Sometimes waste substances will be sucked into the esophagus. Don't worry as this is normal and natural. Drink hot tea or chicken soup to maintain your fluid intake.
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of 0.2 liters of water every day. Drink more water if you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea
Step 7. Be careful when cleaning your nose
To prevent overly dry nasal skin, apply Vaseline or hypoallergenic lotion/cream. Dab with a cotton swab and spread evenly over the nostrils as needed. You can also use a humidifier or a bowl of boiled water and place it around the house. Boiled water will evaporate and humidify the air. Rest as much as possible.
Step 8. Get children and babies checked by a doctor
Nasal congestion can be a serious problem for babies because the child will find it difficult to breathe and eat. If for 12-24 hours a saline solution spray is not able to overcome the child's nose problem, see a doctor immediately.
See a doctor immediately if nasal congestion is accompanied by fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or loss of appetite
Method 3 of 3: Understanding the Causes of Congested Nose
Step 1. There are many causes of nasal congestion
Nasal congestion can be caused by various things. The most common causes are colds, flu, sinusitis and allergies. Nasal congestion can also be caused by pollutants such as chemicals and smoke. Some people suffer from chronic runny nose called vasomotor rhinitis (VMR).
Step 2. Look for symptoms of a viral infection
Viruses are difficult to cure because they live in the body's cells and multiply very quickly. Fortunately, the common viruses that attack are colds and flu. Both of these viruses will heal on their own over time. Usually, you simply treat the symptoms of the disease and keep your body comfortable. To prevent the flu, ask your doctor to inject the flu vaccine annually before the season starts. The symptoms of colds and flu are:
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Snot is clear, green or yellow.
- Sore throat
- Cough and sneeze
- Feeling tired
- Muscle aches and headaches
- Watery eyes
- For flu, there are additional symptoms, namely a higher fever (39.9 °C), nausea, chills/flooded with sweat, and loss of appetite.
Step 3. Treat the bacterial infection with antibiotics
Bacterial infections have very varied symptoms (one of which is fever). Bacterial infections are usually diagnosed clinically or by a culture test from the nose or throat. The doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat common bacteria. Antibiotics will kill or stop the reproduction of bacteria so that the body's immune system can fight the remaining disease.
Continue on full treatment with antibiotics, even if you feel well. If the medicine is stopped before the time recommended by the doctor, the disease will come back again
Step 4. Watch out for sinusitis symptoms
Sinusitis is a condition when the sinuses become inflamed and swollen, resulting in the formation of mucus. Causes of sinusitis include colds, allergies, or bacterial or fungal infections. Sinusitis can usually be treated at home. Sinusitis that is quite severe is usually cured with antibiotics. The symptoms of sinusitis are:
- Nasal discharge is yellow or green, and is sometimes found in the throat
- Nasal congestion
- Swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead and easy to feel pain
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
Step 5. Check if your light is too bright
Bright light can also cause a stuffy nose. Your eyes and nose are interconnected, so eye disorders will also affect your nostrils. Try dimming the light at home and at work and see if your nose improves.
Step 6. Do an allergy test
Nasal congestion may be the result of your body's allergic reaction. Try getting an allergy test from your doctor if you have severe nasal congestion, especially if it's accompanied by itching and sneezing. Your doctor will inject a small amount of a common allergen into your skin. You are positive for allergies if the allergen injected causes a slight swelling (such as mosquito bites) on the skin. Thus, the type of treatment can be determined (using medication, nasal or injection) or simply avoiding allergens that cause allergies. The common allergens that cause allergies are:
- Food: dairy, gluten, soy, spices, shellfish and food preservatives
- Pet hair
Step 7. Eliminate sources of pollution in your environment
With each breath of air, you carry various substances from the environment in through your nose. If the cause of nasal irritation is the air in the environment, of course, your environment needs to be changed to make it more healthy. Sources of pollution are usually:
- Cigarette smoke
- Exhaust smoke
- Dry air (buy a humidifier)
- Sudden change in temperature
Step 8. Ask your doctor about any medications you are currently taking
It could be, your stuffy nose comes from the side effects of drugs that are being consumed. Give your doctor a complete list of the medicines you are taking. If the nasal congestion is caused by a side effect of the drug, then the doctor will give you an alternative medicine. Nasal congestion usually occurs due to:
- High blood pressure medication
- Excessive use of nasal spray
- Drug abuse
Step 9. Check your hormonal changes
Hormones control various functions throughout the body and affect various body systems. Hormonal changes and abnormalities can interfere with the normal process of clearing the nasal passages. If you are pregnant, have a thyroid disorder, or experience hormonal changes, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will help you control your hormones and reduce their impact on your nose.
Step 10. Perform an examination to identify anatomic problems
Perhaps the cause of your nose problem isn't an infection, medication, or hormonal changes. It could be, the anatomy of your nose is already like that. Ask for the recommendation of a good specialist to treat your stuffy nose. Specialists will be able to diagnose physical abnormalities that interfere with your breathing. Usually, anatomical problems occur in:
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Enlarged adenoids
Foreign body in nose
This is common in children. Usually, nasal congestion is accompanied by thick, foul-smelling nasal discharge that occurs in one nostril
- If symptoms of nasal congestion have persisted for more than 10-14 days, see a doctor immediately.
- See a doctor immediately if nasal discharge is green or bloody or you have breathing problems such as COPD or asthma.
- Salt (for people with an iodine allergy, use salt without iodine)
- Baking soda (optional)
- Sealed container to store the remaining solution in the refrigerator
- 60 milliliter spray bottle
- Measuring spoon
- Soft bulb syringe for children and babies.