What Tests Are Needed For Nasal Congestion
If you have nasal congestion, often you won’t need any tests. Your doctor can often determine the cause by asking questions about your symptoms and by examining you.
Sometimes, a referral to an ENT specialist is necessary. You may then have skin prick tests for allergy, or blood tests. The ENT specialist may also look further into the back of your nose with a flexible telescope . Very occasionally, a computerised tomography scan or a magnetic resonance imaging scan may be needed.
Nasal Saline Sprays: Non
Nasal saline is an invaluable addition to the list of over-the-counter medications. It is ideal for all types of nasal problems. The added moisture produced by the saline reduces thick secretions and assists in the removal of infectious agents. There is no risk of becoming addicted to nasal saline. It should be applied as a mist to the nose up to six times per day. Nasal saline can also be made at home: contact your otolaryngologist for details.
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What To Look For When Buying Otc Sinus Decongestants
When youre figuring out which decongestant to buy, youll need to determine whats causing your congestion. If its allergies, youll probably want a product that contains an antihistamine ingredient like diphenhydramine.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may be looking for a product that includes phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. Some OTC sinus decongestant formulas include both antihistamines and decongestant ingredients, and some add in pain relief ingredients such as ibuprofen to their formula. Treat for symptoms that you have, not for additional symptoms that you dont have.
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Mucinex Chest Congestion Expectorant Tablets
Considered by many as the best medicine for chest congestion, Mucinex 12-Hour Chest Congestion Expectorant is a long-lasting and fast-acting formulation that guarantees relief for up to twelve hours. This product uses a unique bi-layer tablet formulation, with one layer of the pill getting to work as soon as a dosage is taken, and the remaining layer intended for delayed release.
The product incorporates a high level of guaifenesin a chemical component responsible for dissolving mucus and clearing out the chest to make way for easy breathing, and this also encourages the user to expectorate, thus getting rid of mucus for good.
Coming at a very reasonable price, Mucinex 12-Hour Chest Congestion Expectorant is the kind of product that you should purchase if you want a reliable, effective, and safe medicine in your storage in case of those unexpected episodes of colds or flu.
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Comparison Chart For Best Medicine For Cough And Sinus Congestion
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- Day Time: relieves sinus pressure, congestion, headache, and thins and loosens mucus
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Can You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Many sinus infections are caused by a virus like the common cold and do not require antibiotics for treatment. If you have mild symptoms, OTC medications may help relieve your symptoms until you feel better. However, consult your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days, or if at any time you have intense/severe pain or pressure, or a high fever.
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Can You Take Sinus Decongestants With High Blood Pressure
Phenylephrine is not considered to be safe if you have high blood pressure. Sinus decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine may actually raise your blood pressure and counteract blood pressure medication that youre on. If you have high blood pressure, you should speak with your doctor about which decongestant they recommend for you.
To Treat Congestion Or A Runny Nose
Some decongestant medicine may help to treat congestion or a runny nose, according to Cleveland Clinic, though decongestant nasal sprays should only be used for a few days.
To treat a runny or stuffy nose, Cleveland Clinic recommended getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.
Saline nasal sprays can also help to relieve symptoms, along with a Neti pot or a cool-mist humidifier.
For other at-home remedies, Cleveland Clinic said to try using essential oils, drinking hot teas, taking a facial steam or hot shower and eating spicy foods.
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Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.
The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.
There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.
Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus infection.
Dry Air Drying You Out Just Add Water
Another potential remedy for a stuffy nose is salt water, which eases congestion by moistening and clearing the nasal passages. Dry air can increase mucus production and thicken the mucus so that it accumulates in the sinuses, explains Auth. Other irritants that buildup in nasal passages can also lead to nasal inflammation if they arent flushed out.
The nose loves salt water, says Seidman. A home remedy I tell people about is to mix 1 quart of sterilized water, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon , and then run it up your nose.
Neti pots are nasal rinsing devices that have been around for thousands of years. While they’re generally considered safe, the FDA cautions that they must be used and cleaned properly to avoid the risk of infection. The FDA recommends using purchased distilled or sterile water, boiled and cooled tap water, or water passed through one of its recommended filters in any of these devices to reduce the risk of infection.
Engle says saline nasal sprays are a convenient option to moisten and help drain a stuffy nose because the contents are premixed and sterile, which reduces the potential for infection if used properly. For people squeamish about rinsing out their nose, experts say simply moistening the air around you can help.
A humidifier is a good thing for young children and people who dont want to use drugs, says Engle. Cool mist humidifiers are recommended in childrens bedrooms to reduce the risk of burns from warm mist versions.
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What To Eat When Youre Sick
When youre sick, its important to try to eat something, even if you dont particularly feel like it. In other words, starving a fever may not work.
If you have a viral infection, it is better to try to eat, says Michael J. Brown, R.Ph., a clinical pharmacist in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He says that in studies, mice with viral infections did better when they were fed versus unfed. Fevers can occur with viruses, so starving the body is not always the best plan.
But what should you eat? Lets take a look at the best foods to help your body fight infection.
Urgent Advice: Call 111 For Advice Now If:
- you take too much pseudoephedrine
Taking too much pseudoephedrine can be dangerous.
It can make you restless or your heartbeat fast, and make you feel sick or vomit. You may also have difficulty peeing.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
If you need to go to A& E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.
Take the pseudoephedrine packet or leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.
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How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
A pharmacist can advise you about medicines that can help, such as:
- salt water nasal sprays or solutions to rinse out the inside of your nose
You can buy nasal sprays without a prescription, but decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than a week.
Some decongestant tablets also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. Be careful when taking painkillers and a decongestant. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
How Can I Avoid Future Sinus Infections
Once youve had a nasty sinus infection, you wont want to relive the experience. To help prevent them from occurring again, get your annual flu shot and steer clear of people with colds or the flu. Use your humidifier. Live as healthfully as you can get sufficient sleep, reduce stress and eat a wholesome diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and if you do smoke, take steps to quit. Last, but not least, always wash your hands.
Ultimately, sinusitis is a painful and revolting nuisance. But approaching them with these smart strategies could save you a world of hurt.
This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
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What Is Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion is a blocked, stuffy or bunged-up feeling in your nose. Depending on the cause, it can last a short while or can be persistent. In adults and children it is usually an annoying symptom rather than a serious one. In babies, however, a blocked-up nose may make it difficult to breathe or feed.
Some of the causes of nasal congestion are discussed below. You may have other symptoms along with the blocked nose.
Natural Remedies For Sinus Congestion
When you’re feeling stuffed up and miserable, getting to the drugstore seems almost impossible. Fortunately for you, there are a number of home remedies for sinus congestion relief, here’s three:
1. Humidity:Keeping your nasal passages moist when you’re experiencing sinus congestion may help to relieve that “stuffy” feeling. To do this, apply a warm, wet towel against your face or run hot water in the shower to unblock the sinuses. You could also use a humidifier for the same purpose.
2. Neti pot: A neti pot looks like a miniature teapot with a long spout. With the help of saline or a saltwater solution, these tiny nasal irrigation devices are used to treat congested sinuses, allergies, and the common cold. You can purchase a neti pot online or at your nearest health food or drugstore. Note of caution: Tap water isn’t safe to use as it’s not filtered or treated and may contain material that could cause infection or irritation.
3. Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils to reduce pain or improve sleep. While there’s still research that needs to be done, some studies suggest specific essential oils may relieve symptoms of sinus congestion. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy , 1,8 cineole, the main component of eucalyptus oil, has been proven to clear airways of mucus and is a natural cough suppressant.
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Taking Decongestants With Other Medicines
Ask a pharmacist or GP before taking decongestants if youÃ¢re taking other medicines.
For example, taking decongestants alongside some antidepressants can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
ItÃ¢s also important to be careful when taking other medicines if youÃ¢re using an Ã¢all-in-1Ã¢ decongestant remedy.
Ã¢All-in-1Ã¢ decongestants also contain painkillers or antihistamines, so it could be dangerous to take extra doses of these medicines at the same time.
Page last reviewed: 28 February 2019 Next review due: 28 February 2022
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When To Call A Doctor
Most of the time, a stuffy nose will clear up on its own within a week. Nasal congestion that lasts longer may be a sign of a serious sinus infection in need of treatment. You may also want to see a doctor if the symptoms are interfering with sleep or your ability to function normally.
A stuffy nose may require medical attention if:
- You have a high fever.
- Your symptoms last longer than two weeks.
- Your nasal passages are completely blocked.
- Your skin or lips develop a bluish tinge .
- Your breathing rate is very rapid.
- You have difficulty breathing or catching your breath.
How Often Can You Use Saline Nasal Spray
If you’re using a saline nasal spray to relieve your stuffy nose, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage. Overall, you can use a saline nasal spray as needed to relieve congestion and a stuffy nose. It’s best to use it once or twice a day maximum if possible. Unlike medicated nasal sprays, saline spray does not have a “rebound effect” which means using medicated sprays too frequently could actually make your symptoms worse. When possible, try to use a saline nasal spray instead of medicated sprays for dry, irritated nasal passages and a mild stuffy nose.
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What Are Some Ways To Relieve Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion due to a cold or sinus infection is uncomfortable and can get in the way of a good nights sleep. CVS offers a variety of treatments that can help keep you comfortable, including nasal spray and nasal congestion medicine from top brands like Afrin, Mucinex, and more. Many people may find relief with a decongestant nasal spray, which works directly on nasal membranes and may bring relief faster than a pill formulation. However, if you are looking to treat multiple symptoms that come with a cold or the flu, you may want to try a combination pill such as Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain, which is formulated with more than one active ingredient in order to temporarily reduce multiple symptoms such as congestion, body aches, and fever. Be aware that nasal congestion medicine may interact with certain prescription drugs, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any nasal congestion medication or using a decongestant nasal spray.
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