What Happens if Your Nose is Blocked & How to Clear a Blocked Nose?

Blocked nose, which is commonly termed as stuffy nose, nasal blockage, nasal obstruction, or plugged nose, is actually a commonly occurring problem. A blocked nose occurs when the tissues lining the inner surface of the nose become swollen due to the inflammation of the blood vessels of the sinus. A blocked nose is often a symptom of common health disorder like a sinus infection and can be caused due to common cold. Blocked nose may also result to a condition termed as sleep apnea, which means pausing of breathe in between sleep for one or more time. Let us read about what happens if your nose is blocked and treatments, natural remedies to clear a blocked nose.

What Happens if Your Nose is Blocked?

What Happens if Your Nose is Blocked?

  • A blocked nose usually causes difficulty in the proper breathing process. Even one is unable to exercise as he has to struggle for breath and always feel facial or nasal fullness and thus often attempts to clear the throat passage. The pathophysiology of nasal congestion basically involves several underlying mechanisms. Some of which include mucosal inflammation, an increase of venous engorgement frequently, enhanced nasal secretions, edema or nasal tissue swelling, trauma or injury in the structure of the nasal passage, and variation of sensory perception.
  • A blocked nose can also lead to sleep disturbances or sleep apnea that includes episodes of infrequent or shallow breathing while sleeping and in severe cases, it can be life-threatening.
  • As different neurogenic mediators as well as inflammatory substances contribute to plasma excretion or even vasodilatation, therefore, a blocked nose has an important impact on quality of life by hampering emotional function, incapable of performing daily activities comfortably, and loss of productivity.
  • A nasal blockage also sometimes leads to a headache, redness and pain around the eyes or cheeks, and even ear pain.

How to Clear a Blocked Nose?

A blocked nose can be uncomfortable as well as annoying for both adults and kids. Regardless of the cause, there are various easy steps to get relief from blocked nose.

Here are some ways to help one breathe better and also clear blocked nose quickly:

  • Saline Spray: Saline spray is nothing but a salt-water solution. Using a saline spray can increase the moisture inside the nostrils and thus helps in thinning of the mucus in the nasal passages and clearing blocked nose. This also decreases the inflammation of the blood vessels and helps to empty fluids from the nasal passage. Talk to a doctor before using saline sprays as these can show side effects when used with other medicines.
  • Warm Compress: A warm compress over the nose and forehead can provide comfort from the pain and thus relieve the inflammation inside the nostrils. This also helps to unclog a stuffy nose by opening up of the nasal passages from the outside.
  • Using Humidifier to Clear Blocked Nose: A humidifier provides a prompt action to reduce pain, redness, and relieve a stuffy nose. Humidifiers not only soothe swelled tissues and irritated blood vessels but also help in thinning the mucus in the nasal passage. This also helps to empty the fluids inside the nose and bring back normal breathing rate.
  • Hot Shower Can help Clear a Blocked Nose: A hot shower helps in thinning out the mucus in the nose and can reduce inflammation. Even one can take deep breaths in steam, which returns breathing to a normal state.
  • Neti Pot: To get quick relief from blocked nose, try using a neti pot that actually works to thin out mucus and thus flush them out of the nasal passage.
  • Apply Acupressure through Massage to Clear Nose Block: It is the oldest way to clear blocked nose. Try to apply pressure on the passage between eyebrows or massage around the nasal region. The result can be seen in few minutes.
  • Stay Upright and Prop the Head up While Sleeping to Prevent Nose Block: To prevent nasal congestion from getting worse try to prop the head up with the help of 2-3 pillows after lying on the bed and try to sleep by supporting only the backbone.
  • Stay Hydrated: Fluids like water, warm coffee or tea, sports drink, fruit juice, soups, etc. can always help in thinning of the mucus inside the nasal passages and also pushes it out and thereby decreases the pressure.
  • Spicy Food Can Help Clear Blocked Nose: Spicy foods like peppers, ginger, or horseradish may provide temporary relief from blocked nose.

Treatments to Clear Nose Block

Doctors often recommend a treatment plan that includes prescribed medication in order to alleviate the cause of the nasal blockage and also its symptoms based on the underlying cause. Some are as follows:

  • Alpha-adrenergic agonists like oxymetazoline are used as the first line of treatment to help clear blocked nose.
  • Oral antihistamines to treat allergies, such as loratadine and cetrizine.
  • Nasal sprays that contain an antihistamine to clear blocked nose and prevent allergic response, such as Azelastine.
  • Nasal steroids, such as mometasone or fluticasone.
  • Antibiotics together with anti-inflammatory drugs are suggested to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Topical decongestant nasal sprays and drops are also prescribed to help clear blocked nose, such as naphazoline, oxymetazoline. Even inhalers, phenylephrine, or oral pills are also used for treatment under medical guidance only.
  • Both common cold and influenza are self-limiting conditions that get better with time. However, drugs like acetaminophen or paracetamol, ibuprofen, and aspirin may help to reduce the discomfort.
  • If an infant faces difficulty in breathing due to nose block, then a nasal aspirator may be used to pull out the mucus.
  • Adhesive nasal strips are also used over the nose to make the breathing easy by widening the nostrils.
  • Surgeries, such as Turbinoplasty, Adenoidectomy, Septoplasty, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Polypectomy, or Functional Rhinoplasty may be required to correct the anatomic abnormalities.

Natural Remedies to Clear Blocked Nose

  • Ginger: In order to get relief from a stuffy nose naturally, try to consume ginger tea with a few drop of honey and lemon juice in it. Or else cut a few pieces of fresh ginger and put it in a glass of lukewarm water and then stir well before drinking.
  • Garlic: To get a quick relieve from clogged nose naturally, eat fresh garlic cloves. This is one of the most effective natural remedies to cure nasal congestion. One can prepare a garlic soup by crushing 2 or 3 garlic cloves and adding it to a boiling cup of water and drink this.
  • Honey: Consume 1-2 teaspoons of pure organic honey added in a glass of lukewarm water every morning in empty stomach till the blocked nose is completely cured.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: This can be a useful natural remedy to clear blocked nose. Add 1-2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey to a cup of warm water. Drink this in the morning on empty stomach in order to clear a blocked nose.
  • Basil: Chew 3-5 basil leaves before breakfast and before going to sleep at night or try to consume tea with basil leaves to clear blocked nose in a natural way.
  • Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil is one of the best effective natural remedies to clear a blocked nose. Just pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a small piece of cloth or even in the pillow and inhale its fragrance in order to get the benefit during sleep.
  • Fenugreek: In order to unclog a stuffy nose, add few fenugreek seeds to a glass of boiling water, and drink it warm for 2-3 times in a day for better results.
  • Herbal Tea: Herbs, such as thyme, chamomile, peppermint, blackberry, or rosemary are great natural remedies to clear a nose block. Try to make tea of these herbs and drink it regularly for the prompt result.
  • Pepper: Pepper is also a great natural remedy to treat a blocked nose. In a cup of boiling water put a teaspoon of black pepper with 1 tablespoon of honey and leave it for 15 minutes. After that stir well and drink.
  • Lemon: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, one-fourth teaspoon of black pepper powder with a bit of salt in it and apply the mixture at a regular interval to get an effective relief from a blocked nose.
  • Fruit Juices: To ease blocked nose naturally, drink fruit juices with a few drops of oregano oil in it.
  • Tomato Juice: Add 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and a pinch of celery salt in to a cup of boiling tomato juice. Drink it at least 2 times a day to clear blocked nose in a natural way.
  • Onion: Onion is an effective natural remedy for many ailments. It is also effective in clearing a blocked nose. Cut an onion and peel it off and smell it for about 5 minutes to get rid of nasal congestion.
  • Mustard Oil: Put 1-2 drops of mustard oil inside the nostrils to get a quick relief from nose block.
  • Pineapple also helps to fight against nasal congestion.


Blocked nose or nasal congestion rarely causes any major health problems except discomfort and irritation. Usually, symptoms improve right away after using proper treatment.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 10, 2022

Recent Posts

Related Posts