It’s quite a frequent sight when you see someone rubbing their nose with tissues or having a hoarse voice. The major reason behind these symptoms is the dreadful common cold.
Supposedly, four out of every 10 individuals experience cold or cough symptoms such as runny nose or sneezing at least once in every six months.
There has been a shift in people’s behavior when it comes to treating common illnesses such as common cold and flu. The dependency on antibiotics to cure even the most common illnesses is on the rise. What people fail to understand is that taking antibiotics without proper consultation can often go wrong.
So the next question that comes to mind is what to do in such cases? Don’t fret! As you can try the following Do-It-Yourself tips to clear up that plugged up nose.
Take warm drinks
Drinking fluids, especially warm ones, ensure that the mucus thins out so that it can be easily expelled. This is essential or else the mucus may become thicker and sticky that can congest the nose more. Warm drinks like warm water, tea, chicken soup help to keep the throat moist as well as help you get relief from the congestion. You can consume hot herbal teas with some anti-inflammatory herbs such as ginger, chamomile, or mint. However, make sure that you avoid drinks that dehydrate you such as caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
Know your triggers
A runny nose can be a symptom of an allergic reaction. Hence, it becomes important to know the allergens that can trigger a reaction. Some of the common triggers are-
-Dust (Also Read: Tips To Prevent Dust Allergy During Winters )
-Dander from pets
-Viruses that cause common cold
If you are prone to such allergic reactions that make you sneeze repeatedly, keep antihistamine medications and nasal sprays handy.
Use neti pot
This is an instant solution to a runny nose. This is a pot that can help you breathe almost immediately after rinsing the nose. It clears the mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses so that you are able to breathe properly. You pour sterile water or saline solution into one of the nostrils and it comes out from another nostril. Thus, cleaning the nasal airways completely. But you must be careful before using a neti pot.
Another problem associated with a runny nose is the congestion of the nasal airways that makes it difficult to breathe. Moreover, people with a runny nose also suffer from heaviness around the eyes and headache too. This occurs as dehydration makes the mucus thick and can clog the sinuses and the nasal airways. Inhaling steam by taking a hot shower or taking vapor from a bowl can open up the nose and stop it from running.
Rest properly for 8-9 hours to strengthen the immune system. When you are asleep, the immune system works towards fighting off the infections. When you are sleeping the airways of the nose can be blocked that can disrupt your sleep. Take nasal drops or sprays before going to bed. When you are feeling under the weather, it is important to keep yourself warm and rest properly so that the body doesn’t drain out of energy. (Also Read: How Are Allergies and Common Cold Different? )
Increase the zinc intake
Zinc plays an important role in strengthening the immune system. Zinc interferes with by preventive the rhinoviruses to thrive and reproduce. You can take zinc as oral dietary supplements or as lozenges. Although there can be side effects such as metallic taste or nausea, incorporating zinc on a daily basis can alleviate cold symptoms such as the runny nose or continuous sneezing within a day or two. Just be careful about the dosage, the type, and flavorings.
Eat spicy foods
To reiterate a popular belief, spicy foods made with ingredients such as garlic, turmeric, hot peppers and ginger can make your nose run. However, all these kitchen ingredients are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. Hot chili peppers contain compounds such as Capsaicin that can cure inflammation in the body. Therefore, eating hot and spicy foods can help you get relief from congestion as well as stop the runny nose.
Eat Vitamin C
Eating vitamin- C rich foods do not particularly cure sneezing rather it overall enhances the immunity of the body. When there is cell damage due to diseases in the body, it leads to development of free radicals that can contribute to inflammation in the body. Foods that are rich in vitamin C such as oranges, red peppers can strengthen the immune system by clearing up these free radicals.
One of the major causes of sneezing and a runny nose is a common cold. Honey works on such symptoms almost instantaneously as it is rich in antioxidants, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Honey is a cold-fighter because-
-The antioxidants boost up the immune system,
-The antiviral and antibacterial properties fight off viral/bacterial infections.
Apply warm compress
The heat from the warm compress can have a soothing effect and relieve out the sinus pressure and congestion. Similar to taking steam, the warm compress also thins out the mucus and clears out the congestion. You can make a compress by dipping a washcloth or towel in warm water and squeezing it. Apply it over the face several times a day.
The above remedies should be sufficient enough to cure runny nose and frequent episodes of sneezing. No matter what is the reason behind the constant dripping nose or sneezing, it is treatable. However, sometimes when the condition is not improving even after using the remedies, get consulted with an ENT doctor.